”Duplicate Content Penalty” is the term widely used by the SEO experts all the time, but many of these people never had a look through Google’s guidelines on duplicate content. Although duplicate content does cause issues, therefore it is important to understand some of the details to consider it in context.
All Duplicate Content is harmful and will be penalized
Repeating the same information multiple times is definitely not a property of quality content. But any content that repeats itself on your site is never penalized, instead it makes the website tedious to browse. However, not all repeated content can be considered as bad content. Sometimes there is necessary content that is both tedious but useful. Elements such as legal disclaimers, safety warnings or following a consistent manner to describe similar products on an eCommerce website are some of the necessary things that can be considered.
One should block crawlers’ access to duplicate pages
When your website has duplicate URL’s, duplicates should be closed from getting indexed with robots.txt. Although this may save search engines computing resources, Google does not recommend this.
Google does not suggest to block crawlers to access the duplicated content from a website. The theory is, if search engines can’t crawl pages with duplicate content, they will not be able to automatically detect that these URLs belong to the same content or website and will therefore, will treat them as separate unique pages.
Duplicate Content Penalty Doesn’t Exist
Google penalizes sites for their duplicate content quiet seldom. It can easily point out penalty for a site that has nothing but scraped content, auto translated pages or which uses apps or softwares to spin content prior to publication. Some of the sites also purposely create pages having nearly identical content to rank them for some keywords.
After all, almost 30% of the web is duplicate content as people share same information across the web a lot. So it is not always possible to create a web content that is 100% unique. Although there are some key takeaways that can be considered to keep your content safe.
- Set canonical URLs for pages accessible via multiple paths.
- Keep the amount of text in your website’s cross-site template to a minimum.
- Claim authorship for your content.
- Never use automated tools to create or translate web pages.
Lastly, since so many websites may exist, having similar web content to yours, it is always a good practice to filter your content through Copyscape before publishing it. This may get you a chance to fix your final content before it gets live.