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Is duplicate content a problem in local SEO strategy?

6 minutes of reading
Is duplicate content a problem in local SEO strategy?
Category SEO

Are you struggling to rank in Google local search? The truth is, there are some pretty simple reasons that could be the cause of your issues, and one of them could be duplicate content. Duplicate content issues, especially on small business websites, can have a negative impact on your search visibility and, ultimately, your sales.

Local search engine optimization tactic that helps a business rank in Google’s local results for a specific area. It includes high quality, optimized, and geographically relevant information about the business as well as citations from other pages like Yelp, Facebook and Google. The goal of this type of search marketing is to be present at the top of the search results with accurate location details and reviews when a person searches from their phone. Here’s what you need to know about duplicate content and how it affects your local search rankings.


What is duplicate content?

When people talk about duplicate content, they are referring to the problem of two different pieces of web content being available under two different URLs. This often happens when a site that has one URL, updates their pages and either inadvertently or intentionally moves them to a new location. The duplicated URL then becomes an issue if it is ranking higher than the original because now Google only sees one source of relevancy from that page instead of two.

How does it affect my search rankings?

The penalty for duplicate content will depend on how much duplicate content you have in your search results. Google is starting to treat each instance of a site as unique, which means the penalty for even one duplicate URL will be significant. This is because Google wants to reward high-quality sites, not those that try to fool the algorithm with tricks. Sites that rank well in search results will also get more natural links from other authoritative sites. If your website does suffer from duplicated content issues and doesn’t improve within a few months, it’s time to move on and find another solution for gaining quality traffic.

The Google Sandbox Effect

For starters, the Google Sandbox Effect is a temporary penalty applied to new websites in the top results for competitive searches, so it can take up to three months for sites that have been penalized to recover. It typically happens when new sites or updated versions of older sites spam the search engine with content and other link building strategies as they try to achieve higher rankings.

Which areas should you pay particular attention to?

Service area pages

Service area pages are a great way to target a geographical market online. Service area pages work by targeting and focusing on serving people in specific geographic areas (usually cities). The main reason for this is that search engines, such as Google, do not like duplicate content. Creating one or more service area pages will allow you to offer geographically targeted content to potential customers while also keeping the search engine happy.

City specific landing pages

The solution to this problem is to create a unique city landing page for each of the cities you want to rank in. That way, you are maximizing the chances that the search engine will rank you for more than one city. You can still put links to other cities on your site so visitors can find them, but make sure they aren’t duplicating any pages with that name by including a hyphen or dash before and after the other city name.

Articles and blogs

It can be easy to get frustrated when you’re trying to market your business online, but one problem that may be interfering with progress is duplicate content. If the same information about your company appears on more than one page, search engines will not rank it well. The easiest way to make sure you’re providing unique and helpful information for potential customers is to update older pages with new content, or put a noindex tag on pages that only have older versions of articles.

NAP data

NAP is the abbreviation for name, address, and phone number and it is an important part of search engine optimization because of duplicate content problems. When a company has different versions of their business contact information with each one, they could be penalized by Google algorithm which looks at citations. Those different citations then result in duplicate content on the page which can lead to penalty from Google’s algorithm.

Check for repeating images

This is going to be one of the hardest but most important things to do. You need to check for repeating images and make sure that each page has it’s own copy. If you find any, go ahead and delete them so that you don’t have a penalty for duplicate content on Google Search. With all of these techniques, you should see an increase in rankings over time. It takes a lot of time to implement all of these changes in order to see any results from this but with perseverance, it will work out for you.

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How can you fix this issue?

There are several factors that go into understanding the problem with duplicate content. First, Google penalizes a web page with duplicate content and thus it is tough to rank well for location-specific keywords. Second, when you have duplicate content across different domains you can decrease page views and increase bounce rates. Third, it is not possible to know which web page will rank the best for location-specific keywords so this may lead to a decrease in rankings for all of the pages on those domains.

So, in a nutshell:

Step 1: Edit your text and provide it with an original, original, extensive part of the highest substantive value.

Step 2: If you are unable to edit the text, try to rewrite it.

Step 3: In the case of websites containing cookies (cookies), exclude them from indexation.

Step 4: use 301 redirects.

Step 5: Set up canonical links.

Step 6: Set the noindex tag to prevent search engine crawlers from indexing your content and lowering the page value.

Step 7: Set the X-Robots-Tag http header.

Preventive measures

One of the easiest ways to combat duplicate content is with tools like Copyscape, one free tool that allows you to compare two pieces of writing against each other and search for plagiarism. You can also use Yoast, an SEO plugin for WordPress, which can alert you if there are any cases of duplicate content on your site. It’s always best to be proactive about these types of issues and take steps to avoid them before they impact your rankings.


Duplicate content is not a problem you can afford to ignore. It has implications on how well search engines rank you, how engaged potential customers are with your site, and how easily it is for the competition to overtake you in rankings. Be sure to keep an eye out for duplicate content in anything that’s shared with other sites or social media accounts.

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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