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[FIX] Pages have duplicate content issues

How to Fix Duplicate Content Issues

How to Fix Duplicate Content Issues Pages with duplicate content issues are a fairly common problem. However, it’s not simple to fix because you may have to change around some content, merge pages or change some links on a page.

Duplicate content can take time to fix but it’s fairly important. This is an issue you really want to avoid for a number of reasons. We’ll get into these reasons in a separate post.

Once you click through to the details page, you’ll have a page URL in the first column that tells you the page that is being duplicated.

In the second column, you’ll find the actual URLs that are being duplicated if you click on the little down arrow by the number of pages.

When this happens, you just want to open these pages up. You’ll most likely find two identical copies of the same page. This happens when you have a URL that is linked to in two different ways.

This problem arises when within your website, you link to this URL and you also link to this URL because technically these two URLs could be different.

This is a method that people previously used years ago for their SEO to try to trick Google into indexing one page and showing users a different page.

You want to avoid this because you don’t want to make it appear to Google as though we’re trying anything funny. Doing so could lead to Google penalizing you.

What you need to do is go to your website and find any website that links to the URL with the same content.

You need to actually go into that link and change that URL. We always want to link to URLs that end in a trailing slash if they are in fact, going to an index page. Always link to a URL with the trailing slash and then typically nothing after it.

So that’s one way that duplicate content becomes an issue.

Another way it turns into an issue is if we look at a separate site, we’ll see this page has more duplicate content issues than the first one.

And if we go into the summary page, we can see a list of 45 URLs and we’ll see the same issue.

If we pick one of these URLs and open up the dropdown, we’re going to see that these three URLs here match other URLs that are listed in this list.

We don’t really need to open up these dropdowns to see the individual URLs. What we do need to do is go ahead and click through to these URLs.

Let’s pick these first two. So this website has a page name, courses, test, and a page name courses. And if we open them up, they’re probably going to be very similar:

Looking at this, this course was probably a test page that they were setting up, but they didn’t get rid of it after they had created it. And it has now become indexed and other pages linked to it. This is something you definitely want to avoid.

You don’t want to have multiple pages with the same content that you’re showing to Google. So similar to the first issue, in this case, you’re going to want to go through your website and find all the links to this URL and you want to get rid of them.

Find links to that URL and just change those links to go to the URL again that ends in the trailing slash.

So just link to the URL where you want that page to be active.

There’s a tool called Screaming Frog SEO Spider Crawler which you can download for free on both Windows and Mac that can help you go through your website and look for links to a page that you don’t want on your site. I highly recommend it.

If you’re in charge of maintaining or building websites, download that and run it on your URL. It will gather up every URL that is linked to your website and then point out very easily where to find those links so that you can adjust them again.

You can scan up to 500 pages of a website and it’s free and relatively full-featured. They also have a paid version which you can use for larger sites.

Now, a third way in which this duplicate content issue can arise is when you have two pages that are just very similar. By very similar, I mean that the two pages are going to have roughly 80% or more duplicate content.

The SEMrush tool will pick up pages like that. And in that case, you’re going to need to go into those pages that are duplicate and you’re going to need to change one of them enough so that it is no longer considered to be a duplicate page.

That’s going to involve rewriting text. If it’s a very short page, that should be relatively easy. If it’s a very long page, that would take more time. But that is also rarer because if you have a longer page, it’s less likely that 85% or 90% of it is going to be duplicated on another page.

So those are the three ways that this issue can arise. It’s a fairly important issue because, in the past, many have utilized this method to try to trick Google which made the search engine crackdown on duplicate content. Therefore, this is something you really want to avoid at all costs.

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