Content duplication and SEO activities

21 June 2013

Positioning your website. we must remember many factors that Google takes into account when determining search ranking. A properly optimized website without duplicate content, only with unique content? this is essential if we want to fight for high positions in the SERPs.

I would like to introduce you to the problem of duplicate content and the impact of this phenomenon on SEO activities. Interestingly, this phenomenon occurs not only on large portals or e-commerce sites, but also on small company websites or blogs. When preparing SEO audits, I have never encountered a website that did not have several versions of the same subpage, product or article.

At the beginning, I would like to point out that Google does not impose filters for the occurrence of duplicate content within or outside the website. However, if you delve further into the article, you will learn that DC can cause many problems that may ultimately cause a drop in the ranking.


At the very beginning, we need to look for possible DC occurrences within our website. For this purpose, we can use many free tools. However, the easiest way will be to copy any fragment of content from the website and check in Google whether it is located on several subpages on our website. To limit the results only to our website, I suggest using operator. It is best to repeat this operation several times for different content.

Unfortunately, this method does not give us a 100% guarantee of detecting content duplication, at least because in the case of a large website, we will not check each subpage separately. To obtain more accurate data, I suggest using Google Webmaster Tools. In the categoryOptimization -> HTML improvementsYou will find information about repetitions of page titles and descriptions. This is a place that each of you should visit in search of duplicate content.

For people who don't like Google tools (there are those too), I suggest using a free program called Xenu?s Link Sleuth.


As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, internal and external duplication of content will not result in a filter being imposed on the website (of course, the situation is different if the website is ordinary spam created solely on the basis of duplicate content).

When the Google robot hits a DC within one domain, it decides whether subpage A, B or maybe C contains original content. There may be a situation in which the robot makes a wrong choice and thus a page that is not a priority for us will appear in the search results.

Another negative effect may be the loss of the so-called "Link juice", i.e. the value of links leading to a website, e.g. when the home page appears at several different addresses to which external links lead. If you are the owner of a large website or online store, you must also take into account the large amount of bandwidth consumed by search engine robots. When there is a large amount of duplicate content on the website, robots consume bandwidth and thus generate unnecessary costs.

Another significant effect of DC may be a decrease in the effectiveness of search engine robots in searching for unique content, which translates into less frequent visits of robots to the website.


When conducting SEO audits, you can find many places that cause DC within the website. Below are the most common cases.

Address with and without www

Not everyone probably knows that for Google, a page containing the www prefix is a different address than a page that does not contain it. Forgetting about this, we very often lead to a situation where our website exists under two different addresses, which results in a complete duplication of our website. To avoid such a situation, you should choose one form and then create a 301 redirect. However, you must remember that the redirection was created in a 1:1 model, i.e. a specific subpage on one website should be redirected to the corresponding subpage on the other website.

index.php/html in the URL

Another example of DC is a situation in which pages on the website appear at addresses containing, for example,. index.php or index.html element and addresses that do not have this element, e.g. and As in the first case, the solution here is to create a 301 redirect to addresses that do not have these elements.

Several subpages with the same product

This problem occurs very often when one product is in several thematic categories and its URL may have different forms, depending on the path the user took to get to it. Additionally, duplication also occurs when one product has several sizes or color versions. The best solution in this situation will be to present products at URL addresses that do not have product categories and features, e.g. Another option is to use canonical pages, i.e. preferred versions of a certain set of pages with similar or the same content.

Keep in mind that these are just three examples, and the problem of content duplication may occur in many other places, e.g. during pagination or when tracking parameters appear in URLs.

Also read

Local SEO – what you need to know

Local SEO – what you need to know

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11 March 2021