5 Ways You Can Deal With Duplicate Content Problems

Duplicate content is something every webmaster has to remain vigilant against. There are a number of different duplicate content problems you’ll have to deal with. In some cases, you’ll have to deal with the prospect of copying an entire web page. Sometimes, it’s just a few lines that have caught you out. These problems are separated into on- and off-domain issues. Here’s a description of what each of these issues are.

On- and Off-Domain Issues

On-domain duplicate content problems are your fault and exist on your website. There are a number of ways in which this might have happened. You might have used the same anchor text on too many pages, copied your own product descriptions too many times, or there are honest mistakes.

One honest mistake is installing a printer-friendly function that doesn’t follow the correct SEO rules. There are so many things that you can make mistakes over. The important thing is you rectify them quickly before Google starts to take notice.

Off-domain duplicate content problems are those that might have been caused by someone else. Someone might have stolen your text and put it on their website. Others have spun your content and it’s flagged up Google as a duplicate piece of text. But it’s not all as malicious as this.

It can be something as simple as quoting you content in the wrong way. They might have referenced your site improperly.

Most of these issues fall to not using the correct SEO procedures, as laid down by Google.

duplicate content

(Flickr / Brieuc Saffré)

Online Tools

There are online tools available that can compare your internal pages and flag up areas where you’ve duplicated content. It’s too difficult to list them all as they change so much. What works today might not work tomorrow, and vice versa.

These tools will point out your glaring errors, such as copying and pasting pieces of your own content. They’ll also catch some of the small errors and place a warning for you on your pages. Use them as a guide for targeting different areas of duplicate content.

Link Checking Tool

One of the biggest reasons why duplicate content occurs is because of duplicated anchor texts. It’s understandable, as many people don’t even think it causes a problem. If you’ve done it too many times, Google will start looking at your site and determining whether or not it needs removing from the search engine rankings.

There are two anchor text duplication problems. The first one is where you link one page with lots of little links from your other pages. It’s common to have the same anchor text to link to this page. It’s so common that it doesn’t cause too many problems for you SEO-wise.

The second problem is taken much more seriously. In this case, you’ll use one anchor text for a single page type. You’ll use the same anchor text for an entirely different page. This is more serious because now you’re seen to be confusing the reader.

Watch Others

You’ll encounter someone attempting to copy your content at some point. Not only is this a violation of Internet rules, but it also is a violation of real-world law. The problem Google has is it can’t tell who holds the copyright, even if you happened to post the content first. Instead of looking into the matter, they’ll punish everyone with the same content.

You have to find out who’s doing it and target the problem directly. You could report them to Google to cover your back and make it clear you’re the victim. There are many online tools which automatically tell you if someone has duplicated your content.

Image Files

Duplication of tag lines is a common mistake of the amateur SEO, even if it’s an unavoidable problem. If you have a tag line under your brand logo this can be flagged as duplicate content. A way around this is to make it into an image file. Add it to your logo as an image file and it won’t incur the wrath of Google. How to do this? Check, for example, College-Paper.org. The text in their logo added as an image. Do not forget to do the same.

Search engines can only read text. It can’t read through images or what’s on it. Search engines are blind to visuals and can only look at things in terms of code. Text on images doesn’t appear in the code.

Varied Anchor Text

Link building through backlinks is a way of building your SEO ranking. Organic link building makes it highly unlikely that many sites will use the same anchor text. Artificial link building runs the risk of using the same anchor text, as it’s based on your natural response, and all our natural responses are different. Keep track of the various anchor links you’re using through a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Guest author Korah Morrison is a student at the University of California in Los Angeles and writes for http://www.proessaywriting.com.

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Tags: duplicate content, seo, seo ranking

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