Duplicate content can be a millstone around the neck of a website that prevents it from achieving the search rank it deserves. Here is a quick look at the main reasons that this problem needs to be avoided.
Google’s algorithms are designed to catalogue and assess the content of all sites and rank them according to their quality and value. Uniqueness is an important factor in this process, so any site that appears to be plagiarising another source is likely to be penalised. With video previews being introduced to SERPs, ranking highly has become even more important.
Of course, it is perfectly possible to be hit with a ranking penalty even if the content you appear to be copying appears on another site you operate. It does not matter if you have set up multiple sites to cater to customers in different parts of the country; if these separate sites all contain copy-pasted information and content with minor regional changes, Google will smell a rat and relegate each from the top end of its results pages.
The upshot of this is that you should avoid the temptation to save time by copying content from existing pages, as any direct duplication will be SEO suicide. Experts at agencies like Dublin SEO firm http://www.rycomarketing.ie/ will be able to help you develop good strategies in this regard.
Optimising Other Elements
You may not realise it, but Google is not only interested in the uniqueness of on-page content; it also takes into account whether duplication has occurred across other elements that are not as immediately obvious.
This includes things like title tags and meta descriptions, so you need to delve deep into your site and carry out tweaks that may seem relatively minor but can have a big impact in terms of search rank.
Sometimes it can be difficult to work out whether or not your site is lumbered with duplicate content or not, but there are tools that can help you identify such a problem.
Copyscape is an especially popular and well-regarded free tool that lets you compare everything from individual chunks of text to entire web pages to see how much is duplicated and where alterations need to be made. For those willing to pay for a premium tool, the duplicate-busting capabilities of Grammarly may be useful.