Duplicate Content Issues with Google

This week’s Ask a SEO Expert question comes from Joe Mogensen who asks:

When launching multiple websites that serve one niche, how can I avoid Google’s duplicate content penalty?”

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Joe, great question and one we were also asked during this weekend’s advanced SEO Workshop. Thanks!

Google describes duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.”

Google explains that they instituted the penalty for duplicate content because:

  • In some cases webmasters use duplicate content to manipulate their rankings,
  • It negatively effects the user experience

There are also several issues with having duplicate content on just one of your sites, such as:

  1. The search engines become confused on which version to include or exclude in their index.
  2. The search engines become confused to which page they should place the page authority and trust.

One way to avoid this penalty on your site is to use Canonical Tags

Even with all these reasons Joe, I feel the most important reason to avoid using duplicate content across your niche, is the Google Knowledge Graph.

The Google Knowledge Graph has become a critical component Google’s search algorithm because it compares the content of your site to the content of other sites in your niche.

Let’s use the example of the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Here are some of the keyword strings Google would associate with this zoo for it to rank:

  • Wildlife conservation
  • Monorail
  • Bough of New York
  • Unlimited free parking
  • Museum of Natural History
  • New York Aquarium
  • New York Botanical Garden

So Jim, yes you should concern yourself if you are duplicating your content across your niche of websites and/or just one site.

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Certified Master SEO Instructor by the Search Engine Academy and CEO and founder of SEO Training SW.
Roy Reyer
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30th September 2012 1 Comment

One Response to Duplicate Content Issues with Google

  1. Pingback: Google’s Duplicate Image Penalty

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