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Destroy SEO by copying/duplicating content?

     
1:53 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Is it true that duplicate content ruins your site's search engine ranking?

For eg; let's say someone wrote an article about something, and you, with permission, copy/paste the entire article on your site.

I've heard Google penalizes those who do this, but there are hundreds of articles copied into other sites, so are they all suffering?
4:21 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've heard Google penalizes those who do this

Not exactly a penalty, no. But Google also doesn't want to give users a results page that is just the same thing ten times. So they try to show only one "copy" in the results - and it might not be the one the webmaster hoped for.
5:17 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google try to find the original content : publication date, links, text analysis are combined to rank the original content better than copies.
5:58 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google try to find the original content : publication date, links, text analysis are combined to rank the original content better than copies.

I think I would qualify that as "usually rank...."
6:55 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google try to find the original content...


This thread from not long ago discusses Google and dupe vs original content....

You can lose ranking if others copy you
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4108163.htm
[webmasterworld.com...]

As you can see from the discussion and a spinoff thread, publication date is not always easy to resolve, and it's unfortunately not always the case that the original content does better on Google than the copies do. Generally, the page with the best links/highest PageRank wins, and Google filters the rest.

I don't recommend building a site with duplicated content, whether with permission or not... nor would I make any of my content available for syndication.

Uniqueness is a core factor in SEO. In a way, what you're doing when you build a site is trying to stand out from the background noise.
4:58 am on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The advice is kind of contradictory there;

on the one hand it says no one can really do anything deliberate to affect your seo ranking

on the other hand, if you have say 20 other sites duplicating your content word for word, you will be affected seo-wise
5:06 am on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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it says no one can really do anything deliberate to affect your seo ranking


Not exactly the way things are. Here's what Google says:

Can competitors harm ranking? There's almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.

[google.com...]

Notice the word "almost"? Some competitors have tried and succeeded with some pretty dark disruptive tactics.

What I recommend to clients who want to syndicate content is that they write a shorter version of the article and include a link to the "extended version" which they host on their own website. It's worked pretty well, even though it is a bit more work. But hey, if you've got something valuable to say, then it's worth it.
5:43 am on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Nope it wont ruin your ranking since you are the original content.
6:59 am on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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it wont ruin your ranking since you are the original content

Not strictly true; it SHOULDN'T, but as stated above Google doesn't always identify the original properly. I've lost count of the threads I've read where people have lost rankings through being scraped, and I've had it happen to me too.
6:27 am on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The advice is kind of contradictory there;

on the one hand it says no one can really do anything deliberate to affect your seo ranking

on the other hand, if you have say 20 other sites duplicating your content word for word, you will be affected seo-wise


Paul86, What Robert is saying is that should a site with more authority and backlinks e.g. CNN.com copy your content (with your permission or otherwise) then it is possible that your site may get filtered out from search results.

The difficulty is when the original site and the 20 copying sites are fairly obscure sites (unknown to each other). This is fairly common with the sites that practise article submission and republication.

Now one or two of those sites can be more "authoritative" and have more "quality" backlinks than the original publisher, so it is possible for one of them to become the "original" publisher.
1:24 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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ROTFLMBFBAO (Rolling .... My Big Fat Bear A** Off).

I've seen google toss (filter) out all copies of duplicated content as well as rank duplicated content over the original.

Funny thing about large automated systems, they tend to get so convoluted that unintended consequences arise, even when there are no operational breakdowns.