You Ask, I Answer: Dealing With Duplicate Content and SEO?

Simone asks, “Does Google Search ding us for duplicated content or should I just throw this out the window and let my editorial team publish the same content across multiple sites?”

Google’s search algorithms attempt to find the most authoritative version of any given piece of content. Sometimes that’s your site. Sometimes it’s not – especially if your site isn’t as robust, authoritative, or trustworthy as a site you’re syndicating content to.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Simone asks, Does Google Search ding us for duplicated content? Or should I just throw this out the window and let my editorial team published the same content across multiple sites? So on the topic of duplicate content, here’s what happens with Google.

Google looks at a piece of content and kind of fingerprints it and then looks around at its catalog and sees where else it is seamless.

And then based on that, it tries to figure out which one is the most authoritative, which one is the one that will give the user the best experience.

And so it’s going to take into account things like reputation, expertise, trustworthiness, all these ranking signals that it’s come up with.

That will help it decide when it shows a page because it’s going to show the best results.

Not going to show All the results, it picks up, it’ll show the best result in a Google search query to the end user.

The trouble with syndicated content where you take a piece of content and you pitch it everywhere and throw it on every blog, and get reporters to publish it, etc, if you can, if it’s impossible these days is your site may not be the best choice.

Right? Even if it’s your content, your site may not be the best choice.

If you have a piece of content, and you put it on, it’s on your blog, and it’s on, say, The New York Times.

Just by virtue of reputation, and user interface alone, who’s going to win.

Probably Google is going to see the New York Times version as the authoritative version saying this is clearly the most reputable authoritative site and you your content will get consumed but it will not get consumed on your site and will not benefit your site because A better ranking site has taken that advantage.

So when you are publishing content, there’s two ways to get around this.

One.

don’t publish it elsewhere.

Right? That’s by far the easiest solution is if you’ve got something that you’ve invested a lot of time in, and you really want it to contribute to your site’s search engine optimization efforts, your SEO efforts.

Keep it in in your wheelhouse.

Don’t let other sites have that same piece of content, you might create an extract or abstract or summary, a shorter version, much shorter that links back to your site.

And that’s a great way to do that.

It’s a great strategy, but don’t give away the whole thing.

The second way which is less reliable, and therefore, somewhat more challenging, is when you publish that piece of content A make sure it’s on your site first, by a substantial amount of time, like, at least a day, ideally a week and use what’s called the rel canonical tag.

A rel canonical tag is a meta tag that goes into your website.

For that piece of content.

Ideally, it’s set up as a part of your content management system.

So it’s on every piece of content.

And it basically tells Google, this is the original piece of content.

You may see this other places, but this is where it appeared first, and this is this is who the owner of this piece of content is.

Now, the challenge with that, of course, is that if you just hand another blog, that same piece of content, they put it on their website, and they have the same rel canonical tag turned on and they’re CMS.

Now you have essentially you’re back to square one.

You have two sides battling out that’s why the timing is important, making sure that it appears first on on yours Because logically, if it appears first there and Google fingerprints both and says, Well, this one appeared earlier, the system knows that that is more likely to be the original piece of content.

So the timing difference combined with rel canonical can help.

But fundamentally, don’t give away the best stuff to other people.

Right? give away the stuff that’s okay.

That helps establish your reputation that helps broaden awareness.

But for the things that are your crown jewels, they belong on your site and your site alone.

So make that decision when you’re when you’re building your content strategy.

What are we going to give away? What are we going to rent essentially, and by that I mean those abstracts as extracts the short versions of your your better pieces of content, and what are we just not going to give away.

The other thing that is You may want to look into is if you’ve got people who are taking content from your site without your permission, you can file copyright infringement claims with Google takedown notices and such saying, hey, can this site is scraping our stuff that in itself is a full time job because there’ll be plenty of sites that will scrape your stuff.

And it takes a while to to pursue them but certainly anything that scraping your your big stuff, you might want to to get like a virtual assistant or somebody to go out and chase those sites, filing those claims with Google, sending down takedown notices, cease and desist notices and all that stuff.

That takes time and money.

And I would only say that would be a problem if you notice it in your search engine.

Rank monitoring tools.

If you see sites that you’re competing with winning on keywords that lead to scraped content that is yours.

That would be I sort of the threshold, I would say where you’d want to go out and pursue those those folks who are doing that, because that obviously is causing harm to your business.

If it’s not causing harm, if you know some bot farm is scraped your entire blog, and it’s showing up in monitored links in your in your SEO tool, and they’re like domain authority is like to and stuff and you badly outrank them.

That’s not an issue.

So that’s duplicate content.

A lot of people will refer to a duplicate content penalty, there is no penalty, right? Google does not say we’re going to punish you for for having duplicate content, Google is simply going to say, we’re going to find the best version of this piece of content.

So your site will not incur some kind of mysterious penalty and vanish from search rankings.

That kind of happened a long time ago and is sort of stuck with people who have not kept their SEO knowledge up to date.

But that is no longer the case and has not been for a very long time.

So that’s, that’s duplicate content.

Be careful where you wiki.

Ultimately Be careful who you let borrow your stuff.

Same as anything.

All right? Don’t let people borrow your best stuff.

If you have follow up questions on this, please leave in the comments box below.

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