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7 duplicate content myths that simply aren't true
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7 duplicate content myths that simply aren't true


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There are quite a few duplicate content misconceptions circulating in the SEO community. …

There are quite a few duplicate content misconceptions circulating in the SEO community.

Even though a lot has been said by Google's Matt Cutts about the exaggerated fear some people have in regards to a few lines of duplicate content on their sites, many still do not understand what content duplication is, or whether their site is at risk.

So, let's tackle certain tricky questions that concern duplicate content and put some common myths to rest.
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  • 1. 7 duplicate content myths that simply aren’t true By WebMeUp.Com
  • 2. There are quite a few duplicate content myths circulating in the SEO community.
  • 3. Let’s bust them!
  • 4. Myth 1. Duplicate content is ‘same text on multiple pages‘
  • 5. Website owners who are not so good at web design think that the only way to produce duplicate content is to purposefully replicate a piece of text on multiple pages.
  • 6. What they don't realize is that some of their site's pages may be accessible via multiple ULRs (which may happen for various reasons), which, in turn, would automatically lead to content duplication.
  • 7. Ideally, each piece of content should have only one URL associated with it:
  • 8.
  • 9. In reality, though, it happens quite often that a page has multiple URLs associated with it:
  • 10.
  • 11. Hence, if there are pages on your site that have multiple URLs pointing to them, you need to take care of that!
  • 12. To solve that, one should use canonical tags, an XML sitemap, a robots.txt file or other means that aid the canonicalization process.
  • 13. Also, more information on how to tackle these structure issues are given in this guide to SEOfriendly URL architecture.
  • 14. Myth 2. One should block crawlers' access to duplicate pages
  • 15. In case you have duplicate URLs on a site, closing duplicates from getting indexed with a robots.txt is a bad idea.
  • 16. A better solution is to allow search engines to crawl these URLs, but mark them as duplicates.
  • 17. That can be done by using the rel="canonical" link element, the URL parameter handling tool, or 301 redirects.
  • 18. Myth 3. Legal info/disclaimer across multiple pages isn't allowed
  • 19. Some SEOs truly believe that having even a small amount of duplicate content on your site can lead to a penalty. In an overwhelming number of cases, however, it can't.
  • 20. According to Matt Cutts, having a Terms and Conditions template or a Disclaimer message across all pages of your site won't get you penalized.
  • 21. Check out this video to learn more:
  • 22. NB! At the same time, Google still advises one to keep the amount of text in that repeated message to a minimum.
  • 23. Myth 4. Duplicate content penalty doesn't exist
  • 24. Although Google penalizes sites for duplicate content quire seldom (usually such sites are pure spam), it could easily dish out a penalty to a site that:
  • 25. Has nothing but scraped content Scrapes images, auto-translates pages, or uses automated apps/software to spin content prior to publication Purposefully creates pages with nearly identical content to rank them for various locations/keywords
  • 26. In all other cases, your site is unlikely to get penalized for duplicate content. After all, 25-30 % of the Web is duplicate content because people quote other people, and the same information gets shared on it a lot.
  • 27. Myth 5. Google can tell the original content creator
  • 28. There's been a lot of discussion on the Web about Google being or not being able to tell the original creator of a content piece.
  • 29. Some people would say Google replies on publication date to track the authentic author BUT multiple instances of hijacked search results (a scraper site outranking the original) disprove that.
  • 30. Thus, according to Dan Petrovic, there are certain signals you can send Google to let it know you're the original author.
  • 31. These are: Claiming your Google Authorship Specifying canonical URLs Sharing a newly published piece on Google+, etc.
  • 32. Myth 6. Syndicated content is duplicate content
  • 33. Type 1. That is legitimate news sites/information hubs that sometimes feature previously published content. They often provide original commentary and analysis of the piece they cover. Such sites always credit the original content creator.
  • 34. Type 2. Content syndication sites that produce no content of their own. They scrape content off multiple websites (often it is imagery) and give no credit to the original content creators whatsoever.
  • 35.
  • 36. So, if your site belongs to the 1st type and you have syndicated content on it, you have nothing to worry about. If you are type 2, getting a penalty is just a matter of time!
  • 37. Myth 7. Translated copy on regional site isn't duplicate content
  • 38. You may think that translating the copy from your English-language site and publishing it on a regional domain/subdomain is never a problem.
  • 39. Well, sometimes it is.
  • 40. These are the cases when Google can classify a translated copy as duplicate content:
  • 41. You translated it with an automatic tool and just dumped it on your site; * (in which case it would qualify as automatically generated content) You copied your English-language content without change to the regional site.
  • 42. So, when creating a foreign site for your biz, tailor its content for the segment of users you are trying to reach with it. Most likely, they would want a slightly different message than the one you have for Englishspeaking audiences.
  • 43. This is it!
  • 44. For more info check WebMeUp blog: