While there can be a time and a place for duplicate content, it can negatively impact website page rankings and user experience. When there are multiple versions of the same content, search engines have difficulty deciding which one to send traffic to. Therefore, it’s strategic to only use duplicate content when needed.
If duplicate content is a concern for your brand, implement these duplicate content best practices to guard against it:
- Canonical URLs. Choosing a canonical, or preferred, URL for your content will tell search engines which one to include in search results. You can check if a URL is canonical or non-canonical by searching for “rel=‘canonical’” within the page’s metadata.
- Review cycle for content. Review your content periodically and consider which pieces of your content could be consolidated into similar pages.
- Retirement cycle for content. Not all content can live forever. Gracefully retiring low-performing and time-specific content assets will help keep your content library fresh and relevant.
- 301 redirects. Use these redirects to redirect traffic from old URLs to new URLs.
- “No index” tag. Putting this tag on a page will tell search engines not to include it in results.
Minimizing duplicate content will let you save your page rankings for the pages that need it.