Duplicate Content and Google

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October 28, 2012

Duplicate content is Google’s number one enemy – that is why the search engine giant is constantly coming up with ways to diminish if not totally eliminate it from their search engines.  Yes, that is how much they dislike it.

What exactly is it? Google defines duplicate content as substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.

However not all duplicate content found on the web is done deliberately, especially on ecommerce websites where similar content can be found among product descriptions that has very strict specifications, it can also be found on forums and in distributed press releases.

Google’s main pet peeve is when it is done intentionally and maliciously in order to get good and high search engine rankings and to direct more traffic flow on their websites.

Crawling and Filtering

How is duplicate content found? Crawling spiders are constantly all over the web, they filter through all the good and bad content found on a website.  Think of them as the maintenance team who makes sure that all content is tidied up and all in order. And when a search is made, it will do all it can to only come up with pages that have original information for the user.


However if the search engine identifiesa website with malicious duplicate content, they will do the appropriate action by indexing and ranking.  The guilty website will then be penalized by losing search rank or in some cases be taken out entirely from the search results.  For website owners, this is a mark of death.

Avoiding the Death Sentence

While Google is doing all it can to diminish suspicious duplicate, it also helps innocent websites avoid the death warrant by providing an endless list of ways to avoid such penalties.  You can find the information all over the web.

However, there are simple ways to avoid the wrath of Google.

  • When choosing or deciding on content for your website, make sure that everything is fresh and original.  Don’t clutter the web with useless information.  Google’s crawling spiders will find it.
  • If you allow some of your content to be published elsewhere, make sure you syndicate responsibly by always linking back to your original content.
  • Take advantage of webmaster tools and communicate with them on how you want your website to be indexed.
  • Keep yourself updated with the latest Google buzz about duplicate content and make sure that you will always follow their rules to avoid problems in the future.

Lifting the Death Sentence

If you’ve been found guilty and have been severely penalized by Google and you want to make amends – prepare for a major overhaul of your website.  Start by reading on the Webmaster Guidelines and doing all the necessary changes, even if it means starting from scratch.  Once the renovation of your website has been done, double check again with the guidelines just to make sure that this time, you are abiding by their rules, only then can you submit your website for reconsideration.  Once you’ve been pardoned, make sure that you don’t commit the same mistakes again.

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