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Could this be considered duplicate content?



5:19 am on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a site with businesses grouped by category, one page per category. For each business I copied a paragraph, or maybe two, from their own web site. Along with that text I provide some basic information about the business, along with a link to their own home page.

The businesses that I've contacted don't seem to have any problem with this; after all I'm providing a link to their website.

So, at the top of the page there appear a few paragraphs of my own text, followed by a list of ten or twenty businesses, each with a paragraph or two of copied text.

Could this possibly be considered duplicate content by Google?


5:56 am on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

It could possibly give your page the same signature as autogenerated scraper spam. That's not exactly the same as duplicate content -- it's potentially much worse.

Duplicate content gets dealt with by a filter that tries to make sure any given search result only gets one version of the content. That's all - and it's not a penalty against your site. But scraper spam could get an entire site penalized or even banned.

So I think the key here how this kind of page and your domain as a whole are being dealt with at Google:

1. Is your domain in the index?
2. Is your domain affected by a penalty? (is it #1 on a search for your domain [example.com]
3. Is your business listing page in the index?
4. Is it getting search traffic from Google?


12:04 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks tedster. I was talking about a modification that I had started to work on as if it had already been published, which I see now was a mistake.


1:19 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Could this possibly be considered duplicate content by Google?

The simple answer is yes however the severity of the penalty/mark down will vary depending how well the original site is SEO'd.

For instance every week I have a "Site of the Week" feature on the index page and the previous one is archived. I find suitable explanatory text on that website and use it alongside a 200 x 150 image and together with that text and a Google search box for my site many users find those sites for the first time because it is most unlikely they would have found them using a normal SERPs search for their widgets.

Interestingly many of the sites, probably about 50%, when searched for in Google are found on my directory simply because their sites are very badly SEO'd!

This weekend I was looking at a fabulous 100 page site that only has the index page and the about page in ALL search engines since their site builders have made a right mess of the javascript navigation.

Interestingly this company has requested our assistance in marketing and sorting out their site:-)

There are many directory and scraper sites out there and whether you could rise above much of the dross and quality could be hard work and especially so for a new site.


1:38 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hard work

Yes HuskyPup, that is what we're all trying to avoid here.

It looks like I'm going to have to go back and create my own introductory paragraph for all of those businesses, which might just result in my having a good website. One day.


2:01 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I hate this description!

Could you not Web 2.0 it and get those businesses to do the text for you advising them not to repeat ad verbatim what they already have?

I assume you must have a fairly good email database of the companies you are targetting?

If you don't like the idea of users doing things, I don't, then why not write to them and ask them to send you a brief and up-to-date company profile?

Anything to cut down on your own work has to be good and companies ought to know in which "new" direction(s) they are heading.


2:06 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This sounds like one of those perfect jobs for an intern/temp/willing family member wanting to learn. A list of criteria that each write up must adhere to, full awareness that a large sample of write-ups will be checked, and bob's your uncle, hundreds of bespoke listings.

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