Many websites cut corners to get traction in internet search rankings, but this can often backfire. Google is particularly effective at spotting unapproved tactics to climb its SEO rankings, and this can result not just in your business failing to get the boost sought but losing ground or getting penalized by Google’s quality control team. 

One of the most common shortcuts companies use is duplicate content. Not just taking a subject based on a trend that worked for other sites and trying to get your own success, but copying another piece of content wholesale. This can result in ramifications for both websites and can seriously damage a site’s trustworthiness. You want to ensure you have no duplicate content on your website, and these five techniques can make it easy. 


Many times the culprit for duplicate content isn’t plagiarism or someone actively trying to take content from another site – it’s duplicate content from your own site! This is less of a serious problem, but it can still impair your site from getting the search engine ranking it deserves because you’re splitting your own audience. While this can happen simply due to change-over between administrators, the most common cause of duplicate content is a lack of internal organization. If your content is not organized by topic and date, it’s easy for older content to get lost in the shuffle and duplicated. 

Canonical Tags

This invisible piece of internet architecture can be incredibly key to ensuring proper attribution. The tag “Rel=canonical” is a snippet of HTML code that plays a very important purpose – it indicates to Google that the website where it’s found is the originator of the content.

If Google finds two websites with the same content, they will often use this to determine who they prioritize for a search engine boost. This is a technical issue and falls under the radar of many new website owners, so it may be best to enlist a professional. An outside agency can make sure your contextual backlinks are linking properly and that your content is original and attributed as such. 

Meta Tagging

This is another important element that can help you distinguish your content as original and relevant to your website. It’s an element of HTML that describes the content of your web page. You’ll find this near the beginning of the source code. 

Which makes it easier for search engines to properly index your page by subject and ensure you’re competing against websites in the same sector rather than a larger pool of websites. Google can read both HTML and XHTML-style meta tags, and it’s important to have a digital team that can check that your key content pages are properly tagged.

Duplicate URL

Sometimes, you might have duplicate content on your website without even knowing it due to your URL elements duplicating content without you noticing it. Sometimes, small changes in a URL can create more than one pathway to a webpage – which means Google is accidentally splitting the difference and keeping the page from getting the total views it needs to rank up. 

This can be caused by something as simple as one site having the typical WWW. prefix and the other lacking it. Your digital team should look at which formats get the most traffic on your site and filter out any competition that lacks these attributes. 


Suppose your website has pages duplicating content due to missed connections, duplicate URLs, or missing tags. In that case, it can be simple to remove them as a liability without having to delete content actively. Just put in a redirect that will automatically steer visitors to the primary page with the content. 

This is especially useful for dealing with Google’s search results because you can’t control which link people are being directed to first. With a redirect, you’re ensuring that all the traffic ultimately goes to the page you want to get the traffic. Eventually, this effect will pay off, and the link you don’t want to get attention to will drop out of the search rankings while the primary link soars. 

Avoid Duplicate Content Today

Duplicate content can be a liability for your site without you even knowing it. Duplicate pages can happen due to tiny changes in a website, and it can impact your rankings. Fortunately, some simple steps can eliminate this liability. 

Are your pages properly organized and tagged? Are your meta-tags up to date and appropriate? Are all your URLs uniform, and are any duplicate pages being handled via redirects? If so, you’re well on your way to a top search engine ranking. 

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