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Duplicate Content

Definition

Duplicate content is content that appears in multiple places (either within one web domain or across the internet). Duplicate content is commonly discussed in the field of search engine optimization, as it can present challenges to webmasters as they work to increase the search rankings of their web pages.

When there are large blocks of content that are the same across multiple web pages or websites, it becomes more difficult for search engines to determine which web page is most relevant to a particular query.

It is unlikely that a duplicate content penalty exists in most search engines. However, duplicate content can affect the performance of a website in search results. When multiple web pages have the same content, external sites can link to both or all of those pages – which spreads link equity (a ranking signal in all major search engines) across multiple pages of a website. Therefore it is a best practice to avoid duplicate content when possible – and to use 301 redirects or rel=””canonical”” tags when duplicate content cannot be avoided.

Common causes of duplicate content include: http and https version of webiste, www and non-www versions of a web page, boilerplate copy used in multiple place without appropriate redirects, scraping content from the web, and creation of separate web pages by on-site filters or searches.

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