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Is eating the same sandwich for lunch every day duplicate content?

     
2:30 am on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Alright, Google Webmaster Help video has posted a great link-bait headline:

Is eating the same sandwich for lunch every day duplicate content? [youtube.com]

But seriously folks, this is satire pointed at the sometimes obsessive duplicate content questions. "Is having the same main menu on every page duplicate content?" "Is repeating the same logo on every page going to get me a duplicate content penalty?"

[edited by: tedster at 7:10 am (utc) on April 15, 2009]

2:33 am on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If anyone is looking for some straight talk about duplicate content and Google, see this discussion:

Duplicate Content demystified [webmasterworld.com]

That and several other good discussions about the duplicate content boogie man are available in the Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page.

[edited by: tedster at 7:11 am (utc) on April 15, 2009]

4:35 am on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, if you have a blog about your daily lunches, it might be ;)
7:25 am on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wanted a reason not to ever work at Google, and this humour has done it for me. Thanks Matt.
12:52 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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OK well he's no Colbert, but give him a break. He made a pile of videos answering FAQs, and he gives clear answers. Kudos, Mr Cutts
12:55 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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not convinced :)
2:48 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So the sandwich is getting repeat visitors?:-)

"OK well he's no Colbert, but give him a break. He made a pile of videos answering FAQs, and he gives clear answers. Kudos, Mr Cutts "

I'm sure he does that mostly to make the web a better place hehe

[edited by: Makaveli2007 at 3:14 pm (utc) on April 15, 2009]

3:54 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Come on, that's a stupid question! Realistically, how many days could you actually eat the SAME sandwich? Unless you take *very* small bites, it would be gone after just a few meals. And even if you DID take very small bites, you'd have maybe a week at best before it started getting moldy. And even if you continued to eat the moldy sandwich, there's will come a point that the mold/non-mold ratio would no longer allow it to be considered the "same" sandwich (although philosophers have argued for years about that exact ratio).
4:02 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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But seriously folks, this is satire pointed at the sometimes obsessive duplicate content questions. "Is having the same main menu on every page duplicate content?" "Is repeating the same logo on every page going to get me a duplicate content penalty?"

will a cop give me a duplicate content ticket because i am a twin?

Let's put this to bed once and for all, folks: There's no such thing as a "duplicate content penalty." At least, not in the way most people mean when they say that.

and the bush burns on...

There are some penalties that are related to the idea of having the same content as another site—for example, if you're scraping content from other sites and republishing it, or if you republish content without adding any additional value. These tactics are clearly outlined (and discouraged) in our Webmaster Guidelines:

and this is what happens if g finds out i am taxpaying citizen indeed spawned from a single egg, but cloned by my foster parents so they'd have more kids to demolish the basement...

1. When we detect duplicate content, such as through variations caused by URL parameters, we group the duplicate URLs into one cluster.

2. We select what we think is the "best" URL to represent the cluster in search results.

3. We then consolidate properties of the URLs in the cluster, such as link popularity, to the representative URL.

the problem with this is...

In step 3, if we aren't able to detect all the duplicates of a particular page, we won't be able to consolidate all of their properties. This may dilute the strength of that content's ranking signals by splitting them across multiple URLs.

so read on to fix it:

[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

8:12 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Depends on many factors. Does it have EXACTLY the same amount of mayo every day? Does it have EXACTLY the same ounce of bologna on it every day? And we don't even want to start thinking about the lettuce problem...HAHA.

:)

8:15 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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On twitter, it might just be ;)
10:45 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My personal take on this is: why £$% videos? There are far too many of them as it is.

A simple text file would be far more use. Quite apart from the fact I never view videos (too dangerous for my mind and half the time the computer won't run them) it's much easier and quicker to refer to a simple text file or web page, or even print part or all of it for easy reference. Certainly much easier than a £$% video!

3:08 am on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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OK since its a video, there must be a transcript for it to be accessible for the disabled. Video's are a waste of time.
1:52 pm on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmm. The canonical meat tag. I like it. I'm certain the $49/mo SEOs will spin that.
2:59 pm on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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do these sammiches have the same title tag?
that's the most impor... awww.

...

I'm so hungry.

12:54 am on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So me thinking about an egg salad blog, thanks Ted!
8:37 am on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What about if you're literally eating the same sandwich everyday. Here is an exact example of what i mean:

Blue Widget picture of the day Monday April 12
Blue Widget picture of the day Tuesday April 13
Blue Widget picture of the day Wednesday April 14
and so on and so on

It's the same Blue Widget with the same keywords and the only difference would be different content as the words would reflect how the Blue Widget looked that day.

The H1 and Title would however remain the same but different day and date would be added.

7:39 am on Apr 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Blue Widget picture of the day Monday April 12
Blue Widget picture of the day Tuesday April 13
Blue Widget picture of the day Wednesday April 14
and so on and so on

As a famous French chef once wrote: "A peanut butter sandwich is a peanut butter sandwich is a peanut butter sandwich." ;)

Does it matter whether you ate it on April 12 or April 13 or April 14? In the case of your example, does it matter to searchers what date the sandwich was posted? Probably not. If not, then the date isn't useful enough information to distinguish among the pictures.

You need to find out what does matter to searchers. Maybe it's the flavor of the fruit jelly you slathered over the peanut butter. Maybe it's the kind of bread you used. But, if it's not the date that matters, then all of your sandwiches are effectively duplicates, because searchers don't look for what isn't of interest to them, and duplication is query dependent.

Beyond that, depending on how unique the query is, a certain critical mass of distinguishing text is often necessary.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:48 am (utc) on April 20, 2009]