The myth of the duplicate content penalty
There is a lot of confusion surrounding how Google handles duplicate content, but columnist Patrick Stox aims to clear it up once and for all.
Many people are more afraid of duplicate content than they are of spammy links.
There are so many myths around duplicate content that people actually think it causes a penalty and that their pages will compete against each other and hurt their website. I see forum posts, Reddit threads, technical audits, tools, and even SEO news websites publishing articles that show people clearly don’t understand how Google treats duplicate content.
Google tried to kill off the myths around duplicate content years ago. Susan Moska posted on the Google Webmaster blog in 2008:
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.
You can help your fellow webmasters by not perpetuating the myth of duplicate content penalties!
Sorry we failed you, Susan.
What is duplicate content?
Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.
People mistake duplicate content for a penalty because of how Google handles it. Really, the duplicates are just being filtered in the search results.