Duplicate content is an issue for many bloggers and WordPress publishers. Although technically there Google says there is no specific penalty for having any duplicate content on your website, Google’s ranking algorithms filter duplicate content so that it can look like a penalty.
First off – what exactly is duplicate content?
For starters the Mighty GOOG has told us exactly what their own definition of duplicate content is:
“Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.”
Some simple examples of non-malicious duplicate content could include:
- Discussion forums that can generate both regular and stripped-down pages targeted at mobile devices
- Store items shown or linked via multiple distinct URLs
- Printer-only versions of web pages
So what’s the big Monkey problem with duplicate content?
Google work fulltime to to index the entire web and show webpages with individually distinct information to show in its (very good) results. This auto-magic filtering means, for example, that if your site has a ‘regular’ version and a ‘pdf/printer’ version of any post/page, and neither of these is blocked with a noindex meta tag (see below), Google will choose JUST one of them to list. The other will be deemed to be dup-cont.
If the content of a webpage can be found on many more webpages, Google will only display ONE of these pages in the search results. Unfortunately, this might not be , and in our Monkey experience seldom is(!), the page that you want to see.
Checking for Duplicate Content in your content
If you are writing a new post, and are using info from other places, check if it matches anywhere else on the web using one of these FREE tools
- Small SEO Tools Check For Plagiarism : http://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/
- SEO Review Tools: http://www.seoreviewtools.com/duplicate-content-checker/
- CopyScape duplicate content checker: http://www.copyscape.com/
- Siteliner (sister to CopyScape): http://www.siteliner.com/
So you found some duplicate content on your WordPress website, how to fix it?
Removing ALL duplicate content from your pages will have a distinct positive effect on the SEO rankings of your web pages on your WordPress website.
There are a few simple things that you can do to avoid any obvious duplicate content issues:
- If you do have a few matching pages/urls, then use correctly set up 301 redirects to redirect visitors to the correct pages on your website.
- Always use the same link to link to a page, i.e. do not link to /page, and also /page/index.htm and then also /page/. Google will see these as 3 separate pages and it’ll give errors in Search Console as dup-cont
- Use the rel=canonical attribute to inform Google about your preferred version of a page, see here for details. For most of our duplicate content issues, this is the best and simplest solution, easily used in WordPress.
- If you are country-specific and are aiming at LOCAL clients/shoppers, then use country-specific domains for country-specific content. For example here in Fiji, use domain.com.fj instead of domain.com/fj.
- When you want/need to, then syndicate your content VERY carefully. If the websites that use your web page content are more a lot more popular/authoritative than your own WordPress website, they will be shown FIRST in Google’s search results.
- Avoid long boilerplate texts on all pages (that blurb at the bottom or top all about your company or ab. Better link to a page with the details.
- Avoid similar pages. If you have a few pages with similar content, consider combining them into one page, you’ll get better traffic than a non-indexed dup-cont page.
- Use Google’s Search Console to tell them how you prefer your WordPress website to be indexed: You can tell Google your preferred domain, for example,
- https://www.armyofflyingmonkeys.com or
- https://www.armyofflyingmonkeys.com (our preferred 😉 )
- Avoid publishing what Google calls stubs:WordPress website visitors don’t like seeing “empty” pages, or the dreaded “under construction” pages, so simply totally avoid all placeholders if possible. Don’t publish pages or posts that you don’t yet have any real content, those you think, “that’ll be a cool place to put info about that”: but you haven;t got any oinfop about that yet! If you do create placeholder pages (for example to fill out your menus to make it fit etc), use the noindex meta tag available easily in WordPress at bottom of your edit page/post, to block these pages from being indexed by Google.
There are a few different ideas and blog posts out there about his and here are some of the best:
There are many PAID tools available for checking also including: