On the World Wide Web, duplicate content refers to content or text that is the same or nearly the same on two or more different uniform resource locators (URLs), or web addresses. Duplication can occur within a specific domain or across multiple sites. In addition, pages with little to no information – and therefore no value to users – can also be considered duplicate content.
To avoid publishing duplicate content, it’s critical to understand what it means in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine results page (SERP) ranking. To help you bolster your ecommerce strategy, Virtucom Group explains why businesses of all kinds should avoid duplicating content at all costs.
How Search Engines Detect and Treat Duplicate Content
When a user performs a search, the search engine’s bot, or automated web crawler, visits URLs that match the user’s search. The search engine indexes or categorizes each result’s content. Typically, the bot will analyze:
- Page titles
- Section headings
- Photos and image captions
By reviewing and logging this information, the search engine can detect duplications. But what happens if duplication is spotted on your company’s pages or website? There are several consequences publishing duplicate content can have on SEO and your content marketing strategy, including:
Decreased SEO Rank
Understandably, you want your organization’s website to be highly visible to those searching for the product or service you offer. If your content, be it on a blog or landing page, contains information identical to that found in another URL, yours probably won’t appear high on the SERP. That’s because the bot cannot calculate which one to move higher, so it moves them both down. This can damage your efforts for organic website traffic because fewer users click beyond the first SERP result, meaning yours may be overlooked.
No SEO Ranking
In certain instances, when a search bot crawls a page and perceives duplicate content, it won’t even index or rank it on the SERP. If you’re not appearing in search engine results, it becomes much more difficult for new customers to find you. If you’re ranked below your competitors, your audience might conclude you’re less reputable or qualified, which can heavily affect your well-planned ecommerce strategy.
Less Consumer Trust
Publishing duplicated content, as well as internally back-linking the page within your own site, could start to drag down the ranking of both pages. Consequently, this decreases their link equity and your domain’s authority. Pages and domains that carry authority and trust have earned this because, among other qualities, they feature copy that is original, concise, relevant, and adds value to the Internet community. These factors, among others, enable pages to consistently rank high on SERPs.
Trust Virtucom Group for Original Content
Users and bots know a good website when they experience it – the information is clear, accurate, and well-organized. If your website has duplicate content, you run the risk of losing customers to your more search engine-visible competitors.
Virtucom Group has 15 years of experience as a content development agency, expertly crafting unique, individualized copy for companies and organizations that get sites seen. Located in Syracuse, New York, and serving clients across North America, we create original and personalized content that adheres to SEO best practices to increase your website’s traffic and achieve your content marketing strategy. To learn more, contact us today.