Will my site be hurt by duplicate content?

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duplicate homerThe short answer is no
- but it is something we are well aware and always on the look out for. The idea that Google despises duplicate content is often misconstrued and blown out of proportion. Yes, Google does look for duplicate content, but they not looking to destroy every single duplicated page from the internet. The real goal here is for Google to provide higher quality, more accurate and more relevant results to their users. This means that Google is really going after low quality, spammy sites.

The internet is littered with poorly designed, poorly written, useless sites. These sites are created because the owner hopes for a few stray clicks on the ads placed right next to their horrible content. Often times, this content might be stolen from another site - generally referred to as "scraping."

Take this site for example. All the content is scraped from other sources, it is poorly formatted and is incomplete. The page is also stuffed to the brim with irrelevant ads. This is one of the major signals Google looks at when determining how useful a page is. If the page is overflowing with ads, it's probably not providing useful information to visitors.

Google is also on the lookout for duplicate content within a domain. Ecommerce sites often end up with duplicate product pages because of poor site structure. With the site structure we build in WordPress, this type of duplicate content will not appear on your site.

There are plenty of times when duplicate content is acceptable - blog syndication is a perfect example. This type of duplication happens every day all across the internet and Google understands this. They are not looking to penalize a site for using syndicated blog posts as long as that site is providing quality, relevant information to visitors.

An internal training document for website quality raters was recently leaked from Google. One SEO expert summarizes:

“This may come as a surprise in a Post-Panda world, but Google officially recognizes that copied content isn’t automatically low quality, as long as it’s well-organized, useful, and isn’t just designed to drive ad views. Again, this is a bit subjective, and it’s clear that you have to add value somehow. A site with nothing but copied content (whether legitimately syndicated or scraped) isn’t going to gain high marks, and a site that’s only using copied content to wrap ads around it is going to be flagged as spam.”

This is a very important idea to grasp. Yes, our blog posts are syndicated, but the rest of the pages on your site contain high quality, unique content. Google isn't targeting your site. Your site is NOT spam. We monitor rankings and traffic for hundreds of sites. To this date, we have yet to see any penalties applied because of duplicate content. In fact, the blog tends to be one of the most active areas of the site because it’s well indexed by Google and easily found in search results. This would not be the case if Google was penalizing the site for duplicate content. 

Despite not seeing any penalties, we are always looking to stay ahead of the curve. Our Editorial Team is constantly working to improve our content management and find better ways of bringing quality content to your site.

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