Duplicate content is website content that is either identical to other content within a domain or across multiple domains or is significantly similar.
If a substantial content block can be found in several places on the Internet, it is duplicate content. In this context, "location" means a unique web address (URL). There are many reasons why duplicate content can occur.
How Google deals with duplicate content
There is still a lack of clarity among many website operators when it comes to how Google reacts to duplicate content. A common misconception is that website owners are penalized by Google in the case of duplicate content.
Some specialist forums, Reddit threads, and even SEO news sites still warn that duplicate content is directly penalized by Google. Yet Google already addressed this myth in a Google Webmaster Blog in 2008 and announced that there is no such thing as a "duplicate content penalty". Instead, duplicate content is filtered out of the search results by Google. Of course, the end result for the website operator is the same: the page in question can no longer be found.
Why is duplicate content relevant for website operators?
Duplicate content is therefore problematic for search engines on the one hand, as Google has no clues as to which version is the original. Google will not display several versions of the same content in the search results and must therefore decide which version to rank.
For website operators, this results in ranking and traffic losses. But even if your page appears in the search results despite duplicate content, duplicate content overall harms the visibility of all versions. In addition, other pages that want to link to the content must also choose a version. Since backlinks are a ranking factor, this has further negative consequences for the visibility of your page or the corresponding content. Here you can find out what options there are to avoid duplicate content.
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