Duplicate Content and Your Blog's Ranking - What to Care About

 
Search engines extremely hate duplicate content and if your blog contains it, then you will never be able to get the free and massive traffic which search engines send to well ranked blogs, and without search engine traffic, you can't expect even a small achievement with blogging. Google punishes those blogs hard, which don't contain unique stuff, so you can rank your blog only when it is built with unique content.

Most bloggers, who are less experienced with SEO and blogging, commit this mistake and build their blog with duplicate content. They either copy and paste content from elsewhere on the web or configure their blog improperly and as a result, search engines consider blog's content as duplicate. We will discuss some of the causes, which may invite Google to punish your blog for having duplicate content. I am not going to discuss about copying/pasting of content from other sources as it is a most common thing about which every blogger knows.

WordPress Blogs Need Special Care and Attention
Mostly, content on WordPress blogs is considered as duplicate by search engines and as a result, they loss their ranking. This happens when you allow search engines to index categories and tags on your blog. Search engines index everything which you publish on your blog, so categories and tags are indexed also along with content under these taxonomies. As a result, your single post is indexed several times and search engines consider it duplicate. To make it sure that your blog is safe from these kind of bad situations, you must disallow indexing of categories and tags. WordPress SEO by Yoast allows you to do this easily, so use it to hide categories and tags from the eyes of search engines (View screenshot). This will help you a lot in boosting the ranking of your WordPress blog considerably.

Display Only Excerpt of Posts on Homepage

This is yet another crucial thing which must be considered by bloggers. When you show full post text on homepage of your blog, then the content is indexed twice. i.e. once with your blog homepage URL and secondly with the post URL. So if your blog shows full post text on homepage, then you must limit it to show summary of the post only. This will ensure that your blog isn't exposed to any risk of being penalized for having duplicate content on it.

Don't Submit Your Blog to RSS Directories Which Fetch Whole Text in Posts

Directory submission is good for improving your blog's ranking, but if you do it improperly, then you may get the opposite results, i.e. drop in ranking. Many RSS directories fetch whole text from your blog posts which is extremely bad for your blog's ranking. So while submitting your content to any RSS directory, make it sure that the directory doesn't fetch whole text, also check the configuration there to allow fetching of excerpt and summary only.

Don't Distribute Your Posts Among Document Sharing Websites

You must know that documents (.docx, .ppt, .pdf etc.) are also indexed by search engines. When you share your content (which you have published on your blog) among document sharing websites, then content in these documents may get indexed. Although most popular document sharing services disallow the content indexing, still it is a risk, so never share your original content in form of any document.

Carefully Use Multiple Domains for Single Blog

Sometimes, bloggers redirect additional domains to their blogs for different purposes and forget to disallow the indexing for that domain. As a result, search engines crawl through these domains also and grab all content of the blog and thus the blog content is duplicated. If you decide to use any additional domain on your blog, then you must make it sure first that the indexing for that particular domain is disallowed.

So these were five important suggestions for you which will help you in ranking your blog better. 

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