Are There Really Penalties From Google For Copied Content?

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Does Google levy penalties for copied content?
Does Google levy penalties for copied content?

Are There Really Penalties From Google For Copied Content?

Have you ever scratched your head and asked yourself “are there really penalties from Google for copied content”?

Duplicate content occurs when the same exact content appears on more that one page on your website.

Copied content is any content that you copied from another domain.This is a copyright issue.

We have already discussed duplicate and thin content and why they need to be corrected for SEO under a separate discussion.

Let us now discuss what copied content is and if having copied content on our website will bring penalties upon us from Google.

Copied content can be classified as follows:

1.Content copied exactly from an identifiable source. This is the easiest type of copied content to identify.

2.Content which is copied, but changed slightly from the original. This type of copying  makes it a bit difficult to find the original source of the  content. We can call this kind of content to be copied with a minimal degree of alteration.

3.Content copied from a changing source, such as a search results page or news feed. It will be difficult to find an exact matching source as this type  of content changes frequently. However, it is still classified as copied content.

What are the penalties levied by Google for copied content?

We have been told told that copied content can often by penalized algorithmically or manually but is this really true?

This is a highly debatable subject and many SEO experts are in agreement with this and some not.

To avoid problems down the road, perhaps the best way of dealing with copied content is as follows:

  1. 301 Redirect

In many cases,the best way to combat copied content is to set up a 301 redirect from the “duplicate” page to the original content page.

When multiple pages with the potential to rank well are combined into a single page, they not only stop competing with one another. They also create a stronger relevancy and popularity signal overall. This will positively impact the “correct” page’s ability to rank well. 

2. Rel=”canonical”

Another option for  dealing with copied content is to use the  rel=canonical  attrubute. This tells search engines that a given page should be treated as though it we a copy of a specified URL, and all the links, content metrics and “ranking power” that search engines apply to this page should actually be credited to the specified URL. 

To add an extra safeguard against content scrapers stealing SEO credit for your content, it’s wise to add a self-referential rel=canonical link to your existing pages. This is a canonical attribute that points to the URL it’s already on. The emphasis here is to thwart the efforts of some scrapers.

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