Digital Marketing

Here is How Duplicate Content Can Hurt Your SEO

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  • 13 March 2024
  • 5 min read

If you’re interested in this topic, chances are that you know a thing or two about SEO. However, did you know that certain practices, like duplicate content for SEO, can jeopardize SEO rankings if they are not handled correctly? Read on to learn more about duplicate content and what it means for your SEO content strategy.

Why Your Website Needs SEO Content

If you are running a business in the 2020s, you probably have a website that you want to leverage for leads and conversions. However, think about all the other businesses in your niche globally that also have a website competing for customer attention on search engines. 

That’s where SEO comes in! Without SEO content on your website, your website will probably never get found by your ideal customers. In fact, around 97% of websites don’t receive any traffic from search engines, no matter if they have fancy website designs or expensive lead funnels. 

What SEO does is push your website in front of searchers interested in topics related to your business, enabling your offers to be seen by qualified leads. 

Duplicate Content on Your Website

Now that we’ve established why you need SEO content, let’s look at some vital guidelines on how to make SEO content work for your business growth. 

Even if you spend the time to create quality and unique content, certain practices may compromise your SEO efforts and affect your rankings. One of them is duplicate content. Duplicate SEO content is characterized by the usage of the same or similar content across a website or on various websites. 

This is a conflicting practice since Google and other search engines index both pieces of duplicate content, meaning they will compete against each other in the rankings. One way to mitigate this issue is through the practice of canonicalization.

Canonicalization Best Practices

Does Duplicate Content Hurt SEO?

Although having duplicate content for SEO may not necessarily lead to search engine penalties, it can hurt your SEO performance. As mentioned, since search engines choose which version of your content to show users, you will lose out on full SEO leverage by diluting attention to multiple pages. This outcome will cause one page to get more visibility than the other.

Would ChatGPT Create Duplicate Content for SEO? 

Since ChatGPT and other AI tools aggregate content from the internet, there is no guarantee that some of its outputs would sound similar to niche-specific prompts. This is why if you use ChatGPT, it is essential to edit your content so it sounds unique and is customized to your tone and personality. 

Using AI for marketing is a skill, and learning how to make it work to your business’s advantage is vital to your business growth. 

What is Canonicalization?

Canonicalization is an SEO practice that tells search engines which version of duplicate content to index, rank, and show users. Essentially, canonical tags are used to tell search engines which content is the preferred version of your content. 

Canonicalization involves optimizing duplicate content and standardizing various URL versions of the same page. For example, when a website has content under various URL variations, this can confuse search engines and diminish SEO benefits to both pages. 

Overall, canonicalization helps ensure link equity of each piece of content by minimizing potential issues that could result from duplicate content.

Canonicalization Best Practices

Search engines use duplicate SEO content filters to help them evaluate which content to crawl, rank, and show to users. By applying the canonicalization best practices below, you can ensure that the right version of the content receives an SEO advantage. 

  • Consistent URL Structure: Staying consistent with your URL structure will minimize the probability of creating duplicate content. For example, if you switch from a non-secure HTTP URL format and decide to secure your website later and use the HTTPS format, ensure all your website pages reflect that change. The same goes for standardizing your URLs to include a specific format.
  • Canonical Tags: If you’d like to inform search engines to index and prioritize showing certain pages to users that have similar or duplicate content to other pages, you should always add a canonical tag to them. You can do this by writing “rel= “canonical” in the <head> section of the HTML document. 
  • Internal Linking: Linking internally is akin to voting and telling search engines that those pages are important. When it comes to duplicate content for SEO, link to the preferred version of it throughout the site to help search engines discern which content to show users. 
  • 301 Redirects: A 301 redirect points a duplicate page to the page that is preferred. Since various versions of a page may accumulate their own page authority and backlinks, a 301 redirect ensures that the SEO leverage is directed to the preferred page only. The redirect is also essential since it helps tell Google which page to crawl for updates, which reduces your website’s crawl budget.

Plagiarism Detection Tools

The following plagiarism detection tools can help you stay accountable to originality and ensure that your content passes search engine algorithm checks and gets indexed faster.


Ranked #1 by independent tests, this plagiarism tool can help you check whether your content is original or whether anyone on the internet is using your content without permission. 


This tool not only helps check your content for plagiarism, but it also provides you with the ability to improve your writing and create citations. 

Small SEO Tools

This platform offers free and paid tools to help you elevate the quality of your writing and includes a free plagiarism checker.

Duplicate Content Filters

What Type of Content Works Best for SEO

When it comes to creating the best SEO content, it is helpful to think of search engines and understand what type of information your ideal customers would find unique and valuable. Since the advent of AI-writing tools, the quality of new content has diminished across the internet due to the underrepresentation of unique, personalized, and polarizing spin to topics.

That’s where you come in! Be the content creator that brings back originality to your knowledge base. In addition to satisfying technical SEO requirements, creating content that users find valuable and worthwhile will help your click-through rates, bounce rates, and share rates. 

Search engines also like blog content variety and reward engaging and multi-media content that includes images, original videos, podcasts, infographics, interviews, and more. 

Overall, these are a few more points on which content works best for SEO that will help you immensely on your content-creation journey:

  • Publish well-researched, long-form content that includes your unique perspective. 
  • Create evergreen content that could be read and appreciated years from now.
  • If you have a local business, prioritize writing local content that is relevant to your local audience. 
  • Publish case studies that can garner many organic backlinks.
  • Write pillar content that includes comprehensive tutorials on your expertise.
  • Include interactive content like quizzes and calculators, which often gain links and shares.
  • Post about current news and trends in your industry, which will attract traffic from users looking for the most up-to-date information.

Technical SEO Services

If you are thinking about using duplicate content for SEO, we suggest you hold off since the practice can hurt your efforts more than help them.

Believe us. We know that SEO is complex and involves many moving hats that are difficult for business owners to master on top of running their businesses. That is why we’ll make the process headache-free for you by driving the focus only on long-term SEO results

If you want to avoid duplicate content for your SEO strategy or need additional SEO expertise, choose us – the Dallas digital marketing experts