When you were in high school or even college, did your professors warn you against plagiarizing your papers and essays, and instead encourage you to be creative with your words, thoughts, and ideas? Plagiarism is a serious offense on campuses, even resulting in serious punishment or getting kicked out if you’re caught. Duplicate content can be considered the Internet’s version of plagiarism, and many times, the issue is completely overlooked or even unknown.
Duplicate content occurs when the same content appears on more than one web page. Here’s an alarming number: According to Fifteen Design, 29 percent of content on the Internet is duplicate content. However, not all duplicate content cases are malicious. Sometimes, duplicate content is an overlooked error on the author’s part. Other times, your content is lifted without your permission.
What we’re trying to say here is that duplicate content is bad for your brand. You won’t get a slap on the wrist or a penalty from Google, but it could potentially corrupt your authority and legitimacy. If you don’t fix a duplicate content issue, search engines won’t know which page to index, thus affecting your ranking factor.
Fortunately, many duplicate content cases are easily solved. Should you find yourself in this situation, we have a couple of ways in which you can resolve the issue and focus on the road ahead.
How can you ensure your brand isn’t tarnished by duplicate content?
Luckily, there are ways to ensure search engines know that you are the original poster of the content. To start off, you should perform an audit of your website or your client’s website. Chances are you moved or reposted content on your website and forgot to delete or redirect the old or original post. There are, however, two main actions you can take to battle duplicate content.
Solution 1: Use a canonical tag. Insert the ‘rel-canonical’ attribute into the HTML head along with the URL of the original page to assert your authority.
Solution 2: Set up a 301 redirect from the duplicate page to the original URL.
The strongest tools you have to battle duplicate content are your ideas and creativity. Should you find that your content appears on a website that you have no affiliation to, we recommend using our above advice to ensure that search engines are aware that you’re the author. Once this is completed, we suggest planning a strategy to move on from the incident. Should you write new content on the same subject? Will you edit the content? These are just a couple questions to consider so that your brand or client will succeed in the future.
When you sign up for digital advertising services at Aronson Advertising, know that our teams are prepared to take the necessary steps to fix duplicate content, as well as provide the SEO, PPC, social media, and website management solutions your business requires. Contact Aronson Advertising today to get started.