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Will Google Penalize You For Duplicate Content?

19 Jun

There has been a lot of talk in the past about being penalized by Google for duplicate content. Even columnist Joe Duchesne at the Search Engine Journal talked about being penalized by Google for duplicate content, but in all actuality, THERE’S NO SUCH THING!

Supposedly, if your position in the SERP (search engine resulting pages) slip or fall, it is most likely due to duplicate content. It’s a total myth. That is not the case at all. It’s actually a lot of varying factors, but that is not the topic for today’s discussion. Today’s discussion is simply whether Google penalizes you for duplicate content or not.

Well, straight from the horse’s mouth (I like saying that a lot):

Duplicate content. There’s just something about it. We keep writing about it, and people keep asking about it. In particular, I still hear a lot of webmasters worrying about whether they may have a “duplicate content penalty.”

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.

Source: Google Webmaster Central

I’m sure the belief of duplicate content penalty will still continue to circulate for many years until that idea is finally lost to the ages of time. People once believed that the world was flat. People today still think Michael Jackson is black. It just takes time.

This article was written by Dallas’ rankaboveothers.com – Texas SEO is a Dallas-based web marketing and consulting company. We can help you improve your on-site and off-site optimization so that your website not only looks good to visitors but rank well for the keywords you need. Let us increase your business by first giving you a free analysis.

Kevin Lam

Kevin Lam is a self-taught internet marketer, web developer and traffic conversion expert that started since he was 17 in 2000. Even throughout his 5 years in the Navy, Kevin continued to hone his skills. Kevin now owns multiple digital companies including a Strategic, Digital Marketing Firm, a Sales Funnel Concierge Service, General Support Company and other digital products.


  1. Ben | June 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    From Google webmaster tools:

    “Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results. If your site suffers from duplicate content issues, and you don’t follow the advice listed above, we do a good job of choosing a version of the content to show in our search results.”

    How do they definite “manipulate search engine results”? If you create hundreds of “keyword-city-state-zip” landing pages — all for the same product/service — b/c you want the searcher to find a page that mentions their hometown vs. a generic service page, is that manipulating the search results?

  2. Kevin Lam | June 21, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Hey Ben,

    Manipulating the search engines can be almost anything these days. From what you’re describing, yes, that can be considered as manipulation.

    Basically, any type of fast growth of on-site pages or backlinks in an unnatural way could be considered manipulation. I mean, submitting duplicate articles to various sites is considered manipulating. Having hundreds of pages with the same content on your website really doesn’t help. Google will simply filter the duplicate content/pages and select a single page to index. All other pages are ignored and will not be ranked.

    Just a tip though, if you change the order of your content, it is considered as a different set of content. It’s fine to target a particular keyword phrase and create multiple pages on it, but make sure the article/post/content are all different.

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