The Duplicate Content Myth

Cloned Content - Cloned SheepOriginal Image by Tony Barros

In the video linked below, Greg Grothaus from Google clears up some misconceptions about duplicate content. You might have seen some general “panic” about duplicate content and the alleged penalty that you receive in search engine listings if you use duplicate content. There are a lot of rumours and wrong ideas floating around on the web, concerning duplicate content. In the video below, you can get some clarification, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak:

Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues

Some of the most important points are mentioned in the first few minutes. After that, there is some talk about redirects and canonical URLs. Interesting, but not essential to what I’m trying to get across.

What It All Comes Down To

It really all comes down to a point I have already made before and will surely make again in the future: Every search engine’s goal is to deliver the most relevant and interesting topics possible to the searcher.

If you are using duplicate content in a spammy way, autoscraping content from other blogs, spinning articles into “unique” and unreadable gibberish and submitting them hundreds of times or actually copy-pasting page content onto other pages to make your website seem bigger than it is, then yes, you will probably be penalized in one way or another.

But spammy sites containing of auto-submitted, scraped content are dead anyway. I don’t mean “dead” in the sense of “this doesn’t work anymore” (like keyword stuffing is dead), I use “dead” as a description of the impression such a site makes on visitors. It feels like a lifeless site. One that is not interesting or engaging and one that you simply want to click away from.

As long as what you are doing really is relevant and interesting, you will get visitors. No matter if you’re also selling stuff and no matter if you have multiple links from the same source, identical anchor texts and duplicate content.

Of course, search engine optimization has it’s place. And good keyword research most definitely has it’s place. But those places are, in my humblest of opinions, located at the foot of the throne that is interesting, relevant content.

Ok, I have to stop now, otherwise it will look like I’m keyword stuffing for “interesting, relevant content”…



I'm Shane Melaugh and I'm the guy writing most of the posts on this blog. My goal is to provide you with useful, straight-forward insights on how to grow your business by creating compelling offers, driving traffic and increasing conversions.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 5 comments
Walter - November 9, 2009

Honesty is the best policy, if we stick to this there will be no backfire. Some crazy people over the net does everything to make a quick conversion, yet don’t get away with it. :-)

    Shane - November 9, 2009

    Agreed. As long as you don’t try to cheat the system, you have nothing to worry about.
    Thanks for commenting!

truant - November 11, 2009

you are a humorous guy.
i can’t understand what the video said, but i can understand the article^lol.

frans - November 12, 2009

people need fresh content simple as that

    Shane - November 13, 2009

    Sure they do. The duplicate content myth and the subject of the video is not concerned with people as much as it is with search engines, however. ;)


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