Duplicate content is a term that comes up often as you embark on the process of optimizing your website, and should be thought of as a red flag. Having duplicate content on your website will damage your ranking in the search engines. If Google, for example, perceives that duplicate content was used in an attempt to manipulate page rankings or deceive users they may even remove your site from their index altogether.
Also, some of you have shared that you found it difficult to index a new site that was similar (or even identical) to the old one that was still available online.
Here are a few ideas on how to avoid duplicate content and make sure that visitors see exactly what you want them to.
- If you’re using the website builder and you have two different sites that are very similar in content, simply open the older one (the one you don’t want ranked) in the editor and open the ‘Settings’ menu. You need to un-check the “List in Search Engines” option. Don’t forget to apply the new settings and save the website. Next time Google and the other search engines send their crawlers over – this site will be erased from indexing.
- Avoid publishing a page for which you don’t have real content yet. If you want to create a placeholder page, remember not to publish it.
- If you are syndicating content from your website to other websites, Google will display the version it considers most appropriate to the search. This may be the version you prefer, but it may not. Try to make sure that every website that uses your articles includes a link back to your website and the original article. Also, there’s nothing wrong with asking the users of your syndicated material to block the version they’re using from indexing.