There has been much talk on the subject of Duplicate content over the last couple of years, many different opinions have been voiced and hundreds if not thousands of pages dedicated to trying to uncover the true effects of duplicate content and how it affects SEO and your websites rankings.
How Google sees duplicate content
To look at what’s really going on, let’s first listen to Matt Cuts from the Google web spam team to see what he has to say on the matter.
So there you have it, from the horse’s mouth so to speak, duplicate content won’t cause you a problem, but wait just a minute, that’s not what he said. He actually said “you should not stress about it” unless it’s spammy. Google does not expect all T&C pages to be completely different and legal disclaims will have to be pretty much the same to be useful, and this is what he was talking about.
Whereas if you are copying other people content or using spinners, just to fill you website with keyword rich pages then this is certainly going to be seen as spam by Google and this will definitely cause you and your website a problem.
Google is getting better and better at determining spam duplicate content and penalising it. They are rolling out new updates all the time and even if they don’t view your content as spam and issue you a penalty, it’s going to be very difficult to rank pages with it on, especially as it’s probably been taken from or you are trying to out rank a site with a higher authority.
Everyone will tell you that when it comes to search engine rankings, content is king, but its quality content that’s unique that Google is really looking for, otherwise the search results would be a list full of the same article on different website. Remember, the only purpose of publishing all this content is to get traffic after all, and if it’s not great content that gives something to the reader and engages them, Google is going to see this and rank your page below other content that reader love, share and engage with.
When it comes to having duplicate content on your own website, ie multiple url’s on your site all with the same content (this is especially common on ecommerce websites) then the simplest answer is to use a 301 redirect pointing all the url’s to the same location and telling Google that and you are pushing visitors to one unique page.
So if you have something to say on a subject, then write it, publish it and add to the quality and usefulness of the web, rather than filling it full of repeats like some satellite TV channels.