What You Should Know About Duplicate Content

For years, we have heard about the dangers of duplicate content and how an unflinching rigid set of standards govern how search engines perceive it. There are many examples of duplicate content all across the web, however, with each individual instance proving that the rules that govern it are not uniform in nature. Many people fret over whether to include various quotes, references or even passages from other pages of their website for fear that the search engines gods will rain fury down upon them. There are many things you should know about duplicate content: we’ll discuss a few of the most important ones today in order to guide you in the right direction.

Scrapers Are Not Going to Hurt You

Many people worry about the effects that scrapers can have on their own rankings. Those who carefully monitor Google Webmaster Tools will occasionally see that a site has lifted substantial portions of its content and replicated it as its own. Despite the concerns, this is almost never a problem for the original publisher. The reason is simple: most websites that scrape content are low-ranking entities that are easily discerned from the original publisher. Their scraped content often provides little to no benefit to them, and may even help by pinging your website some traffic if there are residual links in the content pointing back to you. Ultimately, don’t worry about the effects that scrapers will have on you. In the event you are outranked by someone who has scraped content, Google’s Scraper Report Tool can be used to fix the issue.

Duplicate Content Isn’t Harmful…in Some Cases

The primary fear surrounding duplicate content is that any presence of it will automatically penalize your website with search engines. However, Google has spoken on the matter some time ago and sought to correct the record. In conclusion, duplicate content only harms a website’s rankings if it appears to be of a directly plagiarizing or spammy nature. This means that websites do not have to worry about multiple pages on their domain having identical content, so long as it is relevant, useful and their own. Likewise, sharing content from other websites – with proper attributions, of course – is not going to endanger your website’s rankings in whichever SERPs you’re targeting. A definitely good thing to know, and it will certainly ease the minds of many who are afraid to copy and paste anything onto their websites.

Don’t Be Afraid to Share Guest Content

If you are a full-time writer – or even just someone who occasionally guest blogs elsewhere – and you want people to be able to read all of your contributions, then never fear. Many worry that republishing their guest blog posts will cause harm to their personal websites. Again, Google is clearly more intelligent than most people give it credit for. Especially when using canonical identification, you can post guest content you originally posted elsewhere on your website without any worries that you’ll be pinging your website with the wrong signals. Duplicate content in this case is A-OK, but you’ll of course want to make sure that it’s OK for you to share the content after contributing it to the original  site in question.

Duplicate content isn’t nearly as scary as many people believe. As long as your intentions are good, Google generally knows how to classify it.


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