What is Duplicate Content?
It is a block of text or other content that is either an exact copy or very similar to other content on the web. Duplicate content isn’t always created for exploitative purposes. In fact, most of it exists for legitimate reasons such as different link URLs pointing to the same web page, printer-friendly versions of web pages, and page versions designed for viewing from a mobile device.
Unfortunately, duplicate content can also be created for more malicious reasons. Multiple copies of the same article may be submitted across the web for the sole purpose of building links to a site and manipulate search engine rankings. Content may also be stolen and posted on another site without attribution by sites that don’t produce their own content.
Duplicate content is not always identical. In some cases it may be an article that has had a few words changed, or that has had paragraphs, sentences, or words shuffled around in order to make it appear unique.
Why Unique Content is So Important?
If your site does not publish its own content, users will go to the source for the information. A site that doesn’t consistently publish its own content will fail to gather an audience. Users who have seen the content before will be irritated that it is being promoted as though it were new. Many popular sites do publish articles that can be found elsewhere on the web, but they always do so with attribution, and they consistently create their own unique content as well.
How Duplicate Content Can Hurt You?
There are two ways that duplicate content can harm your blog. The first is if you are publishing duplicate content yourself. Search engines only index one version of an article, typically from the place that it was published first or the most popular site. This means that duplicate content on your site will not show up in the search results. If you publish duplicate content throughout the web in an attempt to build links to your site, this can get you penalized by Google and hidden from view.
The other way that duplicate content can hurt you is if somebody else steals your content. Unfortunately, in some cases Google may decide that your content is the copy and rank the stolen version instead. If your content is published without attribution it means that other people are profiting at your expense.
What to Do About it?
The best way to guard against these problems is with a duplicate content checker. These programs search the web for copies of text. Many of them are also advanced enough to detect if an article has been altered slightly by an automated program in order to make it appear unique. Here are some of the most popular duplicate content checkers.
Copyscape – This is the most widely recognized checker available. Knowledge of Copyscape is ubiquitous among those who are concerned about duplicate content because it is globally accepted, authoritative, and simple to use. Both a free and a premium version are available.
Virante – Rather than checking an individual page on your site for duplicates across the web, this tool checks your entire site for errors that can lead to duplicate content such as redirect problems, 404 pages, and others.
Webconfs.com – Use this to compare two pages that already appear similar to you. It returns a percentage, with 100% indicating two identical pages.
Plagiarisma.Net – This program is similar to Copyscape, but you can use it to check a block of text that hasn’t yet been published or a file on your computer, in addition to the typical URL check.
Plagium.Com – Use this tool to check up to 25,000 characters at a time.
Duplichecker.Com – Either paste the content into this tool or upload a file. This efficient tool lets you check not only Google but Bing and Yahoo.
Dupe Free Pro v2 – This tool isn’t free, but for $39 it isn’t expensive. The tool assists you in rapidly creating manual unique versions of the same article by letting you compare them side by side.
ArticleChecker.Com – Another content checker that allows you to either paste or upload the content. This one checks both Yahoo and Google data.
CopyGator.Com – This software automatically follows your RSS feed and checks if your content is published elsewhere.
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