Duplicate content penalty, as I explained in this post is a myth. When it comes to SEO myths, duplicate content penalty is one that has been around for a long time. But the truth is that Google will not penalize you for having duplicate content, unless you are “duplicating deliberately”.
However, duplicate content can hurt your site in other ways. It effects the performance of your blog or website. There are a couple of ways in which your blog’s performance can be effected negatively by having duplicate content on your site.
1- One of the ways duplicate content can effect your site is when Google detects duplicate content (same content on two different pages) while searching for content. In such cases, Google will pick one of the pages as the best suited URL for whatever query its targeted for, based on things like link popularity. So, that page becomes the page that will be shown on the search result page.
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The problem with that is that Google’s idea of what the “best” URL is, isn’t always the same as yours. So, if you wanted the other URL to be shown in the search result, you are screwed!
Although, there is a solution for that too, which is letting Google know which one is your preferred URL by including it in your Sitemap. But wouldn’t it be easier to not have the same content on multiple pages creating the duplicate content issue?…
2- Another way that having duplicate content can hurt your site’s performance, is that if Google isn’t able to detect all the duplicates content of one page, it simply can’t consolidate all of its properties, which results in your content ranking lower (when it very well could have ranked higher), because Google will automatically split the ranking signals across multiple URLs.
In conclusion, although, there is no penalty for having duplicate content, your blog or website’s performance will be effected negatively by having duplicate content.