From the inbox: My developer recently told me that he has ran an audit on my site and there are a lot pieces of duplicate content on the site including the meta tags, the site only has around 100 blog posts and a few products I sell – What is causing my duplicate content issue?
SEO Question Answered: Duplicate Content is a growing issue in the world of SEO and has been for some time. As websites grow, if the issue hasn’t been found or is left ‘untreated’ the duplicate content issue just grows and your problems with search rankings can escalate (once they occur). Ususally the first time you notice is in an audit like this – before a ranking drop – or after a Google update drops you down the rankings and you wonder why and you find the issue then.
Ignoring duplicate content issues can leave your search rankings in a sorry state, it’s akin to having poor quality content and is often a duplicate of every page on your site once – though it can be multiple times depending on the setup of your site. This is where recovery gets tricky as even for a double size website (one duplication) it may take a while for google to re-index and re-rank your website.
In essence duplicate content is generally two urls or more showing the same content its usually a non-www and www showing the same content for example andykinsey.com and www.andykinsey.com showing the same content – this happens when there is NOT a redirect from one to the other.
It also happening more and more with poor implementation today of SSL (http to https) again failing to complete redirects from one to another.
The solution for this is two fold, first put your redirects in place for the correct urls and ensure they work across your site. Second, if not automatically in place add canonical urls to each page, your web developers should be able to help – or a plugin if not. Finally – ensure that in webmaster tools you resubmit your sitemap and hit re-index, this may or may not speed things up (we can only hope).
Heres a video from 2013 of how Google deals with duplicate content (or did deal with it).