What is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content, also known as DC, refers to content that appears on more than one website. The content can be exactly the same or very similar and can occur either within a domain (internal duplicate content) or across multiple domains (external duplicate content).

Internal duplicate content refers to copies of content that are found on multiple subpages of a domain or website. This can be caused by errors in site architecture, poor redirects, or multiple uploads of identical content.

External duplicate content, on the other hand, refers to content that has been duplicated on various domains. This can often be the result of content collaborations, but also from a one-to-one content adoption or when the same content is used for different country versions of a website.


In this example, the website operators used the same template for the content of the text, only replacing keywords and search phrases product-specifically or industry-specifically. This means that the texts are completely "duplicate content" and identical except for different product names.

Screenshot about Google Helpful Content Update.

Why is Duplicate Content Disadvantageous for Businesses?

Duplicate content is problematic for businesses for several reasons:

  1. Penalties from search engines: Common search engines like Google and Bing can penalise websites that publish duplicate content with lower search rankings. In some cases, they may even stop displaying the websites in their search results, which can lead to a significant drop in organic traffic.

  2. Loss of link equity: When multiple pages with the same content exist, the links pointing to this content are distributed across multiple URLs. This means that the link equity, which is an important factor for search engine rankings, is divided and no single page receives the desired visibility.

  3. Confusion for users: Duplicate content can be confusing for users, especially if they are looking for new and unique information. It can affect the customer experience and question the trust in the brand or product.

  4. Competition between own pages: When businesses cause duplicate content on their websites, these pages compete with each other for rankings in search engines. This can result in none of the individual pages achieving a high position.

To avoid these problems, it's important for businesses to follow a holistic content strategy and ensure that their content is unique and valuable.

How Can Duplicate Content Be Found?

Duplicate content can be found in various ways. A common method is the use of SEO tools like Screaming Frog, Siteliner, or Copyscape. These tools are capable of thoroughly scanning a website and delivering reports on pages with similar or identical content.

Another option is checking via Google Search Console. Here, URLs can be indexed and it can be determined if content already appears on another page on the web. In addition, a manual search can also be performed by placing sections of a content in quotation marks and entering them into a search engine like Google. If identical texts appear on other websites, it is duplicate content.

Lastly, many content management systems offer features to detect duplicate content, which can help identify and avoid duplicate content. It's important to take preventative measures against duplicate content and to identify and fix existing duplicate content before publication to avoid being penalised by search engines with lower rankings – and to ensure optimal website performance.

How Can Duplicate Content Be Avoided?

Duplicate content often arises from the one-to-one adoption of content, such as manufacturer information in product descriptions in different online shops. For instance, Google classifies content as duplicate content when there is a 70% match between two different URLs. Here, an automation solution that relies on generative AI in conjunction with data-based text automation can provide a remedy and significantly avoid duplicate content.

This type of content automation enables the creation of unique texts, such as individual product descriptions, based on a uniform data source. In this way, thousands of different texts can be generated, each of which stands out significantly from the competition.

The method is not only extremely efficient and significantly accelerates the process of content creation, but it also ensures that costs do not increase proportionally to the amount of content produced. This results in rich, high-quality content that offers good visibility on search engines like Google, even with large amounts of text, leading to higher conversion rates.





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