Avoid Duplicate Content
As a general rule in SEO, we want to avoid duplicate content whenever and wherever possible. Duplicate content is a common issue that can negatively impact the optimization of real estate websites.
Search engines strive to only show useful and relevant results to users, and space is limited, so this means that Google tries to ignore redundant or duplicated content. Search engines like Google also consider duplicate content as low-quality and may penalize such websites by lowering their rankings in search results.
What Is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content refers to the presence of identical or similar content on multiple webpages, either within the same website or across different websites.
Duplicate content can occur in various forms, such as identical blocks of text, entire webpages, or slight variations of content with only minor changes in wording or formatting.
Duplicate content can be unintentional, such as when different URLs lead to the same content, or intentional, when content is deliberately copied or duplicated without proper attribution or permission.
Duplicate Real Estate Listings
Duplicate content is a particular challenge for real estate websites, because real estate listings are duplicated by design. Your MLS board sends the exact same data to every real estate website in the area via IDX, or Internet Data Exchange feeds.
These IDX feeds can sometimes cause duplicate content issues, as they cause the same property listings to appear on multiple websites.
And the more listings your site has, the more pages of duplicate content it has too.
One strategy to combat duplicate listings is to actually limit the number of listings on your site. Focus your site on the areas you actually serve, and you’ll end up with a more concentrated site with your authority condensed on the remaining pages.
However, this issue is mostly unavoidable, so if you do have a real estate website, you should put a lot of effort into making sure that all your other content is as unique as possible to mitigate any potential penalties. There are a few ways to do this.
How To Avoid Duplicate Content
1. Write Unique Content
It sounds simple, but this important steps is often the most difficult. It's easy and tempting to fall into quick and easy writing methods or styles when you have the goal of populating your website with content.
Many online content creators are doing this with AI generated content, with predictably generic results. If you're planning on using AI-written content for your site, make sure to add a strong dose of oversight and your own personal voice to make it unique.
Whether it's a blog post or a property description, ask yourself: "does this sound like what anyone else would or could write?". If so, then your content may not be good enough to rank. This goes beyond simply being a problem of duplication. Samey content tends to be boring and unengaging as well.
Leverage your own personal expertise and local knowledge to infuse your writing with a unique perspective and information that can't be found elsewhere.
2. Use Canonical Tags
Canonical tags are an advanced HTML meta tag that indicate the preferred version of a webpage when there are multiple versions of the same content.
For instance, if you have an "About Us" section that appears on both the homepage and a dedicated About Us page, you can use a canonical tag to specify which version you want search engines to prioritize.
3. Replace Stock Content
Many new websites come with generic stock content that is used as placeholder text or images to improve the visual appearance of the site. However, using stock content without customization can result in duplicate content issues, as other websites may also use the same stock content.
It is crucial to replace stock content with unique and original content as part of the setup process for a new real estate website.
Avoid using content from other sources, like copying from LinkedIn to supplement an agent bio.
Why You Should Avoid Duplicate Content
Customized content that is relevant, accurate, and valuable to your target audience will not only help you avoid duplicate content penalties but also improve your SEO performance and user experience, ultimately leading to better online visibility, increased traffic, and higher chances of generating leads and conversions in the competitive real estate market.
- Unique content is more engaging
- Unique content contributes to your brand identity
- Unique content provides value
How To Check For Duplicate Content
For larger sites, we recommend using a duplicate content checker like Siteliner. Tools like these will scan your website and highlight duplicate content.
Next Section: How Should I Set Up My Navigation?