why is having duplicate content an issue for SEO

Why Is Having Duplicate Content an Issue for SEO?

by | Jan 17, 2024 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

Does your website have duplicate content? You may be surprised to learn that almost one-third of web pages repeat content. Why is having duplicate content an issue for SEO? For the good of your website, you need to know the answer.

Why Is Having Duplicate Content an Issue for SEO Success?

At its core, SEO is about convincing search engines that your content is the best fit for the user’s query. Duplicated content undermines your efforts to make a good impression.

The Importance of E-E-A-T

duplicate content is a problem for SEO

Google looks at four factors when judging your blogs and web pages:

  1. Experience: The information comes from someone with first-hand knowledge of the topic, like a small business owner writing about the pros and cons of SBA loans.
  2. Expertise: The content contains high-quality information from expert sources, such as home repair tips from a licensed contractor rather than a DIY YouTube channel.
  3. Authoritativeness: The person or business providing the content is a respected, well-known industry authority, such as Car and Driver for vehicles or Forbes for financial info.
  4. Trust: The website has a good reputation for accurate, helpful information, and users frequently trust its recommendations.

When you provide high-quality content that visitors read and recommend, you show Google that your content is worth highlighting.

Not a Good Look

Duplicate content doesn’t do you any favors in the E-E-A-T department. Visitors and search engines know quality when they see it.

One excellent blog is better than a dozen copycats. Which would you rather have: $1,000 in real dollars or $500,000 in Monopoly money?

A Good Reputation Is Everything for SEO

To understand why having duplicate content is an issue for SEO, imagine that you have friends visiting from out of town, and you’re taking them out for dinner. Which restaurant would you recommend? Definitely not a greasy diner and probably not a newly opened restaurant, either. You would choose places you love, places where you’ve had excellent experiences.

That’s exactly what Google does when “serving” blogs to users. It selects websites that are full of interesting, engaging, helpful and tasty content, rather than repeated information.

Choose Quality Over Quantity

SEO success isn’t about quantity. Our powerful and persuasive SEO content wins every time.

How Does Duplicate Content Hurt Your Website?

Not only does duplicate content not contribute to good SEO, but it actively hurts your optimization efforts.

Link-Building Problems

If you have several URLs with the same content, there’s a good chance other websites won’t link to the one you want. At the very least, you’re diluting your link equity, or authority.

Low Traffic

Another reason why having duplicate content is an issue for SEO is that it leads to fewer clicks. Google’s top search results go to websites with original information. The first three ranking positions get almost 70% of all clicks. When articles look like cookie-cutter copies of 50 other websites, they don’t get much traffic.

Search Visibility Issues

SEO isn’t like a lottery, where more tickets equal more chances to win. Google won’t put two identical pages in search results. All duplicate content does is send mixed signals to search engines, lowering your chances of appearing in the results.

Duplicate Content FAQs

When you know why having duplicate content is an issue for SEO in general, it’s easier to avoid specific problems.

Are Duplicate Images Bad for SEO?

Identical images and alt text are technically duplicate content, but they’re not likely to impact your SEO unless you go overboard (or abuse copyright-protected images). Google cares about large portions of duplicate text, not a few words or sentences.

What Is a 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect tells Google to send people who click on page A’s link (and B, C, D, etc.) to page Y instead. Redirects are a technical fix better for businesses with HTML experience.

This solution is a good fit for duplicate pages that you can’t delete. For example, you may need separate versions of a page for PC and mobile, plus a printer-friendly version.

Does Deleting Duplicate Pages Hurt Your SEO Results?

Removing duplicate content doesn’t hurt your search rankings. If anything, it boosts page equity.

What Does Google Consider Duplicate Content?

why is having duplicate content an issue for SEO


Many sites create duplicate content by accident, not on purpose. Look for the following mistakes.

Identical Web Pages

A common type of duplicate content is multiple pages that are identical but use different URL addresses. For example:

  • https://www.xyz123.com/resources/ultimate-flooring-guide-133/
  • https://www.xyz123.com/blog/ultimate-flooring-guide-133/
  • https://www.xyz123.com/arizona/ultimate-flooring-guide-133/

By accident, the website owner has put identical copies of its “Ultimate Guide to Flooring” in the visitor resources section, blog section and geo-targeted content.

Template Content

Be careful if you follow a template for your product pages, services pages or similar content. Following the same structure is OK, but your content should be as unique as possible. Repeating catchphrases, guarantees, offers, and other boilerplate copy can count as duplicate content.

Bad Rewrites of Existing Pages

Yes, AI, we’re looking at you. AI articles are notorious for rewriting existing content poorly, sometimes even copying itself (more than once!) in the same article.

Blog Articles Posted Twice

Some businesses like to post blogs off-site to give them an independent feel. That’s fine. Don’t repost the same article on your branded blog, however. Otherwise, both sites compete with each other.

How Can You Find and Fix Duplicate Content Cost-Effectively?

If the reason your website has duplicate content is that you have a small marketing budget, we’re happy to tell you that you can have your cake and eat it, too. Follow a few tips:

  • Refresh your blogs: Update blog articles with fresh statistics and rewrite the main ideas of the content from a new angle.
  • Repair repetitive content: Remove boilerplate copy and add a few new paragraphs in its place.
  • Consolidate similar articles: If three articles are copies of each other, take the best parts of each and create one excellent blog.
  • Choose a large content creation team (such as BKA): Avoid repetitive content by using several writers instead of just one.

Small businesses can have good content without spending a fortune.

Why Is Having Duplicate Content an Issue for SEO Costs?

High-quality content marketing saves you money compared to other advertising options. At BKA, our team is happy to work within the constraints of your marketing budget.

Let us show you why duplicate content is an issue for your SEO goals and how to create a cost-effective content calendar.

The BKA Writing Team

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