Google Duplicate Content SEO Penalty – Real or Imagined?
June 14, 2023
Google Duplicate Content SEO Penalty
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your audience online. Creating and publishing quality content is a critical component of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Site traffic becomes customers!

From our recent article, “What is Google Sandbox? Is This A Real Occurrence? Or Myth?”, we discussed indexing, crawling, and ranking on Google (and Bing’s search engine). While putting that piece together, to provide advice on how to have your site’s articles and keywords becoming prominent in search queries — I realized there was not a clear “cause and effect” solution.

The advice simply boiled down to “keep churning out quality content”!

Being of the investor mindset, I am used to being patient and disciplined in achieving my future goals. But, this does pose a question:

What if after writing 75 to 100 unique, SEO-friendly articles, NOTHING HAPPENS?

In the Google SandBox article, we said the expected probationary period before traffic begins to increase was generally about 6 months — but is that a guarantee or a generalization?

Do we ever hear from sites who start in the SandBox and remain there? Definitely not!

Due to this, would it be safer to “scrape” existing content as opposed to months and months toiling over unique material that lead nowhere?


What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content occurs when significant portions of text matches other content found online from other web pages – both intentional and coincidental.

Coincidental could result from multiple content creators quoting the same biographical alliterations to using the same Amazon product description.

Intentional is self-explanatory.


Duplicate Content: Why It Happens and How to Fix It

Does having duplicate copy result in lower rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs)?

I explored this and it did not appear to be as much of a penalty as I expected. If a search query spawns several websites with similar information, Google will simply attempt to return the best match.

Would it appear you were “penalized” for not being the best match to the query? Maybe, but it did not mean you were not still ranked highly… or did not appear at all.


Google SEO Duplicate Content Penalty

Like Google SandBox, is Google Duplicate Content Penatly a myth too?  I don’t think so.

Google doesn’t impose a duplicate content penalty on web pages, but it is still harmful to your SEO strategy. Why? Because  they do not want to display copycat results that the user will have to disseminate for validity. It wants to render the ideal result(s) on your behalf. Duplicate content simply dilutes search outcomes and places more emphasis on crawling and disqualifying duplicate content.

You would think that “first come, first serve” would be a simple policy, but I don’t think this is true.

Google leverages over 200 factors in determining data integrity for search. An older site, that has more indexed pages and might even be more compliant to Google’s Webmaster policies, could plagiarize the content of a newer site, and benefit from this ranked content instantly.

Something a newer site could not achieve.

What did you think Google’s penalty for duplicate/scraped content was? Let us know in the comments section.


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