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What is Duplicate Content?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

Understanding Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is essentially content that is substantially similar or identical to other content found on the web. This might be within one website or across multiple websites. It can be a result of syndicated content, autogenerated content, or even a simple copy and paste.
Duplicate content can be detrimental to a website’s SEO performance as search engines like Google aim to provide diverse and relevant content to their users. Therefore, when content is duplicated, the search engine will choose one version to display, which may not be the one you intended.
Addressing duplicate content is crucial as it can impact a website's visibility. This is because search engines don’t know which version of the content to rank for query results, which can potentially dilute the visibility of all versions.
Role of Duplicate Content in Digital Marketing
In the realm of digital marketing, duplicate content can harm your SEO efforts. When multiple pieces of identical content appear on the Internet, search engines struggle to decide which version is more relevant to a given search query. As a result, they may rank all such pages lower, reducing your website's traffic.
Duplicate content can lead to a poor user experience. When users see substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results, they're likely to find the experience disappointing and might skip your website.
Furthermore, search engines may fail to index some of your unique content if they find too many duplicate pieces on your site, resulting in decreased online visibility. Thus, handling duplicate content effectively is crucial in digital marketing strategy.
Examples of Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can take many forms. One common example is when website owners repost articles, blogs, or product descriptions from other sources without alteration. This leads to identical content appearing on different URLs.
Another example is 'printer-friendly' versions of web pages which create duplicate content as the same information is shown on two different URLs. E-commerce sites could also inadvertently create duplicate content if they display the same product under different URLs for categorization purposes.
Lastly, session IDs can generate duplicate content. If a session ID is appended to a URL and the same page content gets accessed via different session IDs, each session's URL ends up having identical content. Thus, understanding and identifying duplicate content in its various forms is an essential part of SEO strategy.