Cleaning Up Duplicate Content

Good news! Google will no longer penalize you for duplicate content, but having some on your website can still be a nuisance.

What’s grinding Google’s gears now is copied content – material that exists on multiple sites, intentionally altered enough to disrupt search engines from discovering the true source of the original content.

Duplicate content relates to the more technical aspects of web development and how two identical bits of information can exist on the same site despite no intention behind the duplicate creation.

When we say ‘content’ we’re not speaking of the written text you always see on the front end of a web page. Often this content is code or development shortcuts hidden on image files, page titles, meta descriptions and URL slugs.

Overlooking duplicate content is easy, cleaning it up is the hard part. Think of Google as a prospective home buyer, constantly searching for the most attractive and unique home. In order to spruce up your home, you have to act like a realtor cleaning for an open house. If every room in the house looks just like the other, how memorable will your house be to the buyer?

The same goes for websites. If Google can’t determine your site’s unique value, it’s more likely to value someone else’s


Removing Duplicate Content

Here are a couple steps to make your site more attractive for Google.

Sites with numerous projects, services, products or press releases often have a ‘www’ or ‘HTTP’ issue, where search engines don’t know which page to rank higher, the update or the original.

Which address did you use to create the original content? WWW or non-www? Using the www prefix may be considered old fashioned even if your Google Webmaster portal asks you to index both.

Or perhaps your page exists with HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) or the updated HTTPS (Secure). The ‘S’ adds another layer of coding security to your page, but also creates problems if a HTTPS page exists alongside the HTTP version.

Creating a 301 redirect to boost the original page is a solution that doesn’t involve deleting a previously live page. A 301 redirect acts as a funnel to the original page, eliminating well-ranking pages competing with one another into one sole focus of Google’s crawl.

Another use for Google’s Webmaster tool is finding improvements to your site. Copy and pasting the same meta descriptions for each page may seem like a time-saving shortcut but know that’s where Google first learns of your website.

While the goal remains for the SEO title, meta description, and slug to be keyword uniform, it’s only the rule for each page, not the whole website.

A simple solution is to take the first sentence of your page copy and insert it into the meta description field. This is a great way for an e-commerce site with diversified product descriptions receives more attention.

Of course, there is always a chance all of this information sounds overwhelming. If you feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your website and SEO, fill out a form or schedule an appointment with Valorous Circle today.

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