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Possible to undo product page duplicate content penalty?

 5:07 pm on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi Everyone,

I was curious if Google will undo a duplicate content penalty on a page and if so, how long does it take to regain rankings.

I was ranked #2 for a product however the description was copied from the manufacturer website ranked #1. I have since been dropped in rankings.

If I was to re-write the content, would Google undo the duplicate content penalty and if so, how long would it take to regain my rankings?

Just a side note, at the same time I added another product (very similar) but created unique content for the page. I am still ranked #2 (manufacturer product page being #1).

Thanks in advance for your help!



 9:26 pm on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's not really a penalty - it's actually a filter - so there's no "black mark" against your page. If your content is no longer duplicated on another site, then you do have a chance to rank well again.


 1:19 pm on Jun 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

So it should start gaining rankings once it is crawled again. Thats good to hear :)


 3:19 pm on Jun 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's the way Google looks at it. There's no value to their users if many of the results go to the same exact content - different search results should target different information, so duplicate versions get filtered out, even if they would otherwise rank.

If your re-written page is to show up again, it will need all the ranking and relevance factors required to rank for that search query. So you've got a delicate balance to maintain in your re-write. But since your URL used to rank, you do have a good chance.


 2:06 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi Tedster, I wanted to provide an update on this.... the page is now no longer indexed in Google. I have even built some links to it from other websites (about a week ago) but it has been removed from the index.

Any advice?

Thanks again for your help! :)


 2:51 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

That certainly is disturbing. When you say the page is no longer indexed, do you mean that putting its full URL into the Google search box gives you "no results"?


 7:25 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you make big changes to a page, sometimes it will temporarily disappear from the Google SERPs, just for a short time.


 7:31 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just to come back to the original topic of this thread for a second:

It's not really a penalty - it's actually a filter - so there's no "black mark" against your page.

Understanding that it is a filter instead of a penalty, would it still make sense to submit a reinclusion request through webmaster tools in a situation like this? Maybe say something like, "I had used the manufacturer-supplied description for convenience and now replaced it with a new, more informative description?"

Or would that make no difference whatsoever?


 8:49 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think it would be best to wait and see how the page does in the SERPs during the weeks after it is revised. Hopefully the revisions will enable it to escape the filter and gain a good ranking, so that a reinclusion request won't be needed.


 8:50 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

When it comes to content, Google is going to do its own analysis - I don't think a reconsideration request will have any effect. Can't hurt to try, I guess.


 9:04 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Typing the just the URL in Google or starting it with site: do not give any results. I created a blog post this morning with a couple links to the page to see if that will help include it back into results.

Does the duplicate content filter tend to deindex pages instead of lower their rankings?


 10:17 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

No, the filter doesn't tend to de-index the filtered page - it's just a filter, and it just hides other URLs from view in the search results. So it sounds like something has gone a lot further south in this case.

Now I would say it might be worth a reconsideration request. But first, have you eliminated all the manufacturer's boilerplate from your site's pages? If so, then you've got something to write about.


 10:38 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's s few items to check as part of your trouble-shooting.

- Is anything amiss in your robots.txt?
- Is there an accidental "noindex" left over from a test version of the page?
- Does the page have any coding / validation errors?

Validation errors don't usually affect ranking (so far as we know) but once in a while the wrong error can stop a spider in its tracks, so when a page is having problems it's worth checking how well it validates.

Don't ask how I know about these things ...


 1:24 pm on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)


Thanks again for all your replies. Everything is fine in the robots and the page is indexed (actually got indexed just after I made the post on the 22nd. The page is not coming up and it there are barely any other results. I created a blog post on my site for the product and it comes up #3. My homepage even comes up on the first page as it states the product part number. The actual product page is nowhere to be seen even though I built links over the past week (around 5 from old indexed pages).

Should I remove the page and start over? I could also setup a 301 redirect on the old page for the links I have built.

Thanks again for your help!


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