What is Duplicate Content Issue in WordPress

With WordPress being behind more than 30% of pages on the Internet, its usability and easy implementation cannot be denied. WordPress is undeniably one of the best content management systems around, making the job of bloggers and business owners that much easier. Whether its popularity stems from its easy to use interface, various formatting options or because it allows you to incorporate many plugins, it seems like WordPress has taken over the world. However, there are still a few pitfalls to be aware of – the duplicate content issue in WordPress would be just one of them.

Have you been working hard on SEO but are still not reaping the results you wanted? Or are the results nowhere to be seen? While there are many reasons why you aren’t getting the ranking you deserve (like not making your site mobile friendly), the content duplicate issue can also be one of the culprits. Stick with us if you are interested in learning more about this issue, how to solve it and, most importantly, how to avoid it. But first, answer us this – do you even know that duplicate content issue is?

What is the duplicate content issue in WordPress?

Simply put, content duplication is having two copies of two pages that completely match each other on your website. Or they are extremely similar with only a handful of differences between them. Duplicated content can also be the same but the two pages can have different URLs – but that changes nothing. What you need to know is that duplicated content happens all the time – whether due to technical issues or some other source. But what you don’t know is why it has such a negative effect.

A man pointing to a diagram on the board.
There are many reasons why you will want to avoid the duplicate issue.

How does this problem affect your website?

There are two very important aspects of your business that are being affected by the duplicated content issue. The first is your readers, and the second one is your ranking. While some readers might leave your site due to this problem, others will have no problems with it. After all, they found the content they were looking for. While you might have luck with your website viewers, trust us – you will not be so lucky when it comes to the search engines.

For one, you’ll confuse Google which version of the two copies is the relevant one. The search engine will then pick one while hiding the other copy from the keyword search, which will inevitably result in diminished website SEO. Alright – now you are presented with the basics. So where do we go from here?

What causes the duplicate content issue in WordPress?

It goes without saying that no website owner would intentionally create duplicated content on their websites. So the culprit has to be found somewhere else. And, usually, it’s due to numerous technical mistakes. Those include:

  • Session ID
  • URL parameters
  • Content syndication
  • Comment pagination
  • WWW/ no-www

#1 – Session ID

If you have an e-commerce site, it goes without saying that you need to keep track of your visitors. You need to allow them to store items and passwords which provides them with a session. But there are some systems that can’t back up session IDs so that every internal link from your page will get a new session ID, leading to a new URL, ultimately resulting in duplicated content.

A woman shopping online.
Be extremely careful if you have an e-commerce website.

#2 -URL parameters

You might be confused about https://www.domain.com/post-x/ and https://www.domain.com/post-x/?source=rss. But what most people perhaps don’t know is that these two aren’t the same. These two URLs make it difficult for your page to rank well (as previously mentioned), as well as create duplicate content issues.

#3 – Content syndication

If you have a popular blog or great and high-impact landing pages, you are more prone to having duplicate content problems. How? Because other websites will use your content without your permission, even though plagiarism is illegal. Search engines will have trouble differentiating between two different versions of the same article, leading to already mentioned problems.

#4 – Comment pagination

WordPress allows you to do many amazing things – paginating your post comments is just one of them. So how do you go from here to creating duplicated content? It’s simple – by doing this, different URLs are added to the original post, resulting in duplication.

#5 – WWW/ no-www

If both versions of the URL lead to your homepage, the same content can be accessed by both protocols.

What are some ways of preventing duplicate content issues in WordPress?

Truth be told, you will probably not be able to always control all the factors at once. For starters, you have no control over other people and their choices. If they want to use your content for your website, there’s not much you can do to prevent them before the damage is done. But not everything is out of your hands. There are some things you can do that will significantly improve your chances of avoiding duplicate content issues.

  • For starters, use the Duplicate Post plugin.
  • Never assign the same title to your posts and pages.
  • Delete any pages and posts that you are not using.
  • Be careful about the pages you publish and only publish those you plan to use.
A woman working on a laptop, learning about the duplicate content issue in WordPress.
When creating your content, really focus on what you are doing.

It’s not much, but it will definitely get you going in the right direction. Because chances are you weren’t that careful about the content you are posting and whether its twin already exists somewhere on your website. Hey, that’s only reasonable – especially if you have published hundreds of posts and pages so far. But our team of WordPress experts knows that a little goes a long way. Work on preventing the duplicate content issue in WordPress non-stop and you are bound to see the results eventually. That much we can promise you!

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