Saturday, November 27th, 2021

Duplicate Content Penalties (Are they Real?)

Is there a Penalty for Duplicate Content on the Web?

The following article is our opinion on this issue and is in line with published Google articles.  However, Google’s rules change frequently and often without notice.  There can also be subtle nuances to Google’s rules that could trigger some kind of an action from Google. 

This article sites several Google articles.  The primary basis for our opinion is the text referenced below but as recently as June of 2009 Google was re-stating this same policy at SEO conferences.

Article: Demystifying the “duplicate content penalty”
Site: Google Webmaster Central Blog
Published By: Google
Written by: Susan Moskwa, Webmaster Trends Analyst
Date:  Friday, September 12, 2008 at 8:30 AM

The short answer to are there “penalties” for duplicate content on different sites is: ” There’s no such thing as a “duplicate content penalty.” ”  From Susan Moskwa’s article sited above.

Matt Cutts of Google’s Search Quality group made a similar statement at the June 2009 SMX Conference “If you have the same content on 200 different sites ….. is it typical that we give a duplicate content penalty for that? No. Definitely not.

Placing copy that you own on two different sites is NOT plagiarism.  Plagiarism only occurs if you publish an article that you do not own on your site without the permission of the author. 

However, duplicate content can have an impact on which site gets credit for the article in Google’s search results.  Google will typically only show one version of duplicate content in its search results and it will typically favor the more established or “trusted” source.

Syndication* of a blog article is a good thing because the author is typically not concerned with which site hosting their article shows up in search results.  The primary focus of most blog authors is just that their article gets well indexed by search engines.  This is true of MS Partners who are writing blogs to establish themselves as experts and to provide contextual links back to their site.

However, duplicating content that is on your website and placing it on a blog or other site is probably not the best use of your article.  If you put resources into creating an article for your site to attract search traffic, placing a duplicate on another site may draw that traffic away from your site.  We suggest that you take the time to re-write the article before placing it on another site.  If you can add some fresh content and make the new version relevant and somewhat unique you may be able to get both versions of your article indexed and showing up well in search results.

In summary, in Google’s own words there is no penalty for duplicate content so syndication of blog articles is advantageous.  However duplicating copy from your website could pull some traffic away from your site.

If you need help updating and re-publishing copy, let us know.  We can typically re-write an article for about $200 for a 500 word text.

I hope this information is useful.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

*Note that Google does recommend that syndicated articles contain a link back to the original article.  All posts on 89Blogs, ERP And CRM Blogs have these link added automatically if pages are picked up for syndication.

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