Duplicate Content - Does it Really Matter?

by S3Ware
32 replies
There seems to be differing opinions on whether or not duplicate content matters in terms of SEO and Google rankings. I have heard some SEO experts teach that all of the content on your site should be unique for optimal ranking -- you can use duplicate content (and even pull in content from other blogs) but it will not be as effective as if all the content on your site was unique.

Others, however, say that duplicate content has little or no effect on rankings and that you can even post the same article to your blog and multiple article directories (as long as it is your own).

So, what is the definitive answer on duplicate content? I have no problem writing unique articles. I would just rather write one article and post it in 10 different places than write 10 unique versions of the same article to post once each.

Any thoughts???
#content #duplicate #matter
  • Profile picture of the author Brian Johnson
    Their is no question that duplicate content plays
    a HUGE role in website rankings. Those that say it
    does not play a part are spoon feeding you lies.

    Best,
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559712].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author simpleonline1234
    Duplicate content will get your penalized with Google and they will drop you in the SERPS unless......you give credit where credit is due. You must include the source of where you recieved that info in order to prevent creating or trying to pass off content as your own.

    If your smart you will write your own quality info for both the search engines and readers alike.
    Signature
    Check out deals
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559713].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Here is a re-post of a post I made which goes into more detail about this subject.

    The History of Duplicate Content.

    Back in the early days of SEO up until around 1997/98 (Google) you could have a page about making money online and your title would be How To Make Money Online the heading would be the same. The first paragraph would start off with this too and so on.

    One day, someone figured out that you could have an entire page with nothing but make money online, make money online...just like meta keywords.

    That didn't look very good to the human eye so the trick was to have an article for the human reader and under the table that held your article would be very long list of your keywords repeated over and over again but this time the keywords text would be the same color as the background.

    Invisible to the naked eye and the little search bots didn't have a clue so you could do this and be number one at anything.

    Then the invisible keyword text wars began. It was horrible. Every page you went to had a table with an article and about 3 pages long invisible text.

    The images all had these long "alt" tags that were nothing more than an entire string of keywords. It all started looking so bad that "doorway pages" were created to hold enough keywords to put War and Peace to shame with a redirect to the "real" page.

    One of the first "smart bots", Inktomi at HotBot realized that the only way to deal with this problem was to incorporate some sort of way to recognize unnecessary duplicate content.

    They started coming up with counting programs and formulas for determining meaningful content.

    The first thing they did was to drop your site if you had an unrealistic number of the same words over and over. Then they went to work on invisible text.

    Meanwhile, across town, a couple of fellas took this idea and ran with it and Google was born.

    Matt
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559760].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Here is just a quick little test.

    Dave Barry is a syndicated columnist writer and here is one of his article titles.

    Type this into Google

    Feeling Sick? Blame Your Computer

    The exact article comes up over and over and again.

    The sites that have those articles start ranking on the overall site's ability to satisfy the search terms not how many times the article is listed on Google's pages.

    If Google had a way to determine which individual articles were the most relevant, it would most certainly be the original newspaper article that Dave wrote for the paper he worked for. But as you can see, this is not the case.

    However, if the paper that Dave worked for had repeated his original article over and over again they would be "penalized" (marks against them in the ranking process) for having "duplicate content" (keyword stuffing) on their site.

    Obviously, Google does not count the number of times that a keyword is found throughout the web. It is concerned with the amount of times it is found on individual pages and sites.

    Matt
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559764].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author VegasGreg
    James? Oh, James, where are you? You must be on Holiday for the New Years. You usually bust down the "Duplicate Content" questions within 2 minutes!!

    In a nutshell:
    Duplicate Content within the same site is bad.

    On different sites, not bad.

    End of story. There are plenty of threads already on this forum that will go into details and provide all the proof you need. (Not just opinions, but proof)
    Signature

    Greg Schueler - Wordpress Fanatic... Living The Offline Marketing Dream...

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559780].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
      Originally Posted by VegasGreg View Post

      ...provide all the proof you need. (Not just opinions, but proof)
      I just gave them proof. Dave Barry.

      Matt
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559813].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by VegasGreg View Post

      James? Oh, James, where are you? You must be on Holiday for the New Years. You usually bust down the "Duplicate Content" questions within 2 minutes!!

      In a nutshell:
      Duplicate Content within the same site is bad.

      On different sites, not bad.

      End of story. There are plenty of threads already on this forum that will go into details and provide all the proof you need. (Not just opinions, but proof)
      Nah I was just waiting to see what others had to say ... It is obvious many still think duplicate content penalty exist even when google itself says it DOES NOT! ..

      Let me correct a few though - Duplicate content on the same site does not hurt you either.. I have already tested this and I still have dup content on my site and it ranks very well ..

      Want proof ?? Ok before others ask for the proof .. Well let me put it this way .. Any site that uses a db for content (wordpress for example) and uses .htaccess for SEO'ed urls has dup content because those same url's can be pulled up with the db id number also. Thus you do in fact have 2 different urls on the same domain with the same exact content...

      What google does not want is for you to create "doorway pages" for the purpose to fake the spider out to get good rankings..

      James
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560465].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
        Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

        Duplicate content on the same site does not hurt you either.. I have already tested this and I still have dup content on my site and it ranks very well..
        So if I have a Wordpress blog and my default posts per page is set at 10 posts and post the same article 10 times there will be no penalty?

        The exact same article repeated down the page with the same titles and tags will not be penalized?

        Is that what you are saying? You have done this and it ranks well?

        Matt
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560720].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
          Originally Posted by Matt Maiden View Post

          So if I have a Wordpress blog and my default posts per page is set at 10 posts and post the same article 10 times there will be no penalty?

          The exact same article repeated down the page with the same titles and tags will not be penalized?

          Is that what you are saying? You have done this and it ranks well?

          Matt
          No you are missing the point ... For 1 thing there is no penalty this comes directly from google on their own video...

          Anyways ... Any site that is dynamically driven and use SEO urls (wordpress, article directories, bookmarking sites, forums and etc) .. They all have 2 urls to the same exact page with the exact same content..

          For Example:

          http://www.mydomain.com/article.php?item=1205

          http://www.mydomain.com/Back_linking...2.0_sites-1205

          Would be the exact same page, it is only read by the browser as the SEO one because you are telling it to do so. Fact is both urls work though and yes can be indexed by google.

          Now let's take this a little further...

          Go to any thread on the forum and change your title and see does it not give you a new url but the same exact thread. See 2 urls now pull up the same exact thread on this very forum and yes both can be indexed by google...

          Now let's go a little bit further...

          If I own an article directory and I also have 2 blogs and even a bookmarking sites all on the same domain name. I take the article summary and post it on my blogs linking to the article and now I take the article and bookmark it on my bookmarking site which is on the same domain..

          Well guess what they are all using the same exact url and content. The summary is already posted on the article directory but now also posted on 2 blogs and a bookmarking site.. This is what you call dup content but fact is google does not punish for it.

          Again what google does not want you to do is create doorway pages for the purpose of abusing the system to get higher rankings.. Using SEO'ed urls is not abuse and posting on your own blog is not abuse...

          James
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560791].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
        Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

        What google does not want is for you to create "doorway pages" for the purpose to fake the spider out to get good rankings..
        That is why Google created the duplicate content penalty in the first place.

        Used in the manner above is how Google defined "duplicate content".

        Over the years so many people have been confused by the misinformation around Google's definition of "duplicate content" that they have since changed their language for this.

        Don't think though that because Google has changed their language and stated that there is no penalty for duplicate content that you will not be penalized for repeating keywords, keyword stuffing, and tricks of that nature.

        Repeating keyword and keyword stuffing are a couple of things that fell under Google's "duplicate content".

        Maybe they have changed their definitions and terminology but if anyone here suggests that it's ok to stuff your page with keywords and abuse tags and any other form of "spider baiting" then they are full of sh*t.

        I have been developing high ranking PR authority sites for years before there even was a Google.

        And some of these SEO experts have a lot of theories but from my personal experience listening to these dudes most of them are full of crap.

        All the engineers and scientist in the World can come up with a good design for an aircraft that should fly, but it takes a test pilot to know if it flies or not.

        Matt
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560793].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
          Originally Posted by Matt Maiden View Post

          Don't think though that because Google has changed their language and stated that there is no penalty for duplicate content that you will not be penalized for repeating keywords, keyword stuffing, and tricks of that nature.

          Repeating keyword and keyword stuffing are a couple of things that fell under Google's "duplictae content".
          Keyword stuffing and repeating the same keywords over and over is not duplicate content... Google will punish for these tactics yes.. But duplicate content is the same exact content repeated over and over...

          James
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560812].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
            Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

            Keyword stuffing and repeating the same keywords over and over is not duplicate content... .. But duplicate content is the same exact content repeated over and over...
            Repeating anything over and over again to gain a higher rank in the search engines is what Google in the past has viewed as "duplicate content".

            One site using repetitive content throughout the site or on a single page for the purpose of gaining favor is what is frowned upon.

            If I have a theme and my theme is consistent throughout my site then I am not trying to "fool" anyone.

            If the Washington Post started using the same article on every page they would be penalized.

            If they have a ten page feature on the White House they are being consistent with their theme.

            Matt
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560861].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dlprentice
    Im too young to remember the invisible text wars, but duplicate content does not help. Why do you think affiliate programs with the exact same capture page have such a hard time? The only one getting the traffic is the main page or someone who advertises the heck out of their page to try, and get above the original. So yes original content is good, and duplicate is bad.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559784].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
      Originally Posted by dlprentice View Post

      Why do you think affiliate programs with the exact same capture page have such a hard time?
      Because one of them has more "off site" SEO like backlinks.

      Using your example, you see many of the same pages so some of them are not penalized.

      Most rank does not come from doing something wrong or others doing something wrong.
      Most rank comes from what you are doing that's right.

      You get penalized for trying to cheat.
      Duplicate content, in the eyes of Google, is cheating.

      A thousand different websites publishing the same article is not cheating.

      It is redundancy. The ranking system is a way to sort through the redundancy so Google can offer more value to their service.

      Matt
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559845].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    It matters if that's all you have on your site. If it is mixed with your unique content it might still matter, but a lot less. I still get traffic to my autoblogs which consist of duplicate content but the traffic would be a ton higher if each article was unique.
    Signature
    Time of thinking is over.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559791].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
    I've created sites exclusively with duplicate content and achieved high rankings in Google with those sites.

    I'm not suggesting you go out and create a duplicate content site just because it may be easy. You should evaluate your goals for the site first, and if you find already published content that helps you achieve those goals, then go for it.

    John
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559820].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Duplicate content only causes a penalty if you have duplicate pages on your own site. For example, if www. yourdomain.com/topic1 has the same content as www. yourdomain.com/topic2 you may get penalized in the SERP's.

    If you have an article posted on your site, and then submit the exact same article to article directories you will not get a penalty. The SERPs are looking to penalize sites that post the same content over and over again on one site.

    If sites did get penalized for having dublicate content, every news agency in the United States would have highly penalized websites. All of them post the same articles from the Associated Press every single day.
    Signature
    New Private Mastermind Group Discussing SEO, Local SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and more -
    Open for A Limited Time!

    Request to Join
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559823].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Damnit, I was typing too slow...
    Signature
    New Private Mastermind Group Discussing SEO, Local SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and more -
    Open for A Limited Time!

    Request to Join
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559832].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    There have been a lot of controversy over duplicate content and a lot of people hold different views. Truth is, duplicate content do not really harm your site, except you will hardly get a back link from a duplicate content. The link that you might not be building is what actually makes your site to drop off the serp.

    Think about this, you competitors can easily use a duplicate content against you. The search engines aren't that daft.

    Original content gives you back links while duplicate content do not.
    Signature
    Grow your social media account, Spotify Streams, YT Views & IG Followers & More
    Software & Mobile APP Developer
    Buy Spotify, Facebook Bot & IG M/S Method
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1559887].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      I have to disagree with the last part of Johnben's post.

      Duplicate content does indeed give you backlinks. I have submitted the exact same article to hundreds of article directories on numerous occassions. Many of those articles are showing as backlinks to the sites I pointed them to.
      Signature
      New Private Mastermind Group Discussing SEO, Local SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and more -
      Open for A Limited Time!

      Request to Join
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560409].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Most SEO experts don't know that people in the New Age niche respond well to the color purple on a site design. Or that medical pages should be using blues and greens.

    People in San Francisco don't respond very well to "hype" headlines.

    If you include an American Flag or those colors on your page that people in the Mid West "Red States" you get a higher conversion rate.

    If I am working on a "dog" site I will talk about getting bit and should know what to do about it.

    SEO experts don't know how to "name drop" within a niche. They don't know who is passe' and who is the Hot author even though Amazon doesn't confirm it.

    My point is that regardless of what the stats and books and even what Google says about what works and what doesn't that it isn't always the case.

    I have gone into niches that Google didn't even know existed and all of the top keyword software said there was no traffic and have been able to get hundreds of uniques per day.

    So software that costs hundreds of dollars and almighty Google says there is nobody home and yet I can build an authority site that pulls like crazy.

    Sorry for the rant but I have heard so much bullsh*t float around this place for so long that I think I'm done with it.

    Matt
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560822].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    And some of these SEO experts have a lot of theories but from my personal experience listening to these dudes most of them are full of crap.
    One thing I will agree with, never listen to a so-called expert.. instead go out and test it for yourself ...

    James
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560856].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
      Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

      One thing I will agree with, never listen to a so-called expert.. instead go out and test it for yourself ...

      James
      Exactly. I have been "testing" for over 16 years now.

      One of my favorite quotes:
      "One test is more valuable than one thousand expert opinions". A NASA Engineer

      Matt
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560872].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author allbeeg
        Matt & James,

        Thanks for the great info!

        Greg
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560912].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author theemperor
    Okay I have a further question about dupe content - on my wordpress installation I accidently got a backlink with an extra ) at the end. Wordpress shows the same page not a 404 error.

    So there are now 2 articles indexed:

    myblog*com/my-article
    myblog*com/my-article)

    Both of course with the same content?

    Will this hurt me?

    If so could I do this on purpose to my competitors to hurt them ... hypothetically?
    Signature
    Learn to code faster, and remove the roadblocks. Get stuff done and shipped! PM me and I can help you with programming tutoring, specialising in Web and the following languages: Javascript ~ HTML ~ CSS ~ React ~ JQuery ~ Typescript ~ NodeJS ~ C#.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560894].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by theemperor View Post

      Okay I have a further question about dupe content - on my wordpress installation I accidently got a backlink with an extra ) at the end. Wordpress shows the same page not a 404 error.

      So there are now 2 articles indexed:

      myblog*com/my-article
      myblog*com/my-article)

      Both of course with the same content?

      Will this hurt me?

      If so could I do this on purpose to my competitors to hurt them ... hypothetically?
      Huh ??? A backlink has nothing to do with dup content ....

      James
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560913].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author theemperor
        Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

        Huh ??? A backlink has nothing to do with dup content ....

        James
        Google doesn't know that the two links are really to the same page. It will think they are different pages, because they have two different URLS, but with duplicate content. So I will get penalised. Get it?
        Signature
        Learn to code faster, and remove the roadblocks. Get stuff done and shipped! PM me and I can help you with programming tutoring, specialising in Web and the following languages: Javascript ~ HTML ~ CSS ~ React ~ JQuery ~ Typescript ~ NodeJS ~ C#.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560941].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
          Originally Posted by theemperor View Post

          Google doesn't know that the two links are really to the same page. It will think they are different pages, because they have two different URLS, but with duplicate content. So I will get penalised. Get it?
          For one thing ")" would be ignored ... Read my post above about changing your title on a WF Thread ... 2 links both same page, sorry but WF is not being smacked by google ...lol

          James
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1560961].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author S3Ware
    Guys, thanks for all the good insight. I guess you can't go wrong if you can use unique content whenever possible, but from what I am hearing, the same content posted on multiple sites is not considered duplicate content ... duplicate content refers to the same content appearing multiple times within the same site. Is this correct?

    And as far as ranking, backlinks are the most important factor?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1570993].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by baib21 View Post

      duplicate content refers to the same content appearing multiple times within the same site. Is this correct?

      And as far as ranking, backlinks are the most important factor?
      That is correct, it's called syndication and many many places do it including news websites, press release sites, and etc ..

      Backlinks are important but so is proper keyword research, seo, and etc ..

      James
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1571370].message }}

Trending Topics