How to Resolve Duplicate Content Problems


The world of content marketing is so vast and complex that it often seems to encounter contradictions.

On the one hand, you have every SEO marketing agency telling you that you need to use all of your keywords and carefully select them according to the volume and rank they perform on search engines.

On the other hand, you have the same experts saying that you cannot just stuff your blog with keywords because you may risk sounding like a robot.

And then, they talk about how you have to answer the questions everybody is asking but create unique content while doing so.

Seems a little too complicated, right? However, SEO, content marketing, and copywriting are not impossible to solve.

You see, if we revise the rules mentioned above, they actually don’t exclude one another. It is possible to create unique, trendy, and relevant content.

Content marketing is just a way to keep all your ideas focused and organized to succeed. And SEO is a tool to help you get to the right readers.

This combination is exactly why you cannot trust your content creation to A.I. You need human eyes and minds thinking of how to improve your business.

What Is Duplicated Content?

To the point: what is duplicate content? There are a few misconceptions about what it is and what effects it has on your website.

Is it plagiarism? The answer is no. But the reality is that it is similar to plagiarism or copied content.

Google considers duplicated content a text that is totally or partially copied from another. The difference with common plagiarism comes from the fact that the copy may not be really “stolen” from another page.

Sometimes duplicated content happens because there are too many people talking about the same topics with the same words.

The algorithms also consider it duplicate content when two web pages cite the same author or definition. The algorithm doesn’t really care if the entirety of the article is not identical; they have duplicated fragments, and therefore, they are the same.

How Does Duplicate Content Affect Your SEO?

Why does Google separate duplicated content from plagiarism? The latter is simply stealing ideas and work from others. But duplicate content can come from a mistake made by a human writer or an A.I.

The thing is, Google does punish sites with duplicate content. Not like it would punish plagiarism -and this is where the misunderstanding begins- but because it is inefficient.

Again, search engines have to go through tons of thousands of websites whenever a user starts a query. So it has to run filters and choose the better ones, or at least the ones closer to the search intent.

Your content literally needs to stand out from the rest for the algorithm to notice it. It has to be creative, fresh, and unique.

If by any chance your site happens to face a problem of a different nature, like poor UX/UI design or doesn’t offer optimized HTML/HTTP coding, and you add duplicated content, Google will -most likely- never show it.

Maybe you run with luck, and your blog gets a good ranking despite having duplicate content issues; we would still advise that you be very careful with this practice because it leaves your success in the hands of fate.

How to Fix Duplicate Content?

Although duplicate content problems seem to arise from the written material, solutions for it come from coding instead of copywriting.

Even though Google does not penalize these issues as it would if they were copied by someone from another site, your site will be marked as inefficient by the crawlers. But don’t worry; you can avoid it by using some of these tips:

301 Redirect

In case you don’t have any idea about coding and what these names and signals mean, we want to make this relatable for you. Remember those times when you searched for something and the page showed up with a “404 error Sorry Page Not Found” sign? We’re sure you’ve gotten one of those at least one time.

So, 301 coding is similar, but it is used to redirect your search to a different site, the original site.

This is sort of helping Google crawlers to understand what is going on with your page and giving it a solution before it just puts your page on the “no” pile.

It is also a great resource because even though you are sending traffic to another blog, it allows Google to link them together as if they are related (which they are, of course).

With 301 redirects, you give the visitor what they are looking for and your site some credit for being thorough with its HTTP coding.

Pro tip: if you use it, make sure you redirect the user to another content that will help them find what they asked for. The user will probably be frustrated if the redirecting is not well done.

Canonical URLs or Tags

Now, canonical URLs. This is a different but also very appropriate solution for the repeated content problem. You can even apply both, just not to the same case.

Canonical tags are your way of telling Google, “hey, this is the original content, and Site2 is not”. Google crawlers take this information and keep your page with the “yes” pile.

You can use this type of HTTP code as prevention. Think of it as having your site already prepared for duplicated or copied content issues. Do not forget that scrapers exist, and yes, search engines penalize them, but it can be a while until it gets noticed and taken care of.

The difference between 301 redirects and canonical URLs is the visitor’s experience. In the second case, the transition passes unnoticed by the reader because it is only destined for the Googlebot to collect.

In the first one, the change is only successful if the redirect is appropriate. Otherwise, your user will notice faults in your web, and clients are never fans of that.

Rewriting Your Blog

We left out to mention that 301 redirecting is ideal when you move to a new website or when you decide to refresh and update your old one. This practice makes it easier for your audience to find you and your new content.

We have mentioned in other blogs about SEO writing that rewriting your content is recommendable, especially when it has been up for a while. It keeps your articles updated and your readers happy.

But rewriting can be useful regarding duplicate content problems too. We are going to show you why in two different scenarios.

  • Google is flagging your site for having repeated content. Besides the cool coding tricks we have shared with you, there is something very simple you can do as well:
    • Change the writing and create a whole new article -still about the same topic- by doing so. This is always a possibility and can be very effective, too.
  • You ought to write a blog about some important definitions of your business industry, and you have to cite and be very straightforward and clear about them. This is usually the type of content that get duplicate alarms.
    • Here’s what we recommend: be as original and creative as possible. Check your competitors’ pieces and better-ranking sites and how they are talking about your topic.

To avoid common places in your copywriting, think of ways to present your blog as relevant to the subject but unique. If you can, use different sources, too.

Here Are Our Recommendations if You Have Duplicated Content

Content Marketing Strategy

A good content marketing strategy is vital in cases like this. And as we always say, you have to know your target personas. This is basic to any marketing move you intend to make.

When you have in mind whom your content is for, creating is so much easier. And it actually turns out in more successful and happier customers.

Prevent your next steps and be clear about where your website is going in the near future. This will allow you to apply strategies such as canonical tags. But of course, in general, it will help your business develop better solving problem skills.

Keep Your Content Original and Unique

Again, having your audience in mind will improve your ideas and help you create customized content for them. Not only for search engine optimization but to satisfy their needs.

This also means working with the right multimedia for them and the appropriate language, jargon, and length.

Plus, the path for your next content and moves is more likely to be straightforward this way. And why is that? Well, because working one-on-one with your clients’ preferences will offer you a better idea of what they will need after what you just gave them.

Avoid A.I. Writers

The world of artificial intelligence is flying fast these days. More and more, we have access to all kinds of algorithms and robots to do our tasks for us. We think this is wonderful.

But we also have to say that human experts should still do some of your chores. Creative duties enter this domain for sure.

Even though some A.I. writers are so advanced that you can customize details like tone, target personas, sources, and more, their results are not remotely comparable to human copywriters.

Maybe one day, they’ll be as efficient as a person, but not yet. Yes, they are faster and have many other great qualities.

However, when a machine writes a text, we can tell the difference, and it immediately generates distrust and weirdness. And you definitely do not want your readers to feel that while on your site.

Avoid Wrongful Exploitation of Templates

We know that working with previous templates for your content can be a real-time-saver and something many usually recommend. But as happens with everything, this practice has its highs and lows.

Repeating a single formula over and over again could make your content seem repetitive, pre-fabricated, or non-organic. And it tends to bore readers.

Use various templates and formulas for each one of your products and constantly supervise and refresh them.

Though it is essential that your business has a remarkable brand, it should be flexible and open to variations.

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Ron Arellano
Ron Arellano
President of Search Business Group, Ron is a Healthcare Business Consultant, Digital Marketer, Award-Winning Senior Creative Director Who Loves UX/UI, Web, SEO, Data, and Animals.

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