In the SEO world, duplicate content has become one of the top concerns. Publishing the same content on different URLs may dilute the quality and the ranking of a website.
Having the same content on multiple websites causes difficulties for search engines to select the most relevant content for a given query.
Duplicate content can negatively affect SEO in many ways.
It Dilutes The Value And The Popularity Of Your Original Content
Links pointing to your content are critical for SEO. Having identical content on the internet in several URLs reduces the number of links pointing your site.
For example, let’s think URL-X and URL-Y contain identical content. URL-X has 20 links pointing to it. And URL-Y has 20 pointing to it. If there was no duplicate content, the original URL-x might have a total of 40 links pointing to it.
Since the quantity of links directing to your URL is very important for SEO, duplicate content could cripple your SEO.
Difficulties For Direct Link Metrics
Page rankings, trust authority, anchor texts are considered as link metrics. When you have duplicate content search engines find difficulties to direct your link.
By going through an optimisation process and publishing fresh contents, you can avoid this situation.
Then you will have new visitors to your site and that will signal the search engines about your content’s uniqueness.
These signals will also increase your domain strength.
Negative User Experience
Sometimes, for a given query when the user is directed to the same content multiple times, it causes negative user experience.
For a user who seeks for fresh content, it will be a waste of time.
It Decreases Traffic
Site owners sometimes suffer lower traffic and rankings because of duplicate content.
Risk Of Your Content Not Getting Crawled
Even search engine bots don’t like to read the same content over and over again.
Sooner or later they will decide not to crawl to your content because it has read the same earlier.
Even if your content is original there is a risk of it not getting crawled.
Risk Of Getting Banned From Search Engines
Every search engine tries to avoid duplicate content.
If a search engine identifies your content as duplicate, your site might get removed from search engine index.
And it will be no longer available in search results.
It Will Affect Categorisation
For a given query sometimes the results come under multiple categories and different URLs.
It happens because the same content is posted under various categories. This could harm categorisation processes.
How to avoid duplicate content?
The best way to avoid duplicate content is by writing original content.
However, if you must use duplicate content on your site, it is highly recommended using a canonical tag.
A canonical tag is a simple code that you can insert into the page which has duplicate content.
As soon as search engine bots identify the canonical tag, they skip the content on that page.