(See what we did there?) If you search for any topic on the web, you will be likely to find several similar versions of the same information. With a vast and ever growing Internet, new web pages being built every day and limited ways of presenting the same information, it may be hard to determine what “duplicate content” really means. The issue of duplicate content is a tricky one for most people to wrap their minds around. Common questions include, “Isn’t duplicate content bad for SEO?” and, “Won’t Google penalize your website for having similar information as another?” We hear those kinds of questions a lot and wanted to address them!
What is duplicate content?
Duplicate content is substantive blocks of content within a website or across other websites that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Now, we’re not talking about plagiarism here; that’s a whole other story entirely. Duplicate content is non-malicious, in that it exists because it is boilerplate language that a website must include legally or a statement of fact (ex. a list of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease will naturally be quite similar if not exactly the same from one website to the next). Some duplicate content is also what’s known as “syndicated content,” or the way in which website material is made available to multiple other sites.
Do you have duplicate content? There are many ways to look online and find out. One way you can tell is if you copy and paste your content into Google’s search bar. Then, look for copies of the content. Or, you can also subscribe to a service such as CopyScape that will run through your content and look for matching copies online.
How does duplicate content affect SEO?
For the answer to this question, I will go straight to the horse’s mouth: Per Google, “Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.” Google’s head of search spam Matt Cutts echoes this in his statements about non-spammy duplicate content.
If you find a health care blog online and like the content, you cannot simply copy and paste the article or even paragraphs of the article into your own blog. Google cannot rank your blog higher than the original copy. However, you can paraphrase some items, rewrite the information in your own words, or you can quote and give credit to the information within your own blog article.
SEO is an important part of your online marketing strategy, and it is natural to be concerned about whether or not you’re doing it right. Rest assured that, with corecubed as your marketing partner, we’ll stay on top of emerging SEO issues in order to keep your site in good standing with Google!
Do you have questions about duplicate content? Let us know in the comments below!