A recent study found that 29% of websites were using duplicate content.
But duplicate content is terrible for SEO, right? Well, it is no longer that black and white. Duplicate content may not actually be the bad guy that it once was now that the Google algorithm has changed.
If you are wondering how does google treat duplicate content, keep reading. We will explain everything in this short guide.
What is Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is any content that appears in more than one place online, either on multiple pages on one website or across several websites. According to Google’s own definition, it is substantial amounts of text that matches other content exactly and is in the same language.
Google does not view most duplicate content as ‘deceptive in origin’ but recognizes that in many situations, content will duplicate itself naturally. For example, in mobile versions of websites, product descriptions, or printable content where developers reproduce content for a valid reason. They do this for the user’s benefit to make content more accessible and easy to use on different devices.
So not all duplicate content is inherently bad and an attempt to rip off copywriting from another website. Google has begun to recognize this and is reducing the number of penalties for duplicate content.
How Does Google Treat Duplicate Content?
Despite the popular myth, duplicate content does not affect your search rankings if it is clearly non-malicious. Duplicate content should still be kept to a minimum on your website and only used in cases like those mentioned above. If you are using duplicated text to pad out your website or try and make it seem more valuable than it is, then Google can now recognize this.
Their search algorithm is now powerful enough to distinguish the difference most of the time. However, it may not always get it right. As such, it is better to still avoid duplicating content where possible to avoid any unnecessary confusion. You can learn more about great content here.
If your content is well written and adds value, Google will recognise this and give you the ranking you deserve. Duplicate content that is clearly present to manipulate the algorithm or stuff unnecessary keywords is easy to identify, and Google will penalize it.
Can Scrapers Hurt My Site?
Scraping is a process of taking content directly another person’s website to use on their own. Sometimes this is to extract data legitimately to reform it and present it from a different angle. However, there are bot scrapers who simply steal content to repurpose it in the exact same form on their site.
This obviously counts as duplicate content in the eyes of Google. So, should we be worried?
In truth, no. Google can recognize quality content and a website that adds value to the community. Most scraper sites are low-ranking, poor-quality blogs that steal content to fill their pages. They offer very little value to the web space, and Google acknowledges them as such.
If your website does get scraped, do not let it concern you. However, if the site does outrank your own, you can request a digital takedown of the content if the site owners will not remove the duplicate content on request.
Duplicate Content Is an SEO Myth
Duplicate content is no longer the big boogie man it used to be. Google has changed its ways, but despite this, the myth of duplicate content still carries weight in the world of SEO. Hopefully, this blog has put your mind at ease and given you a good answer to ‘how does Google treat duplicate content?’.
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