Why Duplicate Content is Bad for SEO

June 22, 2015

row of paper cut figures


The content on your insurance agency website is vital to getting your site noticed by people and search engines. Whether it's for your blog, landing pages or product pages, your content is what Google, Bing and Yahoo use to rank you.

Some insurance agents think that reusing content won't affect search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. But that is wrong. You should never duplicate content, and here's why.

When a search engine crawls a webpage, it cross references it to see if the same content shows up on any other pages. If it does, the search engines then have to decide which page is a copy and which is the original. If there's duplicate content on your website, your search engine rankings will suffer.

What's considered duplicate content?
Duplicate content can happen in different ways. The most obvious is copying information from other websites and claiming it as your own. This is also considered plagiarism and could cause more problems for you besides your rankings.

Another way is by copying yourself. If you use the same content on different pages of your website, it's considered duplicate content. For instance, the search engines consider the same introduction on every line of business page duplicate content. It's always a good idea for each page to have fresh content.

Sometimes, search engines deem items you wouldn't think of as duplicates as duplicate content. For example, like when multiple versions of a page are indexed. An example of this would be printer-friendly version of a webpage. The printer-friendly version and the original count as two pages to search engines because the content is the same.

How do I avoid duplicate content issues?
Unique, fresh content is always the best way to go when writing for your insurance website. Avoid repetitive copy at all costs. Also, be aware of different URLs that lead to the same page since that can count as duplicate content as well. The reason is that search engines view each of the different URLs as separate webpages. Although the URLs may be different, the content is the same and is seen as duplicate content. Avoiding this will not only help you on the search engines, but it'll better serve your visitors.

The goal of search engines is to provide users with the most relevant results. Search results with the same pages of content isn't helpful. By duplicating content, you harm your visibility on search engines. Search engines think of duplicate content as spam. So, you must too.

Do you have a question about duplicate content and how it can harm your SEO? Let us know by leaving it in the comments section below.

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