Background: I have been making a new website design at
www.example.com/new which has been uploaded for some time as I have been redesigning the site. This site shares most of the same content as my current site at
Since I did not link to any of the pages on the new site, I thought Google would not index it, but it appears that it did. This would explain the fact that I have been experiencing a drop in SEO for my site.
Now that I have realized the problem, I will be replacing all the files in the
/new directory with the duplicate files (i.e., replacing
/gyms.html) which should eliminate the duplicate content.
My question is, now that I will have fixed the problem of having duplicate content, will this SEO penalty go away? Will my rankings go back to the way they were? Will there always be some lingering effects?