Deduplication Systems – Google Search Ranking Signal in 2023

In this article, we’ll discuss Deduplication Systems, Google’s third-ranking signal. If you haven’t read about the previous signals, you can read them here:

  1. BERT Explained: Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers
  2. Crisis Information Systems – CIS

What is the meaning of deduplication?

Deduplication is a process of removing duplicate URLs from search results. That means the deduplication system removes it from the results if the same URL appears more than once on the same Google results page.

Google has many methods/systems that can help remove duplicate results from the SERPs. That is why this ranking signal is called systems (with an ‘s’), not just a single system.

Types of duplications in content

There are two types of duplications on the search results page:

  1. External duplication
  2. Internal duplication

What is the external duplication system?

Let’s suppose that a user searches on Google for a specific keyword. Google then finds out that it has 100 such pages in its index that contain the information relevant to that search query.

But 20 out of 100 pages have the same content because those 20 pages have copied the same content on their pages.

That is when Google’s deduplication systems get activated. And the deduplication systems remove these 20 duplicate content pages from the search results.

When Google removes such duplicate pages, you’ll see the “omitted results” message at the end of the search page:

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 20 already displayed.
If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.

Right now, you must think that if deduplication systems are removing the pages from Google search results, why is it counted as Google’s ranking signal?

Hold your horses and keep reading; I’ll show you why deduplication systems are counted as Google ranking signals.

What is the internal duplication system?

An internal duplication system is where you are punished for being too good (^_^).

I hope you understand what are position zero search results
-> The results that appear on top of organic search results.

Position Zero (P0) search results are also called Featured Snippets.

I mean that whenever Google thinks it can answer the search query directly on the search results page, it shows that answer on top of organic results in the form of a featured snippet. I hope you know what I am referring to. Bravo!

For sure, the content appearing in position zero on the search page is fetched from any website. That is because the information on that website’s page is very accurate, and Google can confidently show it directly to the user on the search page. Looks awesome! Isn’t it?

No, it isn’t awesome! Because this respect given by Google to the website’s content damages the website.

How? Let me explain. There is no doubt that Google considers that webpage content to be authoritative and answers the user asap, but at the same time, Google ruins the traffic that Google could have sent to that web page. 😐

It is just like if the customer is getting food for free right in front of the restaurant, how can the restaurant generate sales from that customer?

In the past, when Google used to show someone’s content in the featured snippet, it also showed the webpage on the first page. But now, it is not like that.

Even if you are not on the first page, but your content answers the question, you’ll appear on a position zero search result.

Why? Because Google considers its duplication.

Google says that if the same URL appears more than once on the same result page, then it can cause damage to the quality of search results.

Makes sense, but what about the website owner?

If the user doesn’t visit the website, the website owner won’t be able to:

  • Get ads clicked on his website
  • Generate email list
  • Get clicks on call-to-action buttons/links
  • Generate any sale

The bottom line is that the website owner will not profit from the valuable premium content published on his website. At the same time, he has spent his time and effort writing and optimizing the content.

The conclusion is that if you are too lazy to write your content and copy pasting duplicate content, you’ll be removed by an external duplication system.

At the same time, if you are very hard-working and passionate and have perfectly optimized your website content, then you’ll be ruined by Google’s love for your content. (i.e., The internal duplication system will hurt you.)

Why is Deduplication Systems a ranking signal?

Let’s talk about it: While these systems remove web pages from search results, how is deduplication system counted as a ranking signal?

Someone’s loss is someone’s gain

Well, if certain pages won’t be removed from the search pages, then there won’t be a chance for other deserving pages to appear in their place.

How to Optimize website for Deduplication Systems?

There are two methods for optimizing your website to avoid the deduplication system strike:

1- External Deduplication Systems Optimization

If your pages are removed because of duplicate content, then the only solution is to stop duplicate publishing content on your website. It is not good by any means to use duplicate content for ranking your website.

2- Internal Deduplication Systems Optimization

If your content is exceptionally remarkable so that Google is taking it to the top of search results that are not benefiting you, you should use Nosnippet tag. (Learn more about Nosnippet)

Yes! Remove the option for a featured snippet from your webpage so that Google shouldn’t show you in position zero search results.

IMPORTANT: By using the Nosnippet meta tag, you may have removed your page from the featured snippet, but you have also made a loss to yourself. Because now, your page will appear without a description in the search results, which will affect your CTR.

Question: Why would anyone use the Nosnippet Tag? As it’s not bringing any clicks to the website.

Answer: The practical solution to this problem is to create one more page with almost the same but different content.

Here is how you can do it:

  1. Change a little content structure by adding/removing the bullet list (if possible).
  2. You can also add a video on the page with the help of the article-to-video converter tool.
  3. Create a video using the video converter tool mentioned earlier.
  4. Upload the video to your YouTube channel (if you don’t have YouTube Channel, then create it ~because it is much needed these days)
  5. Then embed the video link in your article.
  6. Keep the URL of this new page similar to the featured page while keeping the content slightly different so that Google doesn’t consider it a duplicate page.

Conclusion: What is the benefit of the exercise mentioned above?

Here is the critical point, By implementing above-mentioned methods of deduplication system optimization, your old page will remain in a featured snippet, while your new page will start appearing on the first page in the search results. While not violating any of Google’s duplicate page policies.

For reference: Here is the list of → All 19 Most Important Google Ranking Signals for 2023.

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