Understanding Google’s Approach to Duplicate Content and Its Impact on SEO

Duplicate content‚ abounds on the net. News texts are copied and distributed, quotes from blogs and news portals are posted online on other blogs and news portals, and pictures are always posted somewhere on websites anyway. That the terms and conditions are duplicate content on every subpage is somehow clear. But Google will not punish general terms and conditions as duplicate content?

The general view under SEOs is that Google treats duplicate content as spam, “Webmasters and SEOs accordingly relentlessly point out the origin, individual and‚ own content should be used. How does this attitude go together with the factual, excessive use of duplicate content?

When it comes to dealing with duplicate content, Google uses its top priority: The added value for the user! Matt Cutts speaks of 25% – 30% duplicate content on the web. Duplicate content is normal and not spam. The question is whether it offers added value for the user or not.

How does Google proceed now?
First of all, duplicate content is in “clusters” summarized and treated as one content. If Google sees two pages with duplicate content, only one of the pages will perform well. If the other side is improved over time and filled with added value, it will rise again.

Product descriptions in online shops are also often duplicate content but are not really penalized if you do not exaggerate. But for marketing reasons, this shouldn’t prevent you from creating your own, good and attractive product descriptions for your goods.

After all, as a webmaster, you have various options such as canonical tag, robots.txt, etc. to choose from, with which internal duplicate content does not immediately lead to a penalty. Furthermore, terms and conditions or similar legal notices are not really duplicate content and are not punished.

Matt Cutts mentions the question of a user who wants to automatically set RSS feeds on his site. Google recognizes this as’ bad ‘Duplicate Content’ because it offers no added value for the user to simply post messages from a feed without comment on their own page. More precisely, Cutts says, this approach, ‘Might be a little bit more likely to be viewed as spam’.

Duplicate content is bad but not the worst thing that can be done from an SEO perspective. As long as the content is not copied with dubious intent, but only where there is no other way, duplicate content is not to blame for a devaluation. The whole thing shouldn’t tempt you to throw duplicate content around you. Optimize your site for the user, then Google will be happy too! SEO is part of marketing on the internet.

SEO has a special status because it is optimized for the customer via the search engine. But the same applies to SEOs as to the rest of marketing: think of the customer, stimulate their brain and don’t bore them! Anyone who copies the content of their pages internally or puts copied content on their site is wasting the opportunity to offer good content that attracts customers.