Tag Archives: Google

Can Duplicate Content Hurt Your Blog’s Rankings?

Photoxpress_10205037This is a question many bloggers ask. Search engines typically reward websites that publish unique, fresh content with higher rankings, so conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that duplicate content will have the opposite effect. If you rely on organic search engine traffic, you should read the following post about duplicate content.

How Duplicate Content Occurs on Blogs

Even if you don’t manually create two or more pages with the same content, it may still show up in several locations. WordPress, for instance, is the world’s leading content management system (CMS), powering millions of blogs and websites. While its arguably the best all-around blogging CMS, it comes with a dark side: the potential for duplicate content. By default, WordPress publishes content to the actual page or post URL, archives page, author page and tag page. So while you may assume your content is being published in a single location, it’s actually showing up in four locations.

Of course, there’s an easy solution to dealing with duplicate content on WordPress blogs: use an SEO plugin. Yoast SEO plugin allows WordPress users to specify which locations (e.g. archives, tag, author, etc.) they want to noindex. The content will still be published to these locations, but neither Google nor any other search engine will be able to index it.

Video: Matt Cutts Takes on Duplicate Content

Watch the video above for a closer look at duplicate content. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s anti-spam team, published this Q&A video back in December 2013. While it’s over a year old now, it offers some invaluable insight into duplicate content.

As Cutts points out in the video, nearly a third (25-30%) of the Internet is comprised of duplicate content. With such a massive chunk of the WWW featuring the same content, it’s virtually impossible for Google to penalize each and every site on which it is published. But there’s a fine line you must not cross when publishing duplicate content. According to Cutts, things like excerpts, terms and conditions, privacy policies, and other boilerplate content shouldn’t trigger any filters within Google’s ranking algorithm — meaning it won’t bring down your website’s search ranking. However, building the bulk of your blog’s content around content that’s published elsewhere may result in lower search rankings, or in severe cases, your blog being deindexed.

How To Manage Duplicate Content on Your Blog:

  • If your blog runs WordPress, download and install an SEO plugin such as Yoast’s SEO plugin.
  • Consolidate posts and pages with similar content together.
  • Adding the rel=canonical tag will guide search engines to the original source of duplicate content.
  • Create backlinks to your blog using a single domain format (e.g yoursite.com or www.yoursite.com).

How do you manage duplicate content on your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!


A valuable tool for any webmaster is SEOquake, a toolbar and browser add-on that will give you useful insights into pages throughout the web. It works with Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera, and you can use it to learn all sorts of things about the pages you see including their page rank and keyword density.

SEOquake also offers a helpful tool for identifying niche vocabulary. To use it, identify a high-quality website in your niche. Use the SEOquake “keyword density” tool. This will automatically pull up and highlight recurring words and phrases. Make note of what these phrases are. When you go to another page in the same niche and analyze its keyword density, you should come up with a very similar list. Analyzing several high-quality websites within a given niche should give you a very clear idea of what related keywords are essential to discussing a topic.

You can use SEOquake’s keyword analysis tool to spot the difference between high-quality and low-quality websites within a given niche as well. Simply run a keyword analysis on an authoritative, well-respected page, then run the same analysis on a page on the same topic that does not rank as well. You’ll see quickly that the related keywords that are prevalent in the top-tier results will be lacking in the lower quality sites.

Using SEOquake on your own website or page will help you identify the keyword density and measure it against well-respected sites in your niche. This can help you see whether you’re on the right track and whether you need to make any vocabulary adjustments.

Utilizing Related Keywords in Your Writing

The thing that’s important to remember about keyword clusters is that they cannot and should not be used like regular keywords. If you set out to write an article that contains as many of the related keywords as possible, your endeavor will likely fail. Niche vocabulary must arise naturally from the topic that you’re writing about and your expertise about that topic. In other words, you need to start with the topic first rather than amassing keywords and trying to write text to fit around them.

With that said, by far the simplest way to create a high-authority webpage is to have an authority write it. If you are already an expert in a given topic, you will naturally use the kind of related vocabulary that Google can identify and use to rank your page. If you’re not an expert, you could find one to write your article for you. This is the model behind many successful websites, such as WebMD or About.com: Experts are hired to provide content on their particular niches, with all of that content being pulled together into a single site by the webmaster.

Depending on your situation, this may not be possible. You may not have the connections or budget to hire a team of experts to create the content for your website. Fortunately, it is possible to write like an expert without actually being one. This will require some research and effort on your part, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor if you wish to create high-quality content that will earn a high page rank and invite ample traffic from visitors.