Kissmetrics Blog

A blog about analytics, marketing and testing

Built to optimize growth. Track, analyze and engage to get more customers.

3 Myths About Duplicate Content

The words “duplicate content penalty” strike fear in the hearts of marketers. People with no SEO experience use this phrase all the time. Most have never read Google’s guidelines on duplicate content. They just somehow assume that if something appears twice online, asteroids and locusts must be close behind.

This article is long overdue. Let’s bust some duplicate content myths.

Note: This article is about content and publishing, not technical SEO issues such as URL structure.

Myth #1: Non-Original Content on Your Site Will Hurt Your Rankings across Your Domain

I have never seen any evidence that non-original content hurts a site’s ranking, except for one truly extreme case. Here’s what happened:

The day a new website went live, a very lazy PR firm copied the home page text and pasted it into a press release. They put it out on the wire services, immediately creating hundreds of versions of the home page content all over the web. Alarms went off at Google and the domain was manually blacklisted by a cranky Googler.

It was ugly. Since we were the web development company, we got blamed. We filed a reconsideration request and eventually the domain was re-indexed.

So what was the problem?

  • Volume: There were hundreds of instances of the same text
  • Timing: All the content appeared at the same time
  • Context: It was the homepage copy on a brand new domain

It’s easy to imagine how this got flagged as spam.

But this isn’t what people are talking about when they invoke the phrase “duplicate content.” They’re usually talking about 1,000 words on one page of a well-established site. It takes more than this to make red lights blink at Google.

Many sites, including some of the most popular blogs on the internet, frequently repost articles that first appeared somewhere else. They don’t expect this content to rank, but they also know it won’t hurt the credibility of their domain.

Myth #2: Scrapers Will Hurt Your Site

I know a blogger who carefully watches Google Webmaster Tools. When a scraper site copies one of his posts, he quickly disavows any links to his site. Clearly, he hasn’t read Google’s Duplicate Content Guidelines or the Guidelines for Disavows.

Ever seen the analytics for a big blog? Some sites get scraped ten times before breakfast. I’ve seen it in their trackback reports. Do you think they have a full-time team watching GWT and disavowing links all day? No. They don’t pay any attention to scrapers. They don’t fear duplicate content.

Scrapers don’t help or hurt you. Do you think that a little blog in Asia with no original writing and no visitors confuses Google? No. It just isn’t relevant.

Personally, I don’t mind scrapers one bit. They usually take the article verbatim, links and all. The fact that they take the links is a good reason to pay attention to internal linking. The links on the scraped version pass little or no authority, but you may get the occasional referral visit.

Tip: Report Scrapers that Outrank Your Site

On the (very) rare occasion that Google does get confused and the copied version of your content is outranking your original, Google wants to know about it. Here’s the fix. Tell them using the Scraper Report Tool.

google scraper report

Tip: Digitally Sign Your Content with Google Authorship

Getting your picture to appear in search results isn’t the only reason to use Google Authorship. It’s a way of signing your name to a piece of content, forever associating you as the author with the content.

With Authorship, each piece of content is connected to one and only one author and their corresponding “contributor to” blogs, no matter how many times it gets scraped.

Tip: Take Harsh Action against Actual Plagiarists

There is a big difference between scraped content and copyright infringement. Sometimes, a company will copy your content (or even your entire site) and claim the credit of creation.

Plagiarism is the practice of someone else taking your work and passing it off as their own. Scrapers aren’t doing this. But others will, signing their name to your work. It’s illegal, and it’s why you have a copyright symbol in your footer.

If it happens to you, you’ll be thinking about lawyers, not search engines.

There are several levels of appropriate response. Here’s a true story of a complete website ripoff and step-by-step instructions on what actions to take.

Myth #3: Republishing Your Guest Posts on Your Own Site Will Hurt Your Site

I do a lot of guest blogging. It’s unlikely that my usual audience sees all these guest posts, so it’s tempting to republish these guest posts on my own blog.

As a general rule, I prefer that the content on my own site be strictly original. But this comes from a desire to add value, not from the fear of a penalty.

Ever written for a big blog? I’ve guest posted on some big sites. Some actually encourage you to republish the post on your own site after a few weeks go by. They know that Google isn’t confused. In some cases, they may ask you to add a little HTML tag to the post…

Tip: Use rel=“canonical” Tag

Canonical is really just a fancy (almost biblical) word that means “official version.” If you ever republish an article that first appeared elsewhere, you can use the canonical tag to tell search engines where the original version appeared. It looks like this:

canonical anchor link reference example

That’s it! Just add the tag and republish fearlessly.

Tip: Write the “Evil Twin”

If the original was a “how to” post, hold it up to a mirror and write the “how not to” post. Base it on the same concept and research, but use different examples and add more value. This “evil twin” post will be similar, but still original.

Not only will you avoid a penalty, but you may get an SEO benefit. Both of these posts rank on page one for “website navigation.”

Calm down, People.

In my view, we’re living through a massive overreaction. For some, it’s a near panic. So, let’s take a deep breath and consider the following…

Googlebot visits most sites every day. If it finds a copied version of something a week later on another site, it knows where the original appeared. Googlebot doesn’t get angry and penalize. It moves on. That’s pretty much all you need to know.

Remember, Google has 2,000 math PhDs on staff. They build self-driving cars and computerized glasses. They are really, really good. Do you think they’ll ding a domain because they found a page of unoriginal text?

A huge percentage of the internet is duplicate content. Google knows this. They’ve been separating originals from copies since 1997, long before the phrase “duplicate content” became a buzzword in 2005.

duplicate content over time

Disagree? Got Any Conflicting Evidence?

When I talk to SEOs about duplicate content, I often ask if they have first-hand experience. Eventually, I met someone who did. As an experiment, he built a site and republished posts from everywhere, verbatim, and gradually some of them began to rank. Then along came Panda and his rank dropped.

Was this a penalty? Or did the site just drop into oblivion where it belongs? There’s a difference between a penalty (like the blacklisting mentioned above) and a correction that restores the proper order of things.

If anyone out there has actual examples or real evidence of penalties related to duplicate content, I’d love to hear ’em.

About the Author: Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. You can find Andy on and Twitter.

  1. nice post it thinks is true i never seen penalty for duplicate content of course in the other way id the people copy your contnet is good for you cause google know how was the first and the name of this is authority.

    • Rick, glad you found it helpful. Thanks for the great feedback :)

      • Hi Neil,

        This is an amazing piece of content. But still, there is something I don’t understand.

        For example if I choose a certain long tail keyword for which I’d like to rank on Google, and I insert this keyword in the post in a way I make sure this post will rank for that keyword on first page, but the article is not original and I just make a few changes. If the article remains about 98% non—original, will I be able to rank on first page for that keyword?

        Would you please take a moment and answer this question? I would be grateful!

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:19 am

      Thanks for the comment, Rick. Part of the goal here was to talk about the myths, but also ask people if they’ve seen any real world examples. If you ever see an example of an actual penalty, please let me know!

  2. I agree with you here, especially the last point: Calm down, People.

    However, I work with a lot of marketers that are new to the world of blogging. They are strapped for time and looking to repurpose as much existing content as they can. In that case, they are starting off a brand new blog (or one that hasn’t been established) and in that case, too much duplicate content can easily make all their efforts worthless. So in general, I advice new bloggers to steer clear.

    Also, 2 years ago Burberry dealt with a big duplicate content issue between their US and UK sites, which Google saw as nearly identical:!topic/webmasters/WlUzNLFQB54/discussion

    • Adam, thanks for sharing the forum topic as I am sure it will help people here out :)

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:28 am

      That is a sad story, Adam.

      I tried to avoid the technical SEO issues when writing this, but in this case, it looks like one hreflang link would have avoided the entire issue. That’s exactly the purpose of that tiny bit of code.

      We could easily write a follow up to this and look at the technical side. Maybe another day!


  3. On a limited pov, you might argue that your site won’t be hurt by scrapers. However, there are several areas in which you can be damaged – so nobody should be sanguine about or dismissive of these automated thieves.

    • Paul, thanks for the share :)

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:30 am

      Thanks for the comment, Paul.

      My suggestion here is that content marketers are overreacting and that there is a lack of evidence for actual penalties. If you can think of examples or evidence, please let me know.

      There are a lot of things worth worrying about, but duplicate content isn’t one that’s high on my list…

  4. Mark Traphagen Jul 10, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Great article, but there are two myths in the tips for the second myth.

    1. The Google scraper reporting form does NOT generate any any direct action by Google on your case. They are using it to gather general data to improve their algorithm.

    2. Authorship is NOT used by google as a confirmation of originality. This was confirmed in a Webmaster Central Hangout by Google’s John Mueller.

    • Mark, thanks for sharing your feedback. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:34 am

      Mark, it is always good to get your input! I didn’t assume that the scraper report would lead to a de-indexing of the scraped version, but I did suggest that it was a good action to take…

      On the other hand, until now I actually did believe that Authorship was a strong indicator of originality! I’ll have to research this more. Thanks for letting me know.

      I always learn something from you. I hope to one day collaborate on some content with you. You’re a true wealth of knowledge, Mark.

  5. Thank you for this article. I’ve always told my clients the same thing assuming similar reasoning. It’s nice to have an expert corroborate. :)

    • Joseph, glad we could validate your thoughts. Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:34 am

      Glad if this was useful, Joseph! But not sure if I’m an expert. Working on it…


  6. Thanks for that excellent distillation of the duplicate content rules. That’s very helpful information.

  7. Scott Tillman Jul 10, 2014 at 7:15 am

    This is really interesting information. Thanks for the insights! The more we know about the way google works, the better off we’ll be in the end. I, personally, didn’t know about a lot of this, so thank you for clearing things up!

    • Scott, glad we could help :)

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:35 am

      Now when people around you start freaking out about duplicate content, you can tell them not to panic. Let cooler heads prevail…


  8. Keith Winters Jul 10, 2014 at 7:18 am

    We have been under an algorithmic penalty from Google for over a year. Due to getting spammed by inbound links…we think. Thousands of spam inbounds. We now have a service dealing with disavowing those links, and Google has said that we should be removed soon.

    The service can only disavow like a couple hundred inbound links per month, and there are thousands.

    Only our home page and blog home page are currently coming up in Google searches, and mainly just for branded key words.

    Have you ever seen cases like this, penalty for year +. And can we crawl out of it?

    • Keith, I have seen cases like yours. I think you should just continue providing quality content and making sure you are increasing your engagement. With patience you’ll surely get there.

  9. Great post! There are a lot of myths here that I have been telling people about for ages. Nice to see someone back us up on it. Thanks for sharing

  10. Raymmar Tirado Jul 10, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Awesome post, answered a few questions and confirmed a few suspicions.

    I think that the individual content creator is about to come into a time where they control a new type of online currency. It will be in our authority and originality and I think google is getting it right with how they are adjusting their algorithms.

    The future of SEO will drive the future if a content based sales economy which we are just on the edge of. An open source sales environment where people are the focus, not products.

    Thanks for the good stuff. Keep it coming.

    • Raymmar, glad you liked it. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Glad you liked this one, Ray. I’m thinking of writing some giant guide that addresses everything related to duplicate content. If I do, l’ll let you know…

  11. Georlandio Oliveira Jul 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I see many people who get the blog article and modifies al is well adapted to such article!

  12. Very good article. I didn’t know about most of these tools in Google. I want to use the Google Author tag to sign my content and have my pic on the Google listings. Not sure how to do it yet but I will look it up. Thanks again.

    • Greg, glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback. Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:42 am

      Hi, Greg.

      There’s another post I wrote here for KISSmetrics that explains that. Just search for “Google Authorship” in Google and you should see it there on page one. But as Mark Traphagan mentioned in his comment above, digitally signing your article with Authorship doesn’t guarantee that Google will identify it as the original…

      Anyway, glad you found this useful!

  13. Thanks for the feedback!

  14. Patrick Mahan Jul 12, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    What are your thoughts about posting original content on a personal blog, then copying and pasting the entire post on LinkedIn Publishing Platform and Google+? I like the idea of all my original content living on my site… But i also like the built in communities that LinkedIn and G+ offer. Do you recommend this strategy? Why or why not? Thanks!!

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Great question, Patrick.

      I wouldn’t hesitate to do that, unless you think a substantial percentage of your LinkedIn community has already read it.

      In this case, the original has been out there for a while on your site, and the host of the duplicate is a giant social network that you don’t own anyway. I can’t think of a downside. Go for it, Patrick!

      • Patrick Mahan Jul 28, 2014 at 6:44 pm

        Thank for the reply, Andy!

      • Gustavo Escobar Sep 10, 2015 at 8:21 am

        Great article!!

        In relation to Patric’s question. If you do copy and paste your post on LinkedIn, how would you go about using the canonical tag? I mean writing at the end ot the post on LinkedIn doesnt look good.

        Would if be enought with “this article originally appeared in



  15. Thank you Neil, I’ll share this with our followers, they all run company-blogs and will surely find this useful (and reassuring).

    I also just had a guest post on TNW and was wondering if I should republish on my own blog. On this matter, I like the most you’re personal take of keeping the personal blog strictly original. Thank you again!

    • Daria, glad I could help. Thanks for providing us with feedback :)

    • Andy Crestodina Jul 14, 2014 at 5:44 am

      Hello, Daria.

      I’m glad if you found this post useful! I’m thinking of writing a second post that goes into more detail…

      About republishing the guest post, I would either rewrite it to add more value (for the sake of quality, not the fear of a penalty) or just repost it add add the rel=canonical link pointing back to the original.

      Is that helpful? y/n

      Let me know how it goes!


  16. Excellent article. Thanks for that.

  17. I think it’s true duplicated text isn’t too much of an issue, so long as you don’t overdo it. eBay got slammed for it, notoriously, quite recently. They’re so famous though it wasn’t much of an issue. I’m pretty sure there’s a gross overreaction to the whole Penguin/Panda situation. It’s all been born from the lunacy of the early SEO days.

    • Alex, I agree. It comes down to how much you are doing it and how spammy it looks.

  18. Avoiding penalties is an important factor :-) and there’s definitely a lot of hype out there.
    While its debatable how much duplication you can get away with, the goal is to leverage as much out of your content as possible – so it goes without saying that avoiding duplicate content can only be good for business.
    Its not about how much you can get away with, its about how much you can get out of your efforts.

  19. THANK YOU for this– I am seeing my blogging colleagues waste so much time and energy right now “hunting down,” every last scraper and teeny bit of duplicate content, I can’t help but shake my head. It’s never bothered me much, mostly because I don’t have time to police it… But wow my mind is even more at ease.

  20. Hello,
    Interesting article. I’m trying to find out whether my site was affected by Panda, so I’ve been doing a lot of research on duplicate content. I found this article, but then I also found this one (written by Neil) and now I am confused. The latter states that content syndication and scraper sites need to be dealt with and could hurt your site. I’ll quote Neil:

    “If you syndicate your content across domains, whether they are yours or somebody else’s, your site could be penalized because if Google sees the same content across multiple sites it will look like SERP noise.”

    And this: “Special note: Sometimes scrapers will cause duplicate content problems for you cross the web.”

    I’m not sure which article to believe…any advice will be helpful. Thanks.

  21. if i copy paste an article and put rel conanical. is it possible for my site to get higher than the original website that i copy pasted the article from in the google searchengine? One more thing, is that true that putting keyword link in comment does not really affect much our website google ranking? thanks

  22. What about a parent company who lets it’s child company and other partners have access to use its product description data for their own websites. Should we tell them to change a few words, or since it is being appropriately used, is it OK?

    I have been under the impression that we shouldn’t encourage people to use our same descriptions on their website, because either our site or their site could be the one hidden from search results due to similar content.

    • Don’t worry about it.

      Look at the specifications of products. These do not change.

      Look at Motor Vehicle dealers selling new cars, they are all the same spec’s descriptions etc

      All usually rank on the same SERP.

      They are all the same cars. No penalty’s here.

  23. Divi Fernando Jan 07, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    This is an excellent post that busts all myth of duplicate content.

    I know of so many wannabe SEOs who in the name of duplicate content scare the hell out of newbie webmasters. This content is good enough to teach all those honest webmasters who want to provide great content to their audiences without hesitation.

  24. This is an excellent post that busts all myth of duplicate content.

    I know of so many wannabe SEOs who in the name of duplicate content scare the hell out of newbie webmasters. This content is good enough to teach all those honest webmasters who want to provide great content to their audiences without hesitation.

  25. On Tip: Use rel=“canonical” Tag – where do you add it to the code – beginning or end? anywhere?

    • Hi Danielle,

      You add canonical tags in the head section of your webpage source code. Let me know if you need help – I can explain it further…

      • Hey Sean,
        Can you explain further on the canonical tag in the the head section of the web page source code pls?

  26. I have a question about Blogging. I have just started writing travel posts for a travel website that’s been established for many years. I am doing this as a volunteer/guest writer with the promise that I could repost my blog posts that will appear on their website on mine as well. As I am not getting paid for it I thought it would be a great way of building content for my website too.

    They have now decided that they don’t want me to repost on my website as they think they will be penailsed for ‘Duplicate Content’ with me reposting on my website and/or they are also maybe concerned that it will affect their search results.

    Should they be worried, how can I convince them that it’s ok? Otherwise it’s not worth my time and effort writing for FREE if I can’t at least repost the blog posts on my site too.

  27. I also worry about getting dinged by google’s dupe checkers. I write a legal site, where i typically copy and paste up to a few hundred words of actual statutory authority (the actual law) within an original article I write. I worry that google will notice that 30% of the content is not original because of this and ding me. Should I be concerned?

  28. Thank you for your article!

    What if you write and article, post it on your blog, and someone you know, someone with a high authority blog, stops by, reads your article, likes it, and requests permission to post it to their blog? You like the idea, because they get a lot of traffic.

    In that case, would you request that they put the rel=canonical tag on the article they’ve posted in order to send the SEO ‘link juice’ back to you?

    Thank you for clarifying : )

    • I have the same question as Jessica –
      Another website asked if they can repost one of my blog posts on their blog. I’d like the link back, but on balance does that help or hurt me?

      Ideally – would you request that they put the rel=canonical tag on the article they’ve posted in order to send the SEO ‘link juice’ back to me?

  29. We are running into an issue with duplicate content on a client’s website who is a lemon law attorney. There are 48 pages with duplicate content – each page contains the actual state automobile lemon law documentation, which cannot be changed for legal reasons. Is there any way to avoid duplicate content issues here? Would adding a “noindex” directive cause more harm than good in this situation?

  30. Neil,

    Do you still agree with the part 3 in regards to guest blogging? Now that Matt Cutts has openly stood out against guest blogging, do you think the rel=canonical will still prevent the wrath of Google?


  31. Thomas Kramer Mar 31, 2015 at 9:59 am

    I have always used my hosted wp blog as my article posting and send traffic to my sales domain. The blog is not the best on the regular domain but still it rests on the domain. I am using WP Pipes to bring the feed into my WordPress blog as I think my wp domain is very relevant for my brand. I am concerned about duplicate content. The original blog will post out to all the social sites. So I really don’t need to post to social from my wp blog. I want to treat it like a or instapaper. What do you think.

    • Well the trick is to limit the amount of duplicate content on the website that you’re not trying to SEO. So if you have a style site, just take the first lines or so of an article and then put in “continue reading” links back to the original content. You can also take screenshots of content and insert them in your newspaper style site assuming you’re good at image editing :).

  32. Shannon Lefevre Apr 18, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Holy Smoke there is amazing content here! Thank you! You would be underwhelmed of the level of copycat real estate agents who scrape my content and use it as their own. They contact my web developer and ask him to build the same site for themselves. It’s scary and repulsive! I lost a page I was working on a couple of weeks ago and googled a snippet of text I wrote thinking I may also have it in a blog somewhere…google brought up 3 sites with my same exact content. Yeah it blows! Ended up just rewriting it. Well m, Thank you again this clears up a ton of questions for me :)

  33. Great article! Quick question: I have two reviews from customers on Google maps for my business that I would like to post on my website as well ( I have permission from the customers).

    Will Google flag this as duplicate content? or will Google discredit the review on Google when it sees the same review on my site?


  34. Actually I’m completely confused by duplicate content issue,as I’m new to blogging and didn’t knew about URL optimization before.

    For optimizing my post URL,I did a little bit modification by adding keywords.Now the same post is under SERP with 3 different URLs pointing to a single content.Is this a case of duplicate content? I’m using WordPress for my blog.

  35. Thank you!! I was one of those who was super paranoid about it. To the point that I didn’t want to post examples of my written work on my portfolio website if it had been published elsewhere.

    This will make things easier… :)

  36. Hi,
    I’ve a question about duplicate content from an other page on my own blog (the same).
    Is there any problem with this kind of duplication?

  37. Hi Neil

    Big fan of your articles!

    I’ve never been too worried about the odd article being re-posted from an original that has been published on one of my clients’ properties, as the original is more likely to receive the benefits.

    However, what about if a company publishes their magazine online through a site like which indexes the full content, but they want to publish some of their back-issue articles on their own blog in order to improve their organic traffic to their website.

    I’m assuming the original version on issuu would receive all the authority and search visibility, leaving the newly optimised article copy on their blog out in the cold. I don’t know if issuu will enable you to canonicalize your articles on their site – plus it would need to be done retrospectively as we’re talking about re-posting back issue articles.

    Your thoughts appreciated!

  38. Great article thank you. I worry about duplicate content for instance if I am copying a person’s bio which I occasionally do for credit. Is this counted?

  39. Alex Trujillo Jun 09, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Hi Neil, thank you for the article, I needed that reassurance, a couple of days ago we had a discussion at the office, what’s your stance on sharing vs re-posting/writing an article in Linkedin? I mean, is it better to use the “IN share” button or to re-write the article?

    I can see benefits for both of them.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  40. Amazing content Neil! And what happens when duplicate content is on your own site? This will hurt your rankings? Thanks a lot.

  41. Awesome article, Andy. I’m getting back into SEO and had read Google’s terms, but was still a bit unclear from all the hype everywhere. Clear and concise information and wonderful tips on how to deal with it. I have done some guest posting and wondered mostly about re-posting the same content on my primary site. Now I know what to do!

    Thanks again!

  42. Thank you very much for this wonderful insight into duplicate content. I am a newbe and always worry about duplicate content in my website. After reading this, I think I will relax a bit.

  43. Hi Jack,
    Thanks for the info but I have a query can you please answer ?
    I have a 12 old website and my team started redesigning the site after redesigning the website the SERP has been lost. keywords are not in top 100 even which used to be in top 20 .
    I got an issue from my side.. my web developer live the prime site on another domain for testing and he didnt remove.. So the content on another domain and prime domain is same.. Hence my webiste content seems copied from that another testing domain.. Now what is the solution? Should I rewrite the whole content for my prime website or if I will remove the test version domain? How I can regain my SERP. please suggest…

  44. Great post! I’ve got a question… the company I work for are undergoing some web development (we’re now going to be using WP MultiSite) and though most of the content for each site will be different, we plan to have a recipes section on two of the sites that will potentially be duplicated content (considering using ‘Multisite Content Copier’). Would like to point out we’re not an agency and the two sites will fall under the same url.

    Do you think this would have an effect on overall SEO of the site? Can’t seem to get a clear answer from the developers and doing some digging myself doesn’t seem to be shedding much light.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  45. Just what I was looking for. Excellent post!

  46. I was in in a dout about duplicate contain …. But now I am clear my doubt …… :)

  47. I have a question. Let’s say I am building a website that lists the contact numbers and addresses of different hospitals in my city. If I am the first one to list all those hospital addresses from my particular city and someone else comes up and copies all my data, then should I be worried about it ? I mean will my website’s ranking drop or will they stay the same ?

  48. Rachel Chapdelaine Aug 14, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Andy,

    This is a very insightful article. Thank you!

    I have a question regarding LinkedIn Published Posts. I see a lot of marketers posting their company’s blog articles on LinkedIn as a long-form post. These posts are crawled and indexed by Google. From a duplicate content standpoint, is this something that can hurt your website?

    Thank you,


  49. Very interesting article, and I’m interested in the answer to Rachel’s query above.

    I’m working on a site that will hold a huge library of articles as PDFs. We want to be able to use some of these as blog entries, as and when relevant to current industry news. If we were to regularly copy the some of the content of a PDF with a short rewritten introduction (150 words or less) would we be shooting ourselves in the foot? The idea is to reveal the hidden/unused knowledge in the PDF library, but I can see how this might cause issues. Any advice very much appreciated.


  50. i had so much of misconception before reading this post. Now all i know is i can tell anybody what exactly duplicate content means. thanks for posting this awesome article

  51. is this good ?
    having your articles published both on your website and on a digital publishing platform like scribd (high authority site, PR8) witch indexes the full content.
    does google see it as duplicate content?
    do you stand a chance in outranking them if you do a perfect on-page optimization!!
    i’d love to hear your thought on this.

  52. We once had a distributed who told everyone to just copy the page content on his site for their own sites selling his products. He was ranking well, until he redesigned his site in another system (making his content “newer” than the copies). He completely dropped out of the top 100 and we haven’t been able to get him back in since.

  53. Nick Ray Ball Sep 16, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Hi there, I have a question about auto updating social networks.

    If we auto update Google+, will Google first find the content on Google+ and mark the actual blog as duplicate content?

  54. I need some advice on this subject and would appreciate opinions.

    I have a 10-year-old membership-based clipart site. For each new graphics package, I make a full-size custom page with a unique custom background and product description, and this custom design really packs a punch when customers view the product pages. It makes my graphics seem impressive.

    I’ve been in the process of converting the site into a WordPress blog, because the old site is coded in ancient HTML with a lot of tables. I’m putting each product into a post. But I noticed that the posts seem much less exciting than my customized product pages. They just don’t have the same impact.

    So I got the idea that I could create posts about each product in WordPress that links to the old-style product pages. So in other words, each product would have a post and a custom designed HTML page.

    In a way, this is duplicate content as both the post and HTML page are about the same thing and contain the same download link to the product and same promo images. But, on the other hand, the text on both pages and the title is entirely different.

    Would having two such pages for each product be considered duplicate content? Should I add a canonical link to the HTML product pages, which tells Google to index the post instead?


  55. if i add no=index follow meta,will it solve issue of internal duplicate content?

  56. Thank you for your post. My blog has a lot of Grammar rules which obiviously look copied from thousands of sites. I do checks for duplicate copies regularly and they suggest that 11% of my site is a duplicate copy. So this article makes my less worried about this. For Example a page with irregular verbs will be identical in all the sites (maybe the order changes) that talk about grammar and up until know that really worried me.


  57. Vis a vie myth 3, odd question; if you’re posting an article on LinkedIN how can you repost in your blog? Is it better to post locally on your own site first and use the canonical tagging then post on LI?

  58. Hi,

    I have been battling with this issue for a while now. I have gotten a penalty for thin or duplicate content on google webmasters. So I ran a content audit and replaced my content with new fresh content, all 163 pages. I resubmitted the request to google and I still get a warning that the reconsideration request was unsuccessful. Could anyone please take a look at My affiliate site and let me know what I am doing wrong.


  59. Hi ,

    If possible, can I have your opinion on my situation? There is a site that doesn’t just copy my posts, but my entire site. My own site is fairly small, I get a few hundred views a day if I don’t post anything (Though there a time I was getting thousands because of one really popular post :D ) but for some reason some random guy out there thinks it’s worth copying EVERY single page and post, even the contact pages! I’ve not visited the site, and I won’t link it here, because it got flagged as having malware on. It’s this fact that worries me, because it’s basically a duplicate of my site, it has lots of links pointing back to me, as well as a few links to other blogs and pages that I like, will this cause any red flags and make my own site or the sites I’ve linked to mistrusted or get de-indexed?
    Although I haven’t visited the site myself, I checked Bing webmaster tools (It doesn’t show up in Google’s for some reason) and every single page of theirs linking to mine has the exact same link structure as my own posts, so if I had a page, they have for every single page. My titles are unique, they shouldn’t appear anywhere else, let alone all of them.

    It sounds like you know what you’re doing, so I’d greatly appreciate your input!
    I’ve not linked my website to my name, purely because it’s not safe for work, and I figured you’d not appreciate those kind of links :)

  60. I’m really confused. I searched Google for “seo reposting content.” The first article in the search results was this one, advising us that reposting is pretty much alright and not to worry about it. It appears to have been posted in the summer of 2014. The second article in the search results was “Should You Repost Your Blog Content on Other Websites? A Data-Driven Answer” on Neil’s Quicksprout blog advising almost the exact opposite behavior. It was posted November 2014. So which is the right advice?

  61. The old days of setting up are gone, setting up a new site today should make you sick, from the start, you have evil spiders all over your site taking your content, then end up ranking higher then you are, and over time, you may end up getting hit by link spammers as this is very easy to do, then you get doom and gloom notification. “we know you did a lot of work, your getting visitors, you are making money, but we (google) do not want you to make anything, so we hereby penalize your website, since you were making money, we no longer wish to give you free traffic, rather, we prefer you to buy your traffic from us at very expensive rates, and at times ineffective” We apologize for any convenience. We have no soul, and rather you did not succeed online because we would rather drain your pockets of cash and at the end of the day, we want to be as vague as possible to have penalized your site. ”

    Yours truly,
    Owner Of The Internet

    You are the do-gooder, you do everything right, or try too,
    and you end up getting ran over by google, and left on the road
    side for dead. I see complaints such as this all the time….

  62. Hi Neil, how does one add a canonical tag to the home page to let Googlebot know that the homepage content on a particular website is the original content? I found out today that a friend added her homepage content to several directory websites several years ago. it is about 500 words she used as a description, it is very good copy.
    Also, I would like to point out that one of the websites she added this content to gets first page rankings for several keyword markets she would like to appear in. I was wondering if this site is getting ‘ranking’ credit for her content. Above, in this article, you discuss how to add the canonical tag to an article, and give an example, which was first published somewhere else and then gets published later on your website later. This situation is similar to her problem, but it is not as clearcut as this, so I am wondering what I should tell my friend? would just adding a canonical tag be the easiest solution or should she just rewrite it? thank you.

  63. Hi all,

    What about pdf, microsoft office doc or ppt versions of a page, which are placed into the same page as a download element? Do they cause duplicate issues?

    I have a language learning website which offers classroom resource materials for teachers. I also want to put an interactive exercise of the same material ( as a demo to see the quality of the exercises) on the same page. As a consequence I’ll have a print-out version and the interactive version of the same material on the same page.

    Is it a duplicate issue? Are download resources considered as a separate page or the fact that they are on the same page eliminates this problem?


  64. I am not sure when this article was actually posted however this post is still applicable up to this moment. Despite all the Google algorithm updates, everything still fails from a website with great content and great reputation. I don’t think that CNN will be penalized if they copy an article in full from a little blog somewhere else. The trouble now is not on CNN but on the little blog because from freshness point of view, CNN is more recent thus it must rank higher, not to mention the authority of CNN.

    • I was coming to the same question: What if a renowned blog copies from a small unknown blog? who will be affected? Can google make out that the article was published earlier in the unknown blog ?

  65. I have a question- I was having a website which is not live today. I still own that domain but I am not getting it hosted that website anymore. Now I just want to know if I use the content of that website on my new website, will the content be considered as duplicate?

  66. Thanks for the push back. I’m a budding web developer doing some web marketing for a local realtor. He has me post his weekly video blogs on various websites (tumblr, wordpress, blogger, activerain, etc). I have been trying to push for him to delete these and ONLY post blogs on his real estate website. Is this kind of duplicate content bad? Or is it just confusing or irrelevant to shotgun the content across the web like that?

  67. Wanted to try the scraper tool, since one of my blogs recently was scrapped. FYI it appears it is no longer accepting submissions. Great article by the way. I am usually meticulous about screening materials submitted by new copywriters to make sure it is not plagiarized. I feel I owe it to my clients. Even is Google does not care about a little duplicate copy, believe me the guy footing the bill for a website and SEO does. Got a couple of clients just because the web designer hired a lazy copywriter

  68. Hey Nice article.

    I think it really help clarify some of our worries :)
    However I have a slight different question. We are an online shop, and have been operating our independent online shop for a while. We are currently looking to go multichannel. Meaning we will also list our products on few other platforms like e-bay, Amazon. Is it safe to copy out product description to these platforms?

    Any feedback will be much appreciated!! Thanks!!

  69. I asked a colleague to write an article for me about two weeks ago. I was busy then. I noticed today that the article is a copied work. Should delete the post or?
    I don’t feel comfortable with it at all. Any suggestions?

Comments are closed.

← Previous ArticleNext Article →