Excessive duplicate content will put you on Google’s naughty list.
An article by Dave Davies on searchenginewatch.com lists why duplicate content is bad:
- [Your website] won’t rank for that page.
- The weight of that page will be negligible.
- A point against the site as a reliable source of quality, unique content will be registered.
I use a tool called SEMRush (affiliate link). It. Is. Amazing. It does this thing called a Site Audit. When first running it on this website, it came up with 46 pages that had duplicate content. 46!
Looking through the list it’s apparent it’s related to WordPress’ page hierarchy with tags, categories and authors. For example, http://www.photogmarketing.com/category/search-marketing/ lists all blog posts that have been assigned to the search marketing category.
When seeing the similar pages that the report considers has duplicate content, I found the page http://www.photogmarketing.com/category/search-marketing/organic-search-marketing/. In this case, I have organic-search-marketing category as a subset of the search-marketing category.
I went in and added some copy to each of those categories, voila! 2 less duplicate content issues!
The tricky part is coming up with unique descriptive content for each tag, category and author.
Another option to solving duplicate content is to implement canonical links. If instead of creating new content for each of those categories, I could tell search engines that see the http://www.photogmarketing.com/category/search-marketing/organic-search-marketing/ page to instead go to http://www.photogmarketing.com/category/search-marketing/.
Matt Cutts, a Google authority on search, has a fantastic article on canonical linking. https://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-advice-url-canonicalization/
Alllll righty then… I’m off to fix the rest of my duplicate content!