Why is having duplicate content an issue for SEO?

Duplicate content hurts SEO even though, in most cases, it is posted without intending to fool users and search engines. Analytics says that 25-30% of online content is duplicated.
When promoting on Google, it is essential to avoid duplicate content. Google lowers in searching results pages with non-unique texts. Let’s look at what a website risks when it uses the same content and how to avoid it.

What is duplicate content

Duplicate content in SEO is content that has been published several times on the same or different platforms. For example, a blogger posted the same article on LinkedIn, Medium, his website, and parts of it in a post on Facebook.
Duplicate content involves text, images, graphics, and videos. You can use Google and TinEye to see how often an item is copied.
We recommend using a reliable duplicate content checker to see whether a text has been duplicated.
Duplicated content also includes:
  • Surface rewrite. For example, the same article has been rewritten in different words without adding substantial value.
  • Posting the same content on your website. Example: the website contains two pages with different URLs but the exact text. This could occur due to a mistake on the administrator’s side, who posted the content twice.
  • The reverse, where the same page has several different URLs. For example, “site.com/page1”, “site.com/page1/?utm_content=...” и “site.com/category/page1”.
We recommend setting up redirects and canonical tags to avoid duplicates due to technical aspects.

Why is duplicate content bad for SEO and why it should be avoided

Duplicate content and SEO are incompatible for many reasons:
  • External URLs are dispersed. Different domains can reference other pages with the same content. This is a minor problem: Google can now identify duplicated content and connect all the links that lead to it.
  • Undesired URLs end up in the search results. Example: a page has several URLs. In Google’s top search result, you will find its non-HURL. As a result, CTR will decrease: users are less likely to click on a URL that looks like “site.com/page1/?utm_content=...”.
  • A crawl budget is used. Google uses crawl technology to detect new content on a website. Bots follow links from old pages to new ones and scan the pages they checked earlier. If they notice duplicate content, bots must go to more pages, and the crawl speed decreases. Indexation is worse.
  • The content that was uploaded a second time can be ranked higher than the original. It this is excellent if you provided an authoritative media outlet with your content. The media resource will be ranked higher; thus, more people will learn about you as an author and expert. But, this isn't nice if a competitor steals your article, ranks higher, and gets your clients.

Google recommend creating original content

Google says that it doesn’t punish duplicated content. Google deems copied content useless and one that carries no value for the user. That said, such pages might decrease the search results.

Google uses several algorithms to track non-unique content:
  • Panda. This algorithm ranks duplicated content and surface rewrites (texts that were paraphrased poorly) worse in the search results. Google prioritizes websites that feature original information that is not repeated anywhere.
  • DMCA and Pirate. This algorithm sanctions content that breaches copyright that is stolen or copied.
  • EAT, or Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. This is a combination of algorithms that analyze how trustworthy a text is and how expert-based it is. Duplicated content with no expert opinion is ranked worse.
In most cases, the decrease in the search results ranking is insignificant. However, if Google decides that the goal is to manipulate the search results, sanctions are to be expected. Google doesn’t find it essential if the author posted the same content on different platforms without ill intent. The website could be deleted from the index forever.

Here is what is deemed a breach of rules:
  • When the duplicated content is posted in large quantities;
  • When affiliated texts and articles are posted, for example, from Amazon, which contains no additional value or expertise;
  • When domains, subdomains, and pages are created with the same texts in large quantities.

What should be the uniqueness of the text for SEO

Google doesn’t require a strict uniqueness percentage. Ideally, you should strive for 90-100%, while texts on a sophisticated, professional topic must be at least 80%. For example, 80% can be enough for legal websites, where it is hard to paraphrase a definition, due to the law or the name of an Act, without changing the meaning.
For search engine optimization, it is essential to consider the value your text gives to the readers: only in that case will they stay with you and not leave for your competitors. Google pays extra attention to expertise. Apart from striving for uniqueness, you should include facts, study results, expert opinions, personal photos, and infographics in your text.

Use our checker to check the uniqueness of texts on your site

To check whether your text is duplicated content or whether it was stolen, use a plagiarism checker for SEO Skandy.
Skandy is a cloud-based service that is based on artificial intelligence. In only a few minutes, it will check a text of any size and provide a detailed report about the originality.

Advantages of Skandy:
  • Speed. With Skandy, you don’t need to copy, put quotation marks, and paste sentences from your text into the search bar to find duplicates. Skandy will check your text in 2-5 minutes. This is long and tiring. You can use this time on other business.
  • Check texts of any format. You can upload an article template into word or use the URL to check the uploaded text. Skandy has OCR technology - optical character recognition, so it can check photographed text, too.
  • A user-friendly mobile app for Android and iOS. Easy to work from anywhere in the world.
  • Different languages. The service can check texts in 27 languages.
  • Deep check on all levels. Skandy analyzes billions of web pages and open-source databases within minutes and can detect rewritten and paraphrased texts.
  • Detailed report. After running the check, Skandy provides information about all the non-unique parts in the text and displays an overall uniqueness percentage, along with sources that match the non-unique fragments.
  • Check results saving feature. You can show the results to your colleagues, advisor, or clients. They will be confident in the reputation and good ranking of their websites. Skandy is trusted by more than 500 000 companies and universities worldwide. Its results are a guarantee of unique content.
Using Skandy will avoid problems with lower search result ranking due to duplicate content! Skandy will help make your texts unique and valuable and protect you from fraudulent competitors. See for yourself – try Skandy for free today! We guarantee the best results!

Try our service

Paste a text you want to check for plagiarism and ChatGPT-generated text below
Text author: Columbia Proof

March 3th 2023

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