Common duplicate content problems and how to deal with them

Duplicate content is one of the most worrying problems facing a huge number of websites like those designed for E-commerce. Larger sized websites have less unique content largely because of their complex content structure. E-commerce sites need to be designed both for search engines and for the users. The most common problem that e-commerce sites face is having duplicate Meta titles and descriptions. This article has some of the most popular problems that affect e-commerce sites from a duplicate content point of view.

Having little or no difference in what you sell

Assume that your ecommerce site sells a product; say a beverage whose difference is the size and price alone. If the details for this beverage are placed on unique pages of the website, chances are that the content will hardly change throughout the website. Most of the content will be the same and largely duplicated.

Fix-when faced with such a challenge, you should consider making a rel canonical to one of the pages with all the information about the product. This way, you tell the search engines not to regard the other page as important and hence save you time and ranking. Alternatively, you can alter the Meta tags uniquely and the content information say the description of the product, where to find it and other relevant information that will protect you from having similar content on all pages.

duplicate content

Printer friendly versions of web pages

Apparently, when you create printer versions of your website for the users, SEO suffers a lot. Since the printer version page is on a different URL, it competes with the normal page for ranking on Google. Only one of these pages can make it to the top of the search engine results. If this happens, your page cannot realize its full potential because of the duplicates there in.

Fix-Creating a printer friendly CSS style sheet can help you fix the problem. Creating a no-index tag on the printer version pages and a relative canonical tag on printer version to the real page are just some of the ways to fix these problems.


Pagination is one of the most common duplicate content issues that come with having categories and sections of the content accessible through multiple locations. The other instance is all your pages having the same Meta data on different URLs. In the end you have different pages, with different products but same titles and Meta descriptions which are misleading to the search engines.

Fix-The best way to fix pagination is using the rel=canonical tags in the content. This tag can be used to reference the first page in the search results. The other tags Google recommends to its users is the rel=next and rel=previous tag on pages to protect the issue.

Overall, detecting plagiarism is one of the most effective ways to find out if your ecommerce website has worrying duplicate content. PlagSpotter is one of the most reliable tools you can use to spot and deal with plagiarized o duplicate content on your ecommerce website.

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