You’re probably already familiar with the term “duplicate content”, but do you know the consequences it can have on your website?
The use of duplicate content isn’t always done intentionally, and it doesn’t necessarily stem from ill intentions, either. And while technically you won’t get penalized for this, it can still have a serious effect on your website and its search engine rankings.
The problem is that when it comes to duplicate content, search engines don’t know where to direct their link metrics, such as authority and trust. Search engines rarely show multiple versions of the same content in search results and are forced to choose which version is likely the best result to display. This means that even though you may be the originator of the content, someone else could end up reaping the benefits.
First, you will need to pinpoint what caused it. If it was because of someone stealing or scraping your content, contact them and ask them to remove it. If they don’t reply or refuse to remove it, you can report the site as “webspam” to Google.
Many websites have switched from HTTP to HTTPS. So, make sure that there is only one live version of your site on the Internet. Having two live versions could be seen as duplicate content by search engines, so ensure that the previous HTTP version has been redirected to the newer HTTPS version using a 301 redirect.
Another possible cause could be with businesses that operate in more than one location and use mirrored subdirectories, with their products and contents being the same. For example: http://www.ebay.com and http://www.ebay.co.uk. This can also cause confusion with Google. To fix this, visit the Google Search Console and set up location targeting. To learn more about location targeting, visit https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182192?hl=en