There are two main type of duplicate content as far as search engines are concerned, first up, there are duplicate website pages. This is where you have the same page, but under two different URLs. This is much more common than you think, as many website owners have not setup canonical redirections. For example; “yourdomain.com”, “yourdomain.com/index.html” and “www.yourdomain.com” can be three different URL all showing your home page. The search engines will see these as three duplicate copies of the same page, risking pagerank degradation. To resolve this matter, simply add a 301 redirection to two of the pages and the search engines will then only have one page to index. To add a 301 redirection in WordPress, just enter the page URLs and the destination URL in to the redirection plug-in I recommended earlier. If you are using Elegant Themes then the solution is even easier, just enable the “canonical URL’s” button on the SEO setting tab within your theme options.
The second type is genuine duplication of content by reusing content from the web. We all know that it is difficult and time consuming to generate high quality, engaging and most importantly unique content for your website but if you want your page to rank well, there is no other choice.
Duplicate content is hated by the search engines especially Google and it will very rarely even be shown, let alone ranked well. Just copying and pasting information for other websites is not only bad form, but it can lead your website being penalised by the search engines if they view it as spammy. You will quite often hear people say Content is King with Google and they are right, but not just any content will do.
So why is duplicate content, hated so much by the search engines? Well the answer to this is simple, the search engines job, is to find the most complete and varied information on the subject you are searching for, and if they indexed and displayed all the duplicate content out there, you could easily end up with the first ten pages only showing the searcher the same information and only view point, this would defeat the very reason of using a search engine.
To explain why these do not work well anymore, let look at a couple of the most common ways website owners try to get around this problem. First up is Spinning, manual spinning has always gone on and even today will work if done well, but to do it well, it can be as time consuming as writing new content so it rather defeats the point. What is spinning, well it’s the process of changing the grammatical structure of an article so that it reads like fresh content. Manual spinning is where you would read an article and then rewrite it and as pointed out is just as time consuming as writing a new article from your own point of view. Next is automated spinning and this comes in a couple of different form, paragraph and sentence spinning, you will often see claim that a spinning tool can understand the nature of a sentence and know how to rewrite it, well if they really have developed artificial intelligence then sign me up. The problem is that Google is well a head in this game and their systems for trying to understand the meaning of a sentence, paragraph or page is always going to be better than a cheap spinning package.
Another system out there is article building, these packages claim to be able to produce 500 to a 1000 word articles that are 90% unique on almost any subject. Well the problem with these is that they are just really another way of spinning an article, apart from the content is going to be more generic and possible even out of date. Because of this, and the fact that Google is getting much better at spotting the same article no matter how it’s reworded, I recommend not using them for your website content.
This only leaves two real option left to website owners when it comes to producing new content. Either you write it yourself or you pay to have it written by someone else, but the second of these two options can also cause you problems as well. There is a massive variety in writing quality out there and you certainly get what you pay for, but even expensive well written content can suffer as it is highly unlikely that the writers are going to have the knowledge of the subject that a website owner who is passionate about their industry is able impart in an article.
This is why we can only recommend that if you what great content for your site you are best of writing it yourself, after all you are trying to show to Google that you are an authority in your chosen field and that you have something to say that valuable and worthy of Google ranking it highly for their customers (the searcher).
As the old saying goes, If you have nothing constructive to say, say nothing and that’s not going to produce new content.