How Duplicate Content Affects SEO

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You just did a website audit and you realize you have duplicate content and you're starting to freak out and wonder how does that affect me? Is that affecting my SEO? Have I wasted time? Energy? Money?

Duplicate content is a term used in search engine optimization (SEO) to describe content that appears on more than one web page on the Internet. Generally, the duplicate content issue arises when website owners try to manipulate search engine rankings by publishing identical or near-identical content on multiple pages of their websites.

In this episode, we will discuss what is duplicate content, how duplicate content affects SEO and Why is duplicate content an issue for SEO?

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Read the Full Transcript

Atiba de Souza: Oh crap. You just did a website audit and you realize you have duplicate content and you're starting to freak out and wonder how does that affect me? Is that affecting my SEO? Have I wasted time? Energy? Money? Well, guess what? I'm going to answer that question for you today. Does it actually affect your SEO if you have duplicate content? I think the answer might surprise you. I think the answer might surprise you. Hey, everybody. Welcome to Traffic Keys. I am your host, Atiba. And I'm glad that you're here because if you are a business owner and you're looking to drive more eyeballs to your website, which is probably why you had that audit done, right?

Seeing what's going on, then you are in the right place because we talk about SEO and organic methods to drive traffic to your website. Now, this is a really, really big issue and it's a really big topic. And it's one that even myself, as a seasoned SEO talked about for many, many years, the concept of duplicate content.

We have believed for many years that duplicate content was going to hurt your search engine rankings. As a matter of fact, when you get an audit done from almost anywhere. Okay. And you get the results back, there's always a section talking about duplicate content. And so what is duplicate content? Let's pause for a moment in justifying that.

And so, duplicate content is when you have large blocks of the same content on multiple pages on your website. Is there a percentage? Yeah, I don't, I don't know, nor that they really define the percentage. Just a lot. Like if they're very, very similar, it's considered duplicate content. So that's duplicate content in one form where you have all the content on one website.

Okay. Likewise, there's also duplicate content where someone, or even yourself have your same article published or syndicated on multiple sites that exist on the internet. We're not going to deal with that one just yet today, because that's a much bigger, much broader topic, but let's just deal with your website.

Especially, if you're in the e-commerce space, right? Duplicate content was something that played the e-commerce environment for years. And I know, cause I ran a lot of e-commerce sites and you'd have a category. Right. So let's say you were selling cat litter, right? Okay. If you're selling cat litter, then clearly on your website, under the cat category, your cat litter product will show up.

Under the, I don't know, pet-health category, your cat litter would also show up. And so the same page and the same content will exist in two places. And so it created duplicate content. Duplicate content. Right? So that was in the, on the SEO— Sorry, on the what does the— e-commerce side. Man, I couldn't think there from a moment, ya'll. That was on the e-commerce side, but we even had it just on regular websites as well that weren't e-commerce enabled. Where sometimes content gets duplicated, sometimes by accident sometimes deliberately. Right. But what happens? Is that content actually going to affect your SEO? Are you actually going to be dinged by Google. Now, before I give you the answer, I want you to do me a favor. Okay. I want you to do me a favor and that favor is don't forget to subscribe like this video and hit that little bell icon so the next time I do a video, you'll get notified and you can know about that. Okay. So back to the conversation here, here's what happened. Here's what happened. In 2021, John Mueller, and I'm putting a link to it down below John Mueller from Google. One of the top guys in SEO at Google did a podcast and he was asked this question about duplicate content and he kind of chuckled and he said, "Hey, guess what? Google's smart enough to realize that it's duplicate content and no, we're not going to ding you for duplicate content. As a matter of fact, what we're going to do is we're going to figure out which page is the best and that's the page we're going to rank." What?! So, all these years, Google has been smart enough to figure it out and not penalize us?!

Yeah, guys. So, the next time an SEO tries to tell you, "Oh, you've got this duplicate content. You got to change this affecting your ranking." They don't know what they're talking about. Google has said it themselves. Very smart enough to figure out which page should be ranked and which ones shouldn't and rank 'em.

Okay, so you don't have to worry about duplicate content anymore. You don't have to worry— keep, stay up late at night thinking, "Oh my gosh, my content, what am I going to do? How am I going to rewrite?" Forget it. Just move on. Create new content, create new content. Alright, everybody. Like I said, that article is linked down below.

Go check that article out, check the facts, check the facts. Don't just take my word for it. Go listen to Google themselves. Alright. Talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

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