Is Duplicate Content killing your website’s rank?
Imagine you’re back in school. For some that could be the good ol’ days and for others that’s the days they wish to forget. Either way, close your eyes and think back to your English teacher giving you an assignment to write a report on your favorite animal (mine is the Chimpanzee). Easy enough, right? Your teacher expects you to do a great deal of research about the chimpanzee.
You do your research and you write a great report about Chimpanzees. You’re even proud of it! You get it back and there is a big fat red ‘F’ on the paper. What? Underneath the infamous ‘F’ is the explanation. You didn’t state your sources! You could’ve plagiarized the report, who knows right? What does this trip back to school have anything to do with my website or duplicate content, you may ask? Keep reading, I’ll tell you!
What in the world is ‘duplicate content’?
In our field trip, Google is your English teacher. Google decides what material is relevant and acceptable. How does Google define duplicate content? Here is their definition: Google defines duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains (a.k.a. websites) that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar’. Google’s Definition of Duplicate Content
While you are a business owner your perspective of Google is much different than a regular user. Consider this, if you did a Google search for Chimpanzees wouldn’t you want the most accurate and relevant information? Of course you would! How does this fit into your website and more importantly your report on chimpanzees? Keep reading.
Plagiarism and Duplicate Content. Is it the same? Find out below!
Your English teacher couldn’t give you that A+ you deserved on your chimpanzee report because he/she didn’t know whether or not you plagiarized. Maybe you did it on accident or maybe you’re just a cold stone cheater or more likely, you simply forgot to add your sources. Your teacher doesn’t know, so they’re going to give you an ‘F’ simply because they’re not sure. Google works much the same way with duplicate content. Google does not like duplicate content because, Google has a reputation to keep much like your English teacher needs to teach you (and your fellow classmates) how to include your sources.
Raise your hand if you think you might have duplicate content? Raise your hand if you don’t know? Oh no! what now? Never fear, we’ve included some great tools we use to find the icky, slimy duplicate content that is ruining your street cred. See below!
Step 1: Check for Duplicate Content
1) www.copyscape.com is a great start. How does it work? Go to copyscape and type your website’s main url (a.k.a. your website’s address like, www.buffalo-booster.com). Hit enter and it spits out results. One of two things will happen. 1 it will say, ‘No results found for (your website)’ or 2 it will give a list of issues. While you’re there you can also check through a bunch of the other pages on your website.
2) www.siteliner.com. Siteliner is another free tool that evaluates your entire website and breaks down your website into percentages of content types. Once it gives your a cool handy-dandy read out you can check to see what the duplicate content is. Most websites have at least some duplicate content. For example, our website has duplicate content because we have multiple authors writing blogs. Each time an article lists an author we create duplicate content because we write multiple articles. This is normal.
Step 2: Decide if you need to fix your website:
Your next step largely depends on what the tools told you. For example, what if as a student you decide to take the paper up to your teacher and see if you can fix it. Perhaps it was simply a matter of forgetting to include your sources. Your teacher may offer to let you bring your list of sources for a better grade. After all, your teacher isn’t evil and neither is Google. Google will happily improve your ranking once you fix errors and issues on your website.