Search Engine optimizers do their job, but then all our credibility goes down the drain because of some people who just duplicate the contents of our websites and try to make profit out of this copied content. From a successful website with heavy traffic and a good search engine ranking often substantial blocks or even whole pages of information or content are copied and reproduced in other websites. This may not always be malicious. For example, blog or discussion forums might have the same or similar content in them.
But more often then not, duplicate contents are used across domains to manipulate traffic or to trick the search engines to give better ranking. The people who make websites with duplicate content think that they will be able to get higher search engine ranking because of the presence of more keywords. In order to stop such duplicate websites and to maintain the quality of search outputs, search engines have implemented duplicate content filters. These duplicate content filters compare one webpage with another and if they are similar then the duplicate content filter simply keeps the webpage with more backlinks and higher rank in the primary index while putting the other page in the supplemental index. These duplicate content filters don’t ban websites for having duplicate content, they only filter them. Unfortunately, sometimes good websites also get filtered out in this process and all the hard work done by the webmaster in making that site becomes useless.
So, how does duplicate content filter determine which page is duplicate and which is original? It is a complex process, when a search engine spider visits your website; it reads and stores the information. If it later comes across other websites with similar or same content then they compare the pages and depending on factors like number of backlinks, overall relevancy score of the website etc, they determine which of these pages are duplicate and which one is original. They then filter the duplicate content pages during a search and show the pages that they deem relevant and original.
Scraped content sites that offer news, e-commerce sites that use product description given by the manufacturer and articles that are copied and posted all over the web, often fall prey to duplicate content filters. So, how to avoid getting shunned from search results? The answer is to have as much unique content as possible. If you have a e-commerce site, then it is better to write product descriptions yourself instead of using manufacturer’s description, it will take time and effort but it will be worth it. There are some online tools like Copyscape.com, that would help you search the web for similar pages like yours. Then you can check the similarities and modify your page to make it as unique as possible. If you have a news website then this tool will help you by pointing out the similarities between your news piece and the other similar pieces. If you are an article writer then this type of tool can point out if your article is being used elsewhere without your permission.
Some search engines consider the popularity of a link as relevant, so try building up your link popularity and avoid using shared content in your websites as much as possible. Keep an eye on whether the contents of each page are relevant to the website as a whole and you wouldn’t have much to worry about.