A part of most SEO strategies is to avoid duplicate content because it could affect your search rankings. If you are looking at your SEO strategy, then you need to consider the impact of duplicate content and what it will mean for your website.
What Is Duplicate Content?
To better understand the impact of duplicate content on your website you need to know what the search engines class as duplicate content. Duplicate content is any web content that appears in more than one place on the internet. When the same content repeatedly appears across the internet, the search engines will have a hard time determining which versions should be listed in their search results. This is a problem for website owners are search engines will only choose one instance of the content to list to avoid providing their users with the same content again and again.
Will Duplicate Content Hurt Your Entire Website?
Many people believe that one instance of duplicate content will cause their entire website to be blacklisted by the search engines. This is not true but could happen in certain instances. The instances where this happens come about when the duplicate content appears across the internet at the same time.
If you have a website that is just launching and you copy the homepage information into a press release, this could be a problem. When the press release it put out on the wire system the homepage content will instantly be generated across the internet. This will flag as spam for the search engines because there are hundreds of instances of the homepage information coming about all at the same time. The homepage information would also be for a new domain which does not have a history that they search engines can check. This will often result in the entire website being blacklisted by the search engines.
However, if you have a website which has been around for a while and has other original content, one instance of duplicate content will not be a problem. Of course, you will need to know that you are unlikely to rank for the content because the original will be online and have been ranked by the search engines already.
Scrapers Will Hurt Your Website
Scrapers are people who take your content and place it on their website resulting in duplicate content. While there are many websites and blog owners who watch their webmaster tools to see when their work is scraped and report this, the overall impact on your site will not be that great. If you have a site which has been around for a while, the search engines will not get confused between your original work and the duplicate that is on a small blog with no original content.
However, in the rare instances where your content has been scraped, and the duplicate content is ranking higher than you, you will need to report this. To report scraped content, you will need to use the Scraper Report Tool that many search engines offer. You will have to provide the URL for the original content, the scraped content, the search results and confirm that you are not a spammer.
Republishing Guests Posts On Your Site Will Hurt You
If you write a guest blog post, there will be the temptation to republish this on your website. However, doing this will harm your website because the original post is going to be on a blog with better ratings than you. You should instead look at creating a redirect on your site which points your readers to the guest post. This is a good SEO Practice.