Checking for duplicate content is part of the process of analyzing a website. The most common types of duplicate content to look for is in Title tags, Meta descriptions, product descriptions, dynamic URLs, and Canonicalization.
Many websites reuse the same Title tag for their entire site. That’s duplicate content.
Many ecommerce sites resell products from manufacturers will often use the product descriptions provided by the manufacturer. Hence, an abundance of duplicate content.
Top 6 Duplicate Content Mistakes:
1. Circular Navigation – multiple paths though a website.
2. Print-Friendly Pages – Fix: block search engineâ€™s from printer friendly pages.
3. Inconsistent Linking
4. Product Only Pages – with nothing differentiating them from other pages.
5. Transparent Serving
6. Bad Cloaking
There are various ways to check for Duplicate Content. You can do a manual check, and/or use tools to check for dupe content. There are a ton of fee-based SEO tools out there that bundle a duplicate content tool into their suite of tools. However for this post, I’m just going to stick with just the free tools.
Copyscape will check to see if any other site contains the same text as your page. This is great to see all the other ecommerce sites that have the same product description.
Yahoo Explorer is a great free tool to find duplicate content. Make sure you see the results for Pages. Then, Export results to TSV. Open in Excel.
The spreadsheet will contain the TITLE tag, URL, SIZE, and FORMAT. Sort the data by descending or ascending for the Title tag. This will enable you to quickly scan the document for batches of duplicate content.
Xenu Link Sleuth is a popular free tool. This is an application download. Besides providing the same data as Yahoo Explorer, the Xenu Link Sleuth can detect broken links. Then, export to Excel. Sort data as needed.
Google Webmaster Tools. Go to Diagnostics, HTML suggestions, Duplicate title tags – next screen is a list, with a hyperlink to “Download this table”.
Photo credit: kajojak