Just like it sounds, duplicate content happens when one web page has the same (or nearly the same) content as another web page. Search engines like Google are trying to match searchers with the most relevant and authoritative websites (based on the search query). The problem with websites that contain substantially duplicated content is that they don’t add much value to searchers/visitors. Imagine if you did a search and Google returned 10 websites with nearly the same content!
Avoiding duplicate content is easy for most small medium sized businesses and websites, but things get a bit more difficult when you have an e-commerce site or you’re a dealer for a widely distributed product. For example, let’s say you have a window replacement company and one of the brands you carry is Weather Shield. If you simply take the product descriptions from Weather Shield’s site and paste them onto your site, you’re going to create large amounts of content on your site that are duplicated from Weather Shield’s website.
Instead, if you find yourself in this situation, what you should do is to create unique content based on Weather Shield’s original content. Explain to your target audience how Weather Shield products solve their unique problems. This might mean making your content geographically focused or highlighting the specific features and benefits of Weather Shield products that are most appealing to your audience.