There’s a debate on the interwebs about whether or not duplicate content can hurt or hinder your SEO goals.
In this March post from the Google Webmaster page, duplicate content is defined as:”substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” Most of this content replication is not malicious in nature, it just comes about as discussions about that content ensue across multiple sites or devices.
But, the article notes, “In some cases, content is deliberately duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic. Deceptive practices like this can result in a poor user experience, when a visitor sees substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results.”
Based on the Webmaster guidelines, duplicate content on a site is not grounds for any kind of penalty on that site unless there is reason to believe that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results. “Penalty” in this case can mean simply that Google decides which version of the content to display, or in severe cases, will remove the referenced site from its search results completely.
To ensure that you don’t inadvertently fall to the penalties, Optimum7 offers an updated version of their Duplicate Post Remover on WordPress. The plugin lists duplicate entries on your website, allows you to sequester them while you edit the title and then restore them with a new name to ensure that your SEO is in check.
First, go to the WordPress.org plugin directory and download the Duplicate Posts Remover plugin. Next go to your WordPress admin > Plugins > Add New > Upload and install the plugin via the zipped folder you just downloaded. Download and install the Plugin. Click Activate to get it working. That’s all there is to it! No additional configuration is required.
Once downloaded the Duplicate Posts item will appear in the sidebar of your wp-admin view. Click on it to see if you have duplicates.
In the upper right corner of the screen that displays, you will see a “Duplicate Content” option that will show you how many total articles you have and how many of them have duplicate titles. If there is no number after “Duplicate Content” you have no duplicates. If there are duplicates, a number will appear.
If you have duplicates, a list will appear with the duplicate titles listed. Note that the plugin only shows you the most recent article posted with that title. For example, article 1 was posted on May 1, and its duplicate article 2 was posted on May 20. The plugin will only list the most recent article, the one posted on May 20.
To momentarily remove the duplicate page or post, simply highlight it then click Move to Trash from the Actions dropdown menu in the left hand corner above the list.
Moving the item to trash does NOT remove it permanently. It just removes it from visibility so that you can change the title. If you want to permanently remove the entire page or post, you must do so through WordPress itself.
To change the title, go back into Word Press, edit, save, and return to the plug in.
In the same Actions drop down menu that Move to Trash was in, find Restore from Trash and click it. This will make the article visible on the website again with the changes that have been made.
Have you used Duplicate Posts Remover already? Do you want to now? Tell us more in the comments below.
Also, if you want more information on how to reduce the incidence of duplicate content, you can review the complete March post from the Google Webmaster for ideas.