Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing
The search engines do not like to see duplicate content. In the eyes of the search engine spiders, duplicate content is an attempt to get more links to rank on a SERP (search engine results page) for specific keywords. Thanks to the Panda update, we know that we shouldn’t publish duplicate content across the web and the focus is now on original content when submitting to article submission and industry sites. But what about on your own website? Duplicate content there is also a big “no no” and in most cases a website owner might not even realize that they have a duplicate content issue. Check your website to make sure that these issues don’t apply:
/index.html version of homepage
This is a common error that happens to many websites. In addition to the homepage “http://www.yourwebsite.com” , there is also a “http://www.yourwebsite.com/index.html” version that may appear when you click back to the homepage. It doesn’t hurt much from a user perspective, since the content is the same, but it’s bad for SEO. Essentially, both of these pages can be indexed. Not only do you have a duplicate content issue, but you may also be splitting the link authority. To remedy this issue, it’s necessary to remove the “/index” version and re-direct it to the main homepage.
Slash and non slash
Take a look at the interior pages of your site. On some sites an interior page may look like this: “http://www.yourwebsite.com/interior-page” and like this, “http://www.yourwebsite.com/interior-page/”. Note the slash at the end. If you have both versions of this page, it’s being indexed twice and causes a duplicate content issue.
In both of these instances, these are issues that occur during the development of the website. If you are making changes to your website like undergoing a redesign or changing the architecture of a site, it can change the coding of the site. This is why it’s important to have someone with SEO knowledge involved in the process.
A duplicate content error can often go undetected by a website owner, because from a user standpoint everything looks OK. As a website owner, it’s important to keep an eye on Webmaster tools to watch for important messages from Google. Paying to use an SEO tool that tracks website errors is also recommended.