The problem of duplicate content in the online store. How to fix it?

Jadon Lawson
It takes approx. 5 minutes to read this article

Duplicate content is one of the most common problems when it comes to having an online store. How does duplicate content in your online store affect your business? It gets your website page rank lowered, which in turn affects how many visitors you get from Google or other search engines – and that directly affects your sales results. However, everything can be repaired. 

What are duplicate pages?

Duplicate pages happen when a website has two or more webpages with very similar content. A lot of duplicate content is unintentional, caused by copying and pasting content from one page to another or even just by slightly changing some words or adding a photo on one page while forgetting that it already exists elsewhere. 

Where does duplicate content on an e-commerce website come from?

There are a number of sources for duplicate content on an e-commerce website. One that is more frequent than not is having two pages on your site that have similar product titles and descriptions, but they offer different products. 

You may even have one page with accurate information about all of your products, and another with a limited selection. If you’re going to make this mistake (and many companies do), make sure that you link to the other page from the page with accurate information about all of your products. In addition, if you happen to sell more than one size or color variation on any given item, make sure each size or color variation has its own individual page.

Why do we need to care about them?

It’s not just about which one of your pages rank well. Quite often, you’ll see your competitors’ links on Google’s search results page and it makes sense for you to do something about it. We all want our site to rank higher and with duplicate content, it becomes impossible. It will cost more money if you want to rank higher on Google and Bing because you’ll need more links or spend more time building relationships with other bloggers in order to increase the search traffic coming from those sources.

Duplicate content detection tools

  • Google search engine – this is the fastest way to check plagiarism, just enter a fragment and put quotation marks around it.
  • Screaming Frog – allows you to locate pages and subpages with the same tags, headers and descriptions.
  • Copyscape (anti-plagiarism tool) – a tool that tests the originality of the content at a given URL, which will highlight the duplicate fragments. It will also allow you to verify the list of addresses that have stolen your materials.
  • Siteliner – a tool that allows you to test the saturation of keywords on a page.
  • Google Search Console – from the administrator level, simply enter the “HTML Improvements” tab, thanks to which we will find the problem of duplicate title tags or meta descriptions.

How to fix it?

Here e-commerce SEO optimization comes in. Google’s Hummingbird update means that it will be harder than ever to rank well on search engine results pages without having a strong strategy in place. That is why your business needs optimization if you want to compete and grow online. 

To get rid of duplicate content, implement a 301 redirect. If you’re confident that you’ll never want the old URL back, set up a permanent redirect. A 301 is only good for when you want to use Google’s discovery features for one particular page–you might do this if there are links from other sites on your site that lead to your content and you want it indexed by Google. Another option is a permanent redirect which is meant for more permanent or brand-wide changes.

Next opition is rel=canonical. What is that? A canonical tag is a special HTML element that links one copy of an online page (or any piece of content) to another. In SEO terms, a canonical tag helps search engines know which copy is the most important and should be indexed first. This gives Google an easy way to determine which content it should index and serve up for visitors in its search results.

Lastly, you can use noidex tag. Noindex Tag is a piece of HTML code that tells Google not to list your page when someone searches for it. It does this by telling Google and other search engines not to index that URL for search purposes. Adding noindex tag, if you want to block any of your pages from being indexed by Google, is easy. All you need to do is place noindex meta tag at the top of the document head.

If nothing is working anymore and your ranking doesn’t improve, ask an SEO Willngton agency for help. There is certainly an element that you have missed or do not have the appropriate tools to remedy it. They’ll be able to help you assess what needs to be done and also who should handle the project moving forward.

Wrapping up

Duplicate content is an issue that often goes unrecognized, but it’s also one that can be easily solved. If you’ve noticed this problem in your store, now you know how to fix it. The key is prevention- by monitoring all your content and continuously removing duplicate items, you’ll never have to worry about inadvertently harming your visibility.


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