“Duplicate Content” is a web problem frequently associated with tales of websites being banned from Google. In reality, such occurrences are rare, and the more everyday manifestations aren’t nearly as disastrous, but it’s still something which can hurt your web traffic. The simplest way in which “duplicate content” can affect you adversely is this: Google will attempt to show any given piece of web copy just once in its results. So if one of your product descriptions, for example, appears several times on the web, it might not be the main product page on your site which Google chooses to show. And that’s not what you want to happen.
The alternative manifestations of that piece of copy can be varied: the text might be repeated on your own site, on a less important page like an index; it might be on a distributor’s site; it might be on a news website; or it might even be on an unauthorised site which is just copying stuff from elsewhere. How B2Bs can Improve SEO by Avoiding Duplicate Content on Modern B2B Marketing explores the subject in more depth, but three great tips are: to use sitemaps and canonical tags; to ensure material goes on your site before anywhere else; and to distribute different copy to distributors and news sites.