Even if you think you’re consistently creating unique content, you may need a duplicate content checker. Many websites unintentionally publish repeat content, and this hidden error could lead to poor user experience and even drop your position in search rankings.
So use a duplicate content checker to find out where repeat content might be hiding on your site and how to identify and remove it.
Why You Need a Duplicate Content Checker
Duplicate content can exist in two ways:
- On-site duplicate content is repeated on more than one page of your site
- Off-site duplicate content is when the same content exists on different websites
Duplicate content may be easily identifiable or less noticeable. It can exist as exact copy on a landing page or blog post, or it could be hidden in the page’s code as repeated meta descriptions. It’s often created due to:
- Obvious errors like copied or scraped content
- Unintentional errors like multiple variations of the same URL or separate versions of your site, like www.sitename.com and sitename.com
A duplicate content checker can check for obvious and not-so-obvious errors on your site by scanning all the pages, including HTML elements like title tags and meta descriptions. Online plagiarism tools can help with identifying off site duplicate content.
While duplicate content isn’t going to cause a search penalty, it can be confusing to both users and search engines.Y You should use a duplicate content checker to make sure your content is unique and original, and to follow best practices for SEO, and to avoid:
- Providing a poor experience for your users who don’t want to read the same content twice.
- Providing a confusing experience to search engines that don’t know how to rank pages with the same or very similar content, thus leading to both pages decreasing in rank.
Why Does Duplicate Content Exist?
Duplicate content can be used maliciously. In an attempt to fill a site with content, publishers “scrape” or copy and paste content from other sites. Other times, publishers may use duplicate SEO content to try and manipulate search engines and increase search rankings.
While some black hat SEO tactics intentionally misuse duplicate content, most of the time, publishing duplicate content is not an intentional act. Publishers don’t know they’re making a mistake.
There are also legitimate reasons for publishing repeat content (republishing on guest blogging sites, syndicating content, using different versions of the same copy, etc.). You can use duplicate content in these ways as long as you follow best practices that let search engines know it’s intentional, for example, with a canonical tag.
How to Check for Duplicate Content on a Website
The most effective way to check pages for duplicate content is by using software or SEO tools that can detect problems on your site. Because duplicate content can sometimes hide where you can’t see or notice it, an automated duplicate content checker can help you catch every string of identical copy.
Alexa offers an automated duplicate text checker as a part of our SEO Audit Tool. The tool scans your site and identifies any instances of on-site duplicate content.
It also creates a report with each URL that includes cases of repeat content, so you can easily identify and fix the pages.
The tool also goes deeper into your site and reports on duplicate SEO meta descriptions. It scans every meta description on your site and includes a list of all URLs that use the same copy to help you improve your meta tag SEO.
Once you know how to check for duplicate content on a website, the next step is resolving those issues. Depending on the errors, you can fix problems by:
- Using rel+canonical tags
- Using 301 redirects
- Using noindex meta tags
- Setting a preferred domain in Google Console
- Setting up parameter handling in Google Console
- Changing the content
Alexa’s reports include tips on fixing issues that are detected on your site.
Identifying duplicate content is the first step in fixing your site, so it’s more appealing to both readers and search engines. So use a duplicate content checker to make sure you identify all problems on your site and then outline a plan to resolve those issues.
Use a Duplicate Content Checker on Your Site
Stop wondering where duplicate content might be hiding on your site. Get access to a duplicate content checker—as well as other SEO analysis, competitive analysis, and keyword research tools—through a trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. Sign up for a free trial and get access to the SEO Audit Tool that scans your site and produces a report on any instances of duplicate content on your site.