What’s Google’s Take
On Duplicate Content?
Does Google punish sites that publish duplicate content?
Google’s Matt Cutt’s takes on the question:
“How does Google handle duplicate content and what negative effects can it have on rankings from an SEO perspective?”
I want to add two very important notes to this that are relevant to internet marketers, particularly those of us on WordPress.
1. Your own categories and tags can work against you by creating a bunch of duplicate content on your own site. This simply confuses Google about which categories and tags are relevant.
While there is a lot of differing opinions, my usual recommendation is to keep your categories distinct and aim for a dozen or less per blog. (Many prefer to aim for 5-6 if you want to get well niched.) Then make sure that each post goes in no more than 2 of them. (That way the category pages always look different.) With tags, use them generously, but try to avoid a lot of overlap like “friend”, “friends”, etc which would all have all of the same articles in them.
Remember categories are general classifications, tags are more specific classification.
2. PLR – Private Label Content – is something that can be incredibly useful for your blog. However, as you heard from Matt, it’s not for SEO unless you do a full re-write. It’s informative content for your reader. You don’t get punished for helping your reader. (But don’t expect it to rank.)
PLR is a favorite of many bloggers because they often serve as article templates that we then can enrich, fill out, and turn into publication worthy pieces. On their own, they are usually quite shallow but they can be a great jumping off point for when you are having a hard time getting blog posts done. Just remember to add your own elements… because your readers came to the blog to see YOU.
I’m glad that Matt Cutts came out and answered this one pretty directly as it’s been a HUGE source of confusion for many marketers.
There is a HUGE percentage of the web that is legitimate, useful, duplicate content – such as when local news channels run articles that were written by Associated Press or other content services.
I think it makes sense that Google doesn’t want to show 10 copies of the same thing!
They’re doing what’s in the best interest of their readers… and you should do the same!
~ Kim ~
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