How Does Duplicate Content Affect SEO?

Duplicate content is a hot topic in the SEO world. Many Australian website owners are wondering how it can affect their website and whether or not they need to worry about it. In this article, we will discuss what duplicate content is, why it matters, and how you can avoid any potential penalties from Google.

What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content is content that appears on more than one website. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as copying and pasting content from another website, using the same content on multiple pages, or syndicating content to other websites.

Duplicate content can hurt your website SEO because it can confuse Google’s search engine algorithms. If Google crawls your website and finds the same content on multiple pages, it may not know which page to rank in the search results. As a result, you may lose traffic to your website and see a decrease in your rankings.

There are a few ways to avoid any potential penalties from Google due to duplicate content. First, make sure that all of your content is original and unique. You can also use canonical tags to tell Google which page is the original version of a piece of content. Finally, you can use a robots.txt file to prevent Google from indexing certain pages on your website.

Different types of duplicate content

There are many different types of content that can be affected by this issue. Search engine algorithms don’t just check the content that’s written on the page, they also look into URL variations, HTTP/HTTPS differences, and WWW/non-WWW variations.  This means that even if you have unique content on individual pages, your website could still be penalised for duplicate content if these other factors are not taken into consideration.

Differences between internal and external duplicate pages

Internal duplicate pages are pages that exist on the same website. This can be caused by duplicate titles, meta descriptions, H1 tags, and content. External duplicate pages are pages that exist on different websites. Duplicate content, as well as copying and pasting material from different sites, utilizing the same material on numerous web pages, or syndicating content to other websites, can all result in duplicate sites.

Search engine algorithms treat internal and external duplicate pages differently. Internal duplicate pages are usually not penalised because they are usually unintentional. However, search engines may choose to rank one of the duplicated pages higher than the others. External duplicate pages are often penalised because they are typically intentional. Search engines may choose to rank one of the duplicated pages lower than the others, or they may choose not to rank any of them at all.

Lower website value

Google has long been an advocate for quality content. In fact, one of the main factors that they look at when ranking a website is the amount of unique, high-quality, optimised SEO content that it has. This is why websites with a lot of duplicated content are often penalised by Google and don’t rank as well as others. Essentially, if a website is found to have a lot of duplicate content, it’s considered less valuable than other websites, and this is reflected in its rankings. 

Search engine penalties

Duplicate content can lead to search engine penalties for a website if multiple pages are not original and unique. This can cause a website to lose traffic and rank in the search results. 

There are a few ways you can dodge penalties, like ensuring all content is new, implementing canonical tags, and utilizing a robots.txt file, as we’ve mentioned. However, if duplicate content is not avoided, it can hurt a website’s SEO strategy in the short and long run through Google’s penalties.

This type of consequence is incredibly rare, but it can happen if Google determines that a website is purposefully scraping and copying information from other pages. Doing the bare minimum to keep everything unique should enable you to avoid any penalties.

Using the noindex tag

Noindex tags are a way to tell Google which pages on your website you don’t want it to index. This can be helpful if you have pages with duplicate content, or if you don’t want certain pages to show up in the search results. 

There are a few different ways to apply noindex tags, and it’s important to choose the right one for each page on your website. Noindex tags are applied using the robots meta tag. This tag is placed in the <head> section of your HTML code.

The content attribute tells Google whether or not you want the page indexed. You can use either “noindex” or “nofollow”. “Noindex” tells Google not to index the page at all, while “nofollow” tells Google not to follow any links on the page.

Checking if the content is copied by other websites

If you’re concerned that your website’s content has been stolen and copied by another website, there are a few things you can do to check. You can use Google’s search results to compare the content on your website with the content on other websites. If the content is identical, or very similar, there’s a good chance that it has been copied. 

Another way to check for plagiarised content is to use plagiarism detection tools like Copyscape or Turnitin. These tools scan the internet for copied content and compare it against your own content. If there is any copied content, these tools will find it. 

If you find that your website’s content has been plagiarised, you should take action immediately. You can contact the owner of the other website and ask them to remove the plagiarised content. If they don’t respond or refuse to remove the content, you can file a DMCA takedown request with Google.

Keeping internal links consistent

When it comes to avoiding duplicate content issues, one of the most important things you can do is keep your internal links consistent. This means that all of the links on your website should point to consistent pages and that each page should have appropriate links. 

If you have links that point to different pages, or if you have multiple links on a page, it can have an effect on Google’s website crawlers. This is because Google thinks that you’re trying to game the system by creating multiple pages with the same content. 

To avoid this, make sure that all of your internal links are consistent and point to relevant pages. This will help Google understand your website’s structure and will prevent any duplicate content penalties.

Getting professional help

If you’re experiencing duplicate content issues on your website, it’s important to take action right away. However, this type of problem isn’t always easy to spot, especially if you have an extensive list of pages on your website. Many duplicate pages can go unnoticed for one reason or another. In these situations, you can end up getting lower rankings without knowing what’s causing the downward trend. 

One way to take care of this problem is to get professional help from a third-party SEO agency. An SEO agency can help you identify and fix any duplicate content issues on your website. They can also help you create a strategy to avoid future duplicate content problems. Many Australian website owners turn to third-party agencies like SEO Services Sydney for their general optimisation needs. A team of professionals that is qualified to create an SEO strategy will take great care when optimising pages. This includes dealing with duplicate content in its various forms, and it’s done with great attention to detail. As a result, you wouldn’t have to worry about missing any duplicates as you try to boost your rankings. 

Setting up 301 redirects

If you have pages on your website that are identical, you can set up 301 redirects to automatically send users to the correct page. This is a great way to avoid duplicate content penalties from Google, and it’s an effective SEO strategy. 

To set up a 301 redirect, you’ll need to create a redirect file and add it to your website’s root directory. The redirect file tells the server which pages to redirect and how to do it. You can create the file using a text editor, like Notepad, or use a tool like cPanel’s File Manager.

You can also use regular expressions in your redirects, which can be helpful if you have a lot of pages that need to be redirected. 


Duplicate content is a common issue on websites, but it’s important to take action to fix it. If you don’t, you could face penalties from Google. To avoid these penalties, make sure that all of your content is original and that your internal links are consistent. You can also set up 301 redirects to automatically send users to the correct page.

By taking these steps, you can avoid duplicate content issues and keep your website in good standing with Google.

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