What Are the Consequences of Duplicate Content in SEO?

Women working together

Share this post:

SEO is a crucial part of any marketing strategy, and your content is essential. But if you’re not careful, your efforts could be undermined by duplicate content, a problem that needs addressing quickly.

Duplicate content is a problem that can severely impact your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, as well as the overall performance of your website. If you’re not careful, your competitors could gain an edge over you by using duplicate content to rank higher in search results than you do.

This article will explain duplicate content, why it’s such a problem for SEO, and how to fix it.

Why Is Duplicate Content a Concern?

So what’s the big deal with duplicate content?

Duplicate content is not only a waste of time and effort, but it can be harmful to your website’s SEO. Search engines will penalize you for duplicate content on your site, which means they’ll rank your site lower in search engine results. This can damage your business because fewer people will see your content; even if they do, it will get less traffic than it would have received without duplication.

Duplicate content can confuse users and lead them to believe that one page is a better source than another regarding information about a particular topic. This can be particularly problematic when websites try to sell products or services online and want customers to believe they’re offering the best options available on the market.

How Does it Happen?

Several factors can cause duplicate content. Sometimes it’s on purpose, and sometimes it’s accidental.

Here are some common scenarios:

  • Session IDs in URLs: Click tracking is one of the most common reasons duplicate content can occur. When a website uses click tracking, it creates a unique ID based on the user’s session information for each page view. The problem is that these IDs are also used in URLs as parameters.
  • Domains & Subdomains: Sometimes, you’ll see multiple URLs pointing to the same page. For example, a company might use a subdomain for one section of its website and another entirely for another section. The issue here is that search engines treat these different domains as separate entities.
  • Scraped or Copied Content: When a website scrapes content from another source, it’ll likely misspell or incorrectly attribute credit. This often happens with news sites, which republish stories without properly crediting their original source.

How to Fix Duplicate Content?

Fixing duplicate content is not always easy, but there are some things you can do:

  • Canonicalization: You can use canonicalization to tell search engines which version of a page should be used in their index. The most common way to do this is through the “rel=” canonical” link” tag, which tells search engines that a specific page is the preferred version.
  • 301 Redirects: You can use 301 redirects to tell search engines that a page has moved. This is one of the most effective ways to fix duplicate content issues, especially if you have many.
  • 404: If a page has been removed from your site but still has duplicate content, you can handle this by using a 404 error page. This will tell search engines that the page no longer exists.


Duplicate content is something that you need to avoid at all costs. Having the same content on your website can severely impact your search engine optimization efforts and even hurt your chances of ranking well in search results. The best way to fix this problem is by removing or rewriting the content so that it’s unique.

Choose Marvel Marketing, a Calgary marketing company specializing in search engine optimization, which can help you avoid duplicate content and rank your website well in search results. For more information, contact us today.

Share this post: