8 Facts About Duplicate Content and Google

Real Estate Services with Digital Content Creator

EDIT 12-Dec: We're talking about duplicate *content* in significant numbers. After reading the comments I want to clarify - reposting your AR article to your hometown blog is not duplicate content. Creating 10 blogs and posting the same articles to them every day, day in and day out is duplicate content.

Over the years I have addressed "duplicate content" at least 10 times here on this blog, another 5 or more times on Social Media Edge radio and no telling how many times at conventions and seminars where I have been speaking. 

It still comes up.

Here are the facts, Googlesque, about duplicate content:

  • Chances are none of you are guilty of overloading the Google indexing engine with duplicate content.
  • You can have a limited amount of duplicated content without penalty - for example you may have a "web presentable page", a "print formatted page", a "plain text page", and a "mobile optimized page" all with identical content on the same domain.
  • If you use duplicate content for the reasons listed above use the canonical page tag to help Google's indexing engine. For example if you have two pages of identical information at say http://icobb.com/landings/index.php and http://ahkse.com/homeloans/index.php and you want the icobb URI to be the indexed version you would put the following in the head of http://ahkse.com/homeloans/index.php: 
    <link rel="canonical" href=" http://icobb.com/landings/index.php"/>
  • Google *may* index only one of your pages with the duplicated content.
  • Google will certainly only pick one of your duplicated pages to rank higher than the others.
  • I have seen duplicate pages ranking in the top ten at least 6 times for the same content - this is claimed by Google to "not happen". The reason it does is because the other content on the pages is significantly different.
  • Keeping the above in mind Google suggests you don't even use content filled headers, footers and sidebars. In reality I haven't seen that impact as duplicate data.
  • If you publish 10 carbon copy blogs and you are ranking high on multiples your biggest risk is your competitor complaining to Google and having them de-index all of your sites without warning.

And directly from Google engineering:

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. If your site suffers from duplicate content issues, and you don't follow the advice listed above, we do a good job of choosing a version of the content to show in our search results.

What does this mean?

It means you're probably okay and no in any danger with Google unless you're posting every blog post 3, 5 or 10 times on the same sites. Even if you're doing it just two or three times only one is going to rank higher than the rest and if you get 3 or more in the top ten for the same content and same search terms Google may not catch you but your competitor just may complain!

Need me to look at your site and see if you have this and other necessary steps completed? Yes, even if you have WordPress you could still be non-compliant. Call me at 678-439-8683 or connect with me here.


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Writer For Hire - I write. Whether you need blog content, research intense reports, data reports (and accompanying charts and graphics), ebooks, presentation content, speeches, advertising scripts, or similar, let me show you what you can have.

I started writing on Active Rain in 2006 when I was representing the mortgage industry. I am no longer in that industry and many of the older posts contain outdated information. Please do not contact me for LENDING or MORTGAGE questions but rather contact a licensed mortgage professional from your area. I have always been in marketing and branding and that is still what I do. Thanks for reading!


Re-Bloggged 8 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Luis Iniguez 12/11/2011 08:29 PM
  2. Yvonne Burdette-Van Camp 12/11/2011 08:34 PM
  3. Laurie Clark CRB Angel Realty LLC Your Monument Realtor 719-502-6572 12/11/2011 09:50 PM
  4. Gail Robinson 12/11/2011 11:05 PM
  5. Mary Macy 12/11/2011 11:13 PM
  6. Cheryl Ritchie 12/12/2011 10:14 PM
  7. Gene Riemenschneider 12/23/2011 03:37 PM
  8. Mott Kornicki 01/29/2012 09:09 PM
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Comments 77 New Comment

Andrew Mooers
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Always good reading to help guide the blog making process, to make sure rough edges are smoothed, that the process is understood. Even though always changing, improving.

December 23, 2011 03:47 PM
Larry Bettag
Regional Vice-President
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage

Dude....you're so "way over my head" let's just say that I'm not worthy to claim that I know you!  Thanks bro!

January 29, 2012 09:51 PM
Ralph & Janet Henze
Ralph Henze Homes - RE/MAX Elite

Hi Ken, do you know if there is any way to find out if a competitor complained to Google about your site?  Our website was steadily moving up in rankings for targeted key words, then suddenly we've disappeared.  We try to keep to all the rules but did post the same blog content on both our AR blog and our website blog. I really don't think it was a duplicate content issue.  

February 01, 2012 01:16 AM
Ken Cook
Writer For Hire
Digital Content Creator

Ralph - there is no way to know if someone complained but I can almost assure you it wasn't duplicate content. I'd be happy to do an evaluation for you and see how close we can get to the real answer. It's only $70 and I guarantee you'll get way more value than that - or you get your money back.

February 02, 2012 11:56 AM
Ken Cook
Writer For Hire
Digital Content Creator

To all those who continue to want to challenge my recommendations on duplicate content I thought of you this morning when I read this article: http://socialmediatoday.com/ginidietrich/637196/duplicate-content-two-ways-avoid-seo-problems

I don't think you're stupid or I'm better than you - I just don't want my friends to get caught in the spin cycle and get de-Googled.

July 24, 2012 08:33 AM

Ken Cook

Writer For Hire
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