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What Is Duplicate Content?

May 12, 2016 // By: Erik Krass

Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about driving traffic to your website by increasing its ranking on search engines. In the SEO world, there are certain factors we like to avoid in fear of having them negatively influence a site’s ranking. Duplicate content is one of those factors.

First, let’s define SEO content. It’s information consumed on the internet that can come in many forms, such as blog posts, articles, infographics, and videos.

Next, let’s cover duplicate content. Moz defines duplicate content as “content that appears on the internet in more than one place.”

When duplicate content is present, search engines may have a difficult time deciding which content is more important or relevant to a search. Because search engines don’t like to show duplicate content, they’re forced to choose which content they find more relevant. Therefore, with duplicate content present, you run the risk of having your site not show up during a search.

That being said, according to Google Webmasters, 25% to 30% of internet content is duplicate content. For instance, people may quote a source and then link back to that source, but that’s not a problem. It’s a problem when duplicate content is deliberately produced at a high rate in a manipulative way. Therefore, it’s best to avoid a high rate of duplicate content whenever possible.

Page-Level Duplication

With duplication, it’s really about the amount that occurs. It’s natural and acceptable for a single website to have page-level duplication, which happens when identical content lives on more than one page across one website. Many sites have similar or identical text, images, or videos on more than one page, which is understandable.

However, if this is a common occurrence and gets out of hand, then there’s a problem. Google will recognize this high-level duplication rate and therefore assume that your website is low quality, decreasing your site’s rankings.

Videos and Duplicate Content

In the eyes of Google, videos are viewed uniquely when it comes to duplicate content. Google doesn’t view a video as content but instead sees it as a page element, so videos aren’t ranked in Google search results. When you search for videos on Google, pages are ranked and a snippet of a video appears to indicate that a video lives on the page.

So if Google views videos differently, does it view duplicated video content differently?

Having the same video on more than one page isn’t necessarily harmful. However, certain practices are bad for SEO, such as a video library. Yes, a video library offers a friendly user experience, but there are negative factors involved.

Video libraries contain little content and numerous videos, resulting in thin pages. (Google doesn’t like thin pages.) Because these videos are then found somewhere else on the site, we now have a page with numerous duplicate content.

Helpful Tips

  • Be aware of how your content is displayed on your website.
  • If you have similar content on multiple pages, merge them and create a combined page.
  • Google searches for duplicate content. If you think you might have duplicate content on your site, copy and paste content and see if it appears anywhere else on the web.

Stream’s Kick-Start Step

If you’re incorporating content that’s found somewhere else on the web, make sure to cite or link back to that source.

Any other questions regarding SEO and Stream Companies? Check out our free eBook How Stream Companies Does SEO.
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—Erik Krass is a Digital PR Coordinator at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia-area advertising agency.

 

Topics: Digital Marketing, seo, Duplicate Content, Inbound Marketing