Duplicate Content Penalty? It's mostly a myth.

Duplicate Content Penalty? It’s mostly a myth. 4 mins read

Since the introduction of the Panda Algorithm in 2011, marketers and SEO experts across the web have stated that the re-posting of content will hurt your search ranking. I’m here to tell you — that’s not always true. Evidence over the past few years has actually pointed to the fact that it doesn’t hurt or help you. For the most part: you simply get ignored.


Google has posted in-depth information on what duplicate content actually is and they provide recommendations on how to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you are re-posting content from other websites and are curious how to navigate around duplicate content issues that may arise, here are a few tips that can help:



1.) Write your own summaries

If you are copying content from another site, you should try to provide an original perspective on what they’re writing about. The easiest way (much like what I’m doing here) is to provide a synopsis on what information you find.


Google gives preference to “distinct information”.


2.) Linking back will help

If you’re using information from another source or syndicating content, you should quote it or provide links back to the original author. This shows their algorithms that you are not acting maliciously (which is important).


3.) Don’t attempt to manipulate the search engine

Copying an entire website will get you blacklisted. It might work temporarily but once they find you, and they will, your site is now, figuratively, dead to the world. From Google’s article:


“In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved.


Basically, they will drop your site from their index.



4.) Use 301 redirects and canonicals

A 301 redirect tells search engines that the page being requested has permanently moved to a new location. The crawler will update the search index and the user will be directed to the appropriate place. This is a win-win scenario.


Canonicals are tags that will tell the crawler which version of the requested page should be indexed. This is what it looks like:





In essence: http://ndigit.co/services should be indexed instead of http://ndigit.co/services?color=blue. If the content is largely the same and you’re just changing colors or non-important information, you should choose one or the other to index.


5.) Report scrapers that outrank your site

If you notice that another site that has copied your content and is actually outranking you — you should report it. Luckily, Google has a Scraper Reporting Tool for that!


6.) Syndicating content on social networks doesn’t hurt you

This is a question I get often. If you’re posting to social networks and are afraid that it will outrank you, there is a simple solution: post to your site first, wait for it to be indexed, then post to the social network. The LinkedIn publishing system is a great example of this.


Syndication makes sense as it expands your audience. Just make sure your site grabs the page authority first.


7.) Don’t expect duplicate content to help your SEO

If your site is 100% duplicate content, don’t expect it to outrank the original source. Google will just ignore your content and in rare cases it may get your site blacklisted.


Think differently? I welcome any constructive arguments against these points that may help educate folks. Hopefully this sheds some light on duplicate content and helps some of you out there.


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