You are sitting in a chair to read the latest book by your favorite author. The book is opened and you begin reading. After some time you’ll come across two pages that look identical. You’re confused. How could this have happened? Could this be a typo? Was the line of assembly accidently added two pages to the book?
Duplicate content causes the same level of confusion for both users and search engines, just as if you were to find duplicate pages in the same book. Search engines strive to provide their users with information that is the best that they can. If your website contains duplicate content, and possibly more than one pages that have identical information, search engines have no idea of the version of the page to show the user. This means that search engines will penalize websites with duplicate content. Here are six ways to ensure your site is not having duplicate content.
Utilize Robots.txt Files
Robots.txt Files provide search engines with information about pages on your website you don’t want crawled. It also assists in directing traffic to your website. Imagine the concept of a treasure map. The map will tell you the location of the treasure but also where it’s not. You can still go through these regions, but you’ll not locate what you’re seeking. If you have duplicate content, such as webpages that can be printed put them in the robots.txt file, and then submit your robots.txt file to search engines. Search engine crawlers will not be able to navigate through these pages any more and users are directed towards the pertinent pages of your site.
Take Caution when viewing similar content
Search engines might think that pages with identical content as duplicates. If you have pages on your website with similar content, you should consider merging them, or creating content that emphasizes specific aspects of each page. For instance the website of your medical practice contains location pages with the identical information for all location of their four offices. It is possible to combine the pages together into one page, or highlight the distinct services offered by each clinic to create pages that are unique.
Use 301 Redirects
If you are updating a web page, you may have to remove an older website that had similar information, or change it to a different URL to avoid confusion caused by duplicate information. It is important to ensure that you don’t lose site users in the process.
301 redirects ensure that you aren’t losing users while content moves across URLs from one to the next. They do this by redirecting users to a website’s new URL, if they type a previous URL in their web browser. This way it’s similar to an US Postal Service forwarding your mail following a move. It redirects visitors to the right page when you’ve deleted the old page from your site or transferred content to a different position on your site. Additionally 301 redirects let search engines be aware that previously indexed content, which might be prominently displayed in search results, is now in an entirely new location.
Be Mindful of Copied Content
You are probably acquainted with websites that distribute content to avoid duplicate content. Blogs and other content that is long-form but they aren’t the only content that is available on the internet. If you own an online shop Your product pages contain content too. Making use of the same description from a manufacturer or reusing descriptions from other e-commerce sites can result in search engines being able to penalize your website.
Be Wary of Repetitive Boilerplates
A boilerplate on a website is copied text that is located at the bottom of any webpage. Google as well as other engines could detect duplicate content. Think about consolidating this content and posting an overview on your webpage, and putting links to all the information about copyright on a separate page.
Format Internal Links Consistently
Internal links are hyperlinks which connect one website to the next on the same site. They let users navigate through your site with ease and help search engines create an orderly structure for pages and to spread the power of ranking around your site. Making sure that the visible URL is formatted for internal links in the exact method can help search engines effectively identify relevant information for the query of the user.