Duplicate content is similar content that appears on the web in more than one place. It can have many causes including plagiarism or technical errors, yet the way it affects your brand is the same.
Duplicate content will negatively impact your SEO growth and slow your progress, which is why it needs to be detected and fixed fast.
In today’s guide:
You’ll learn why duplicate content is bad for your organic SEO strategy and three unique ways to fix it. We’ll also share with you six free content checkers to detect any duplicate content on your website.
So, let’s get started.
How Bad is Duplicate Content for SEO?
Having duplicate content on your site sends conflicting signals to Google. Crawling spiders will have a hard time understanding which page should come at the top and for what keywords.
Thus, plagiarism will slow your SEO growth — especially if your website is penalized. That can make you lose all your rankings and your hard-earned traffic overnight.
In Google’s eyes, duplicate content has no value because it doesn’t offer any new knowledge to the reader. Even worse, allowing it makes content creators less likely to produce any quality content in the future.
How to Fix Duplicate Content for Better SEO?
There are many reasons why you may mistakenly publish duplicate content.
Perhaps you allow guest posting and you received a few articles from different unknown sources. Or maybe you’ve recently hired a freelance writer who’s plagiarizing other people’s work. A webmaster may also mistakenly publish the same article twice under different URLs.
People vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com
The point is:
Things like this could happen all the time… So if you find yourself in a similar situation, what can you do about the content?
Here are a few tricks to avoid Google penalties or any negative SEO effects:
1- Use rel=canonical tag
A canonical tag is an HTML element that you can add to thesection on your page. It tells crawling robots that the page on which the code appears is a duplicate of an existing master copy.
Here’s an example of how the final code looks:
Search engines will give all the ranking power to the original page “example.com/dog-food” — which helps you avoid any problems caused by copied content.
2- Use Noindex meta tags
Meta tags are HTML codes that can be added to the head section of the page. Webmasters use meta elements to give crawling instructions to Google bots on how a page should be crawled.
The “noindex” meta tag specifically helps you avoid any negative SEO effects caused by duplicate content.
This simple code tells spiders that the page should not be indexed so you won’t have two pages with the same content competing against each other.
This allows the original page to stand out in the SERPs and rank higher.
3- Use 301 Redirects
Restructuring your site or linking format can cause lots of issues in your overall structure. Sometimes, multiple pages with the same content can be found after a quick check on your sitemap.
To solve those problems:
You can set up 301 redirects to move Google bots from duplicate resources towards the original ones.
One way you can do that is through your .htaccess file. All you have to do is add the following code:
Redirect 301 /duplicatepage/ http://www.example.com/originalpage/
The great thing about this method is that your link-building efforts won’t be lost. Instead, your duplicate pages will pass on link juice and ranking power to the master page.
Best Free Duplicate Content Checkers for SEO
We’ve discussed earlier in this article the many reasons why duplicate content may exist on your website. Hiring an outside party to handle your content creation is one of them. But it could also be due to an overall website restructuring.
Such mistakes can happen and fixing them is not rocket science. But before you can get to that step, you must first be able to tell which content or pages are duplicated.
Here’s our list of the best 6 free duplicate content checkers for SEO:
Siteliner is a tool that’ll help you scan your whole website for any duplicate content. It only takes a second to paste your site URL and start your scan. And the reports it generates are outstanding.
This awesome online software goes beyond checking for plagiarism into generating a full review of your content creation.
You’ll get a percentage of duplicate content in comparison to unique and common content. Also, the tool will give you the average number of internal and external links per page.
Want to know the best part?
You can download the report into a PDF file for any later discussions with your content marketing team so you can find ways to improve.
The only downside to Siteliner is that you only get one scan for free. After that, you must purchase a premium subscription to their service to be able to scan more sites.
Are you outsourcing your content creation to a new freelance writer?
Use Duplichecker to assess the quality of their work with a few simple clicks. You can scan up to 1000 words by uploading a doc or txt file, copy-pasting paragraphs, or submitting an online webpage.
The tool will then scrutinize your text sentence by sentence to detect any content scraping.
Here’s what makes Duplichecker an excellent option for your business:
- Clean, user-friendly interface
- Quick, accurate results
- Wide variety of SEO and editing tools
Duplichecker also offers a grammar check feature to help you detect any overlooked errors during editing.
CopyLeaks is an AI-based SEO content checker that can expose any possible plagiarism in documents, raw text, or live URLs. After you create an account, you’ll get a total of 20 free scans per month in more than 100 languages.
The algorithm CopyLeaks uses is sophisticated enough to catch any similarities in the writing style and wording of your articles. That makes it impossible for plagiarized content to slip and cause SEO problems in the future.
The best features you’ll get with CopyLeaks are:
- Accurate plagiarism checking
- File/document comparison
- Website comparison
- Tool integration (with Google Docs and Microsoft Word)
PlagSpotter is yet another amazing plagiarism checker with lots of unique features to offer. It helps SEOs put an end to plagiarism through a multitude of exclusive features.
How’s that possible?
By submitting your website for a check, you’ll get a list of all online pages with a possible match for your content. So unlike other content checkers, this one is best used to find out who’s stealing your work.
PlagSpotter also allows you to get a list of all possible matches for your content online. But it takes that to the next level by giving you the exact match percentage.
Do you have a lot of content to check regularly?
Plagramme is an excellent option for that because it doesn’t have a word limit. You can scan as many pages or articles as you want in a matter of seconds using the free plan.
The premium services Plagramme offers help you enhance your writing style and get in-depth evaluations. You’ll also get a full plagiarism report and gain access to a large database of scholarly articles.
CopyScape is one of the oldest, best plagiarism checkers on the internet.
This tool will let you scan web pages to identify duplicate content within seconds. All you have to do is enter your page URL to search for similar copies on the web.
The paid plan allows you to perform unlimited scans on your content or search an entire website in a single operation. You can also protect your brand against plagiarism by setting up a monitoring system that alerts you whenever another site copies your content.
Wrapping It Up
Duplicate content has always existed since the early days of the internet… And it’s not going anywhere.
You may mistakenly create duplicate pages on your site and forget about them. Or it could be the content agency you hired that’s plagiarizing others’ work.
All of that can easily be fixed with the variety of online tools available today. Use the duplicate content checkers we shared with you in this article to check your content quality and remove any plagiarized articles.
Ready to skyrocket your business through highly-targeted SEO traffic?
Our SEO agency is here to help! Get started now by using our Free SEO Analyzer Tool to generate a full SEO report for your business website.
Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 773-789-8636, and we’ll be happy to discuss your project needs.