Duplicate content

When you create unique and quality content, Google sees this as a plus. What’s in opposition to unique content? Duplicate content. In this article, we talk about what duplicate content is and the impact it has on a website’s SEO.

What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content is literally translated from English: duplicate content. Internal duplicate content often occurs within a website due to technical reasons.

An example is when a website has both the http version and the https version live. In this case, the website is already completely duplicated, causing serious problems within Google. This also occurs in the case where the website has both the www. as non-www. version live.

The impact of duplicate content on SEO

Does one of your pages contain content that was also published on another page (inside or outside your website)? When this is the case, it can send a negative ranking signal to Google. Google strictly monitors this. The reason? Google only wants unique and quality content in the search engines.

The search engine was originally created to provide visitors with the best and quickest answers to their questions. When Google’s index contains a lot of duplicate content, this is impossible. Google also issues penalties for duplicate content. When you copy someone else’s work and blindly copy it onto your website, Google penalizes it more harshly than when it happens within a website.


duplicate content

How do you avoid duplicate content?

One solution for pages that contain duplicate content is to use the ”canonical tag.” This tells Google which page should rank higher. That way, you can be sure that Google is making the right choice and the right page is ranking higher.

My advice

In many cases, duplicate content is created by an internal technical error. Google is quite accommodating in this and in many cases simply shows one of the versions. The version that Google thinks is good is shown highest for the keyword it ranks for.

However, in some cases, Google does not see exactly which page should be shown higher. In this case, the page with the most authority (read: highest page rank) is displayed. In many cases, this is not exactly the page the owner wants to show on the keyword in question. Even though a website contains a lot of duplicate content, it can still rank high.

As SEO consultants, we always consider duplicate content. All the content we wrote is unique. Similarly, we pay very close attention to duplicate content within our site.

Therefore, we recommend spending enough time to create high-quality and unique content. This is bearing fruit!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content in Dutch means duplicate content. It can occur, for example, if a website has both http version and https version open at the same time. If this is the case then you are completely duplicated and that can cause problems within google. Google strictly checks for all possible duplicate content.

What is the impact of Duplicate Content on SEO?

Google especially wants content in the search engines that is unique and of good quality. If you have duplicate content then this will send a negative ranking signal and that will be penalized by google. A search engine is to give the visitor answers to all their questions as quickly as possible.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 15 September 2023. The last update of this article was on 10 January 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.