7 Reasons Why Duplicate Content is Killing your Local SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | February 26, 2015

Optimizing your local website to attract consumers in your vicinity is a must if you want to compete with other companies who are tapped into digital marketing. To generate leads and direct traffic to your website, you will need original on-site content along with off-site content that is keyword optimized and useful.

The most popular search engines, including Google, will skim through the content with little bots called spiders to identify what sites have the same content. If the exact same content is discovered, you are guilty of having what is called duplicate content. While the search engines may not send you cease and desist order to stop using content that can be found on different websites, they will not take kindly to the similarities in the text that adorns your landing page or links to a webpage on your site.

If your goals are to optimize your site locally, it is extremely important to be familiar with the SEO best practices, and duplicate content is definitely not a best practice. In fact, not only is duplicate content frowned upon, it can actually be a silent killer when it comes to driving traffic. Read on, and find out the 7 reasons why the duplicate content on your page is killing your SEO efforts.

What is Classified as Duplicate Content?

When it comes to SEO, duplicate content is defined as two pages of content that are identical and are found on more than one URL. The problem can arise when you do not realize that something as small as a “/” at the end of your webpage located on your site will make the engine think that the content is being posted on two separate URLs. More often duplicate content issues arise when articles, copies and other marketing content is found on your site and an completely unrelated site as well.

How Does This Duplicate Content Affect SEO?

1. Your Page May Not Be Indexed

When your webpage is indexed by a search engine, this means that it is in the engine and available to be displayed as a result when specific keywords are being searched. If too many URLs are linked to specific content, it is possible for the site not to be indexed at all. This means that whenever users are searching, there is no way that your site will be displayed to be organically located.

2. Removal From Indexing

Search engines use a program that crawls through pages to scan content. When that program identifies too many sites that have duplicate content, it is not uncommon for the engine to stop indexing all of the pages of the site. This means that not only will the pages with the duplicate content be affected, the entire site will be affected as well.

3. Less Traffic

SEO is all about directing traffic to your landing page or your website. If you are optimizing your page for a specific region, you want to be sure that your content is still original all across the world wide web. If you use duplicate content in an effort to save time when it comes to developing your site, it will affect your traffic. If you notice your traffic has dropped from the last time you reviewed your analytics, there could be a chance that indexing issues have made it so that your page cannot be found.

4. Less Conversions and Less Revenue

When you drive less organic traffic to your website, you have less opportunity to close a sale. You will never close a sale every time that some visits, but you will close a percentage of the traffic as long as you have products that people want or services that people need at a competitive price. When you have a smaller pie of visitors, your piece of that pie that converts will understandably be smaller.

5. Your Digital Reputation

If your page is still ranked and you and other local businesses have the same content, it is possible to tell who had the content first through Google. This is how the search engine ultimately decides who to remove from indexing in the long-term. You can impact your digital reputation when you are known for copying copies you did not write or order.

6. Missing Out on the Opportunity for Branding

Your website’s About Us will be the most common page visited when you are looking for local consumers. If you have duplicate content, you cannot brand and expand your brand’s reach by attracting people to your page to see what separates you from the competition.

7. Letting the Competitors Get Better Rankings

If your site is still indexed, it will definitely be ranked poorly. Your rankings will drop leaving room for the competitor’s ranking to beat yours. This means that the competition will most definitely be found before you will when locals are searching for common keywords online.

What is so difficult about SEO best practices is that you may not know how you are violating them. By having multiple websites, you are already affecting your local SEO with duplicate content. Make sure you check to see if your website is laden with similar content and make a change to better your rankings and improve your sales.