Has Duplicate Content Become A Non-Issue When It Comes To SEO?

Recently I was surfing some SEO blogs when I came across a post on a search marketing conference. I like to see what the other leaders in online marketing are saying these days, so I was anxious to read the entire post, and was well on my way until I came across #13 in their list of top 20 quotes from the conference. It reads:

13. Don’t worry too much about duplicate content.
(Luisella Mazza, Google)

This stopped me in my tracks because as an SEO Strategist, one of the top things we work with clients on is to not only develop content, but to develop unique, high quality content. In doing so we ensure the site of not being hit with the dreaded label of having duplicate content, therefore causing the pages or entire site being ranked low, or worse yet, not being indexed at all. (read some of our previous post on the topic of duplicate content)

So have things changed in Searchland? Maybe. Are we being paranoid? Possibly a tad. Google even says within its guidelines that duplicate content by itself is not grounds for action on a website. In fact, their guidelines read:

‘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.’

I would say most websites out there are above board and not trying to manipulate any system. So should we really not be worried about duplicate content issues? I say we absolutely need to keep the issue of duplicate content in mind when developing site content. If we don’t, we may, even if the chance is ever so slightly, end up kicked out of search engines if they interpret the content as trying to be deceptive. How do we know how they are going to interpret content on a site? What I think is fresh and new copy may be interpreted by a search engine as duplicate content for reasons I might not even know about.

When it comes to duplicate content, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And remember that there is an added advantage of attacking duplicate content – when you develop or rewrite content to be unique, you are erasing the duplicate content possibility, as well as adding unique and hopefully high quality content to your site for visitors. A win – win.

Have you run into any duplicate content issues with your website? Let us know how you were able to remedy the situation.

About Brian McGrath

Over the past 20 years, Brian has experienced many aspects of marketing, including brand management, copywriting, campaign coordination, paid search marketing, social media marketing and internet marketing. Brian now uses this knowledge to help our clients maximize their presence on the internet. His expertise in all things marketing gives our clients – and the Mannix Marketing SEO team – a distinct advantage in all areas of search. His extraordinary analytic skills provide SEO, social media and paid search clients with real, measurable results. To maintain his cutting edge expertise, Brian stays current on the latest trends in social media and digital marketing by reading industry publications, attending conferences, and consulting with peers.