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How Duplicate Content Affects SEO & Google Ranking

by aaronwhite
SEO Company

SEO is a complicated subject. You should know how SEO works and how it affects your business. One of the most common questions people ask about SEO at Firefly is if duplicate content impacts search engine rankings. But what exactly does this mean?

In this article, we’ll discuss what is duplicate content, how it affects SEO and Google ranking, and what you can do about it.

What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content is the same information on multiple pages of your website. If you have duplicate content, Google may think that your website is spam and lower its rankings for it. It’s important to avoid this at all costs because it could seriously affect how well your site does in search results, which would mean fewer people would see what you have to offer! Here duplicate content for SEO at Firefly is when the same content is found on more than one page, usually with little to no variation. This can happen if your site has duplicate pages or if you’re copying and pasting the same text across different pages. If Google detects that your site has a lot of duplicate content, it may think that it’s spammy and reduce its ranking in search results.


How duplicate content affects SEO?

Duplicate content can impact your site’s ranking, crawl efficiency, user experience and indexation.

  • Duplicate content can affect your site’s ranking in search results. When Google sees duplicate content on different URLs or domains, they will likely favour one over the other depending on how much original value each page provides to users.
  • Duplicate content can also affect your site’s crawl efficiency because it adds unnecessary load on Google’s servers when they have to process multiple versions of the same webpage in order to determine which should rank higher in search results (if at all). This will lead them to ignore pages with low-quality duplicates instead of crawling them fully which may result in missing out on valuable data for future improvements – if any!
  • Visitors typically don’t like viewing duplicate content either since this means less unique information available for them; therefore we recommend avoiding creating such scenarios whenever possible!

How to avoid duplicate content in SEO?

To avoid duplicate content, you have to use 301 redirects, canonical tags and noindex tags.

  • 301 redirects: A 301 redirect is a permanent change of address from one page on your site to another page on your site. This tells Google that the two pages are not identical, so it can stop penalisiing both pages for having similar content. You can do this manually by creating new URLs with an “index” parameter (e.g., www.example-site/my-awesome-blogpost?index=2), but there are tools that can help automate this process if you’re dealing with large amounts of content.* Canonical tags: The purpose of using canonical tags is twofold: First off all, they tell search engines which URL should be indexed as the main version of each page–and secondarily they prevent duplicate versions from being crawled by bots (which would otherwise happen if both URLs were given equal importance). For example if we had two different versions of our homepage available at www1 and www2 then we’d use this code below so only one gets ranked higher by Google bot!

Best Practices to Avoid Internal Dupes

  • Use the same URL structure. If you have a page about “our products,” there should be no reason why another page on your site. This is not only confusing, but it also makes Google think that these are two different pages when they’re actually talking about exactly the same thing.
  • 301 redirects if necessary. Sometimes there may be legitimate reasons why you need to create duplicate content–for example, if you want all of your product pages to go through one landing page (which we advise against). In this case, 301 redirects can help keep things organisied while still allowing users who come from those old URLs access to the new ones without breaking any links between them or losing any rankings for those old URLs’ keywords in search results pages (SERPs).
  • Use canonical tags and rel=canonical tags where appropriate so that search engines know which version of each page should rank higher than others within SERPs; however, note that using noindex followed by follow meta tags will prevent any kind of indexing regardless of whether there are other signals indicating how Google should rank these types of documents!


As you can see, duplicate content is a real problem that can have serious consequences for your SEO. If you’re concerned about the amount of duplicate content on your site or want to avoid it altogether, then we recommend engaging with SEO at Firefly to get a full analysis of your site and its potential for optimisation. 

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