How to Lower SEO Rank with Duplicate Content

January 22, 2012 Courtney Brady


Nothing can lower your SEO rank faster than duplicate content. Duplicate content is basically content that has been duplicated and plagiarized from other websites whether it is a done by a bot, a physical copy and paste, or a through web scraping software. In order to preserve the integrity of your website, it is recommended that you use a content protection network to stop all of these scenarios from occurring.

How does duplicate content affect SEO?

Duplicate content in general has a negative affect on the SEO of your website as well as your Google Page Rank. Duplicate content is defined as an exact copy of text that was already printed on another website, but it does have a slight exemption for articles that have quotes and references to other articles. There are a number of reasons why search engines dislike duplicate content. One of the main reasons why is because their users do not get any value from duplicate listings. Given that search engines are companies that have to turn a profit, it drains their resources to waste time, money, and bandwidth listing the same content over and over again. Finally, a large percentage of duplicate content is produced and used spammers, thieves, and other unsavory characters for the most part.


Google, Bing, Yahoo, as well as the other search engines all frown upon the use of duplicate content and they can actually stop showing your website in their search results if they detect it. In terms of Google, they will likely lower your Page Rank as well given their most recent changes to the search algorithm to be more sensitive to the duplicate content online. The most recent update that Google made to its algorithm was called Panda, which bloggers and SEO Pros have said takes a heavy-handed approach to penalizing duplicate content and adding extra value new and unique content.

As online content producers, you want to retain your readership base but duplicate content can actually draw your readers away from your site, potentially harming your revenue, your brand, and website in general, which is why content protection is so important.

What is web scraping?

Web scraping is a method used to steal content from other websites. Most of the time duplicate content is not replicated by humans, but with bots and spam software. Unfortunately, a lot of the web scraping happens without your knowledge or consent and there is little that you can do about it unless you employ some method of content protection. There are some anti-scraping programs and plugins that you can use on your website, but they are not always effective enough to block bots.

How to stop web scraping

Until recently there has been no easy way to stop web scraping and prevent 3rd parties from duplicating your content.  IP block lists, analytics, and similar methods have had limited effectiveness preventing hackers and bots from stealing your content and plagiarizing your work.  Here at Distil, we saw the need for something better and easier to use.   So we designed and built the first Content Protection Network (CPN), giving the Internet a tool to keep your content, your ideas, and your voice unique.  Our CPN has the power to block bots and web scraping software before they even reach your website in the first place.  There’s more to the technology but the point is, Distil wants to help protect your website and prevent your content from being stolen.  Hit us up if you have questions (contact Distil). We’d love to talk.  

About the Author

Courtney Brady

Courtney Brady is the Director of Marketing at Distil Networks. She comes to Distil Networks from a variety of start-up companies, routed in SaaS and DaaS solutions. Formerly the global communications manager at multiple companies, Courtney is responsible for developing the company’s marketing strategy and branding campaign.

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