How Duplicate Content Hurts a Website’s Performance

In our online marketing experience we encounter two main types of duplicate content:

1. Dishonorable plagiarism of site content by external websites. (i.e., competitors, industry sites)

2. Innocent and seemingly harmless duplication of website text by internal team members.

Have you ever innocently?

  • Copied and pasted text from your site’s About Us page for use on an external website for promotion or social connections?
  • Do you repeat the same verbiage on multiple, internal pages? (i.e., testimonials, sales messages, support statements)
  • Are you a distributor that relies on OEMs for basic marketing information, text, or even product specifications?

You may be shooting yourself in the foot!

Google places substantial value on websites possessing large quantities of relevant, meaningful, and original content. If you’re doing any of the above – it’s time to become aware of the potential backlash of such innocent practices.

What is the best solution for both types of duplication?

Revise and rewrite offending text until your entire website is 100% original. Be aware of how innocent copying and pasting of website text can create problems surrounding duplication and educate internal team members to avoid revisiting this scenario.

How can you quickly know if your site possesses duplicated content online? We recommend using Copyscape to see a range of offending instances. You can quickly search a specific web page at no cost, or become a member pre-paying a small fee to fund advanced searches for all content that you develop or revise. Copyscape will reveal a list of any offending websites along with the percentage of plagiarized content. Using this resource helps web developers and marketers to hone in on questionable pages to determine if duplication concerns are malicious (as in #1 above) or innocent (#2).

Although plagiarism is not legal and greatly frowned upon. This theft continues to adversely affect good websites every day. You can attempt reaching out to offending webmasters, but in reality the chances of such a site removing the copied content are slim to none.

In our experience, the best remedy is completing revisions that restore a site’s content to 100% original status. Once you’ve completed such revisions you may wish to investigate some methods for controlling plagiarism better long-term. If duplication is a constant problem or if you conduct business in extremely competitive industries, we recommend subscribing to a plagiarism sentry service – similar to the one provided by Copyscape for continued monitoring of duplication.