Why is duplicate content bad for SEO?

Why is duplicate content bad for SEO?

The duplicate content weighs down a website’s ranking.

There are several things on your website that can disrupt its search engine rankings. One of them is duplicate content. Without realizing it, it may be that a few similar sentences are found twice on your platform. This article explains why duplicate content can hurt SEO.

Definition of duplicate content

As explained in this previous article, this term refers to identical or similar content on two different URLs on your website. It can come from a technical problem or from human error. For search engines, this type of content is irrelevant to Internet users and takes away points for ranking in search results.

Two types of duplicate content

Here are the two types of duplicate content that can exist in the web world.

Duplicate content on the same website

Two pages with a different URL may have similar text or visual content. For example, an “About” page talks about the company in general, then a page on the “Services” tab explains again what the company offers for its customers, but in more detail. Google could assess that this content is duplicated. Check each of your pages to avoid duplicate content being found there. There are some tools that can help you spot similar content.

Duplicate content from external sites

Content can also be identical on two websites. For example, a product supplier sends a detailed description of the product to two different stores. The next day, the two add the identical description of the supplier on their own website to their site. Google could realize this and penalize both platforms. To avoid this painful situation, personalize each product description on your site by adding interesting keywords.

Now that you have a better understanding of the types of duplicate content that can be present inside and outside your site, here are the consequences of duplicate content.

1. A lower ranking on search engine

If search engines find duplicate content on your website, they could rank you lower among your competition. At this point, your platform will lose visibility.

2. Loss of visibility

By being ranked lower in the search engines, your site will be less visible to potential customers who have a specific need.

3. Lower conversions

If fewer people discover your platform through search engines, fewer people will be tempted to buy your products and services on your website or in-store.

What tools can I use to detect duplicate content?

There are several tools that can help you find and eliminate duplicate content from your website.

Google Search Console

In the Google Search Console, you have access to all the most recent versions that have been indexed of your website in the Google search engine.


It is anti-plagiarism software that detects if content similar to your website ends up elsewhere on other platforms. Enter the URL of your home page so that the tool can do its job. With this tool, analyze if your content is original or if it looks too similar to other competitors. Find out which site copies your text.

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