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duplicate content kills seo

Duplicate Content Kills Your SEO

Duplicate content is a threat to your SEO rankings but not in the way you think.  It is distracting you from stuff that actually matters.  Google has no penalty and notes much of the web is duplicate content, the question is whether your use of the content ads value.  

Google noted over ten years ago that its not an issue. 

Let’s put this to bed once and for all, folks: There’s no such thing as a “duplicate content penalty.” At least, not in the way most people mean when they say that.

Google Webmaster Central Blog 2008

Duplicate content doesn’t cause your site to be penalized. If duplicate pages are detected, one version will be returned in the search results to ensure variety for searchers.

Google Webmaster Central Blog 2007

“Lots of duplicate content exists on websites, and often it’s not a pressing problem.”

In the video provided by Google on “How to hire an SEO” they gain note duplicate content isn’t a big deal.

SearchEngineLand.com has an article that addresses the myth of duplicate content penalties from 2016.

Duplicate Content Penalty

Duplicate Content is killing your SEO because you’re not doing something of value. Rather than worry about duplicate content why not write new content to your blog?  How about posting to relevant forums and share your expertise to attract attention to your site?  Maybe you should be monitoring your social media presence and posting about your services to Facebook?  Rather than duplicate content do some easy link building.  The real penalty of this kind of content is being distracted by it rather than using it well.

Basically SEO Tools online note Duplicate Content in their audits because it attracts your attention and its an easy false positive for SEO death watch.  If your using a tool thats all about duplicate content, stop using that tool.  How fast your page loads is more important.

Consider this … the Associated Press is a syndicated news source and its content appears on thousands of websites a day.  Do you think that MSNBC, FoxNews and your local newspaper site is being negatively affected?  No, its just not indexed.  That may sound scarey but its also not scarey…it just means the site that first created it gets indexed.

So don’t sweat the duplicate content.

SEO Tools Focus On Duplicare Content

What to do with duplicate content warnings from SEO Audits and SEO Tools?  

NOTHING.  You’ll be unlikely to rank for syndicated content, Google is pretty good to associate the first article with the keywords and the syndicated content likely adds to your site’s overall experience.

Why Have Duplicate Content?

VoteLouisville.com is all duplicate content but its a unique site because of the sources it pulls into one place.  Candidate site RSS feeds send press releases for the local elections and small independent news blogs are featured and sourced.  Local government news is posted to the site and its a one stop shop for all of this information but its not the source of most of that info. 

As long as it is sourced and comes from a sites news feed you aren’t stealing content.  If your site adds value to that content only added at your site, then its a valid use.

Duplicate Content Checkers

So why would I list tools to identify this content on your site?  It could be copyright infringement or plagiarism if not properly sourced and depending upon the site’s syndication policies.

So make sure you are using content that you are allowed to display, and always include a backlink to the source.

Matthew Leffler


Matthew Leffler is a freelance SEO on Upwork.com and SEOClerks.com with 20 years of technical experience and a technical education background. In those years of experience he's worked in several technical roles in informtation technology and software training. Matt has worked at Hewlett-Packard and Gateway Computers. Matthew earned his BSIT, MBA in Technology Management and MEd in Instructional Design. He holds over a dozen active technical certifications including A+, Netowrk+, Security+, Project+, is a Certified Webmaster Professional, and a HDI Help Desk Analyst.

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