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The Great Duplicate Content Debate – Will Google Blacklist You?

May 16th, 2011

How do you create a website that is loved by the search engines?

Well the most obvious way is to have plenty of relevant, fresh content that closely mirrors the theme of your site.

We hear lots of frenzied talk about how duplicate content can damage your site ranking with Google. We hear remarks such as, “You mustn’t use any private label rights (PLR) articles because others will be using the same material and it will damage your search engine ranking.”

But before jumping on the bandwagon, let’s consider a few facts:

a) There are plenty of high-ranking websites that are full of duplicate content and nothing but! If duplicate content matters so much, why are these sites not banned?

b) Google itself has not named duplicate content as a no-no. Admittedly, it doesn’t exactly wear its heart on its sleeve when it comes to the rules it uses for ranking websites, but there has not been a lot of talk from Google itself about duplicate content hurting one’s ranking.

On Google’s Webmaster’s Central blog, it states:

“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.”

It goes on to state:
“There are some penalties that are related to the idea of having the same content as another site-for example, if you’re scraping content from other sites and republishing it, or if you republish content without adding any additional value. These tactics are clearly outlined (and discouraged) in our Webmaster Guidelines:”

c) There are those who find this whole duplicate content debate to be very convenient – and profitable. After all, it gives them the opportunity to produce e-books and PC software that “solves” the awful problem of duplicate content!

Article changing or “spinning” software is a prime example of this. This niche is actually a huge industry that encourages those who purchase private-label writes content to attempt to make it unique for the benefit of the search engines.

It is in the interests of the PC software developers to kick up a stir about duplicate content. After all, if it were revealed that it is not such a big issue, they would lose a nice income stream!

Don’t get me wrong here — I’m not saying that search engines don’t like fresh content. It certainly is a big factor. So what do you do if you don’t have the time to constantly create 100% fresh, unique content?

Your best bet is the use of a model that combines both fresh content along with purchased content and to properly optimize the page, including the page titles.

A good way to create fresh content is through the use of a good voice dictation program like Dragon Dictate for Mac or Dragon NaturallySpeaking for PC. Many people find the use of such software to be much easier than having to peck out everything by hand, and the price beats out outsourcing all of your content over the long run.

Unless you’re employing blatantly unethical or black hat tactics to attempt to trick the search engines, the issue of duplicate content is not as big as it’s made out to be. What matters is that your site is optimized for search engine purposes and has plenty of high-ranking websites and authority sites providing back links to it.

That’s the kind of thing that results in high rankings even if you use some content that can be found all over the Internet.

You might get the impression that the Mac is the forgotten stepchild of the Internet marketing industry. But did you know that some of the top names in Internet Marketing use Macs? Visit and get a FREE 75-page ebook that covers everything you need to know about running your Internet business using a Mac, iPhone and iPad.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’][/author_image] [author_info]This article written by Tim Arends. Tim is webmaster of Tim Arends has been a user of Macs since 1994 and has helped purchase, install, maintain and troubleshoot Macintoshes and Mac networks for business for several years. Tim has written 1 awesome article for Another-Blogger Dot Com. Connect with Tim @ Twitter and Facebook. [/author_info] [/author]

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Latief Pakpahan

Blogger, SEO and Social Media Enthusiast, Inbound Marketing Certified Professional. Always love to blog and interest with Blogging and Internet Marketing Stuffs. Writing about Blogging, SEO and Social Media at few blogs. Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you'll return in the future. "Blogger always create and deliver goods contents"

32 responses to “The Great Duplicate Content Debate – Will Google Blacklist You?”

  1. shenoyjoseph

    writing unique and fresh content is most important factor in blogging.
    shenoyjoseph recently posted..Altec Lansing Orbit USB Stereo SpeakersMy Profile

  2. Ahsan

    Unique content is always good for search engine to continue good rank & good communication with visitors. Again,it’s not easy always to write unique content. When anything happens in Tech world its immediately published in different sites & blogs. So if anyone try to write content on that particular topic, it looks like duplicate. But I think writing in own language is the best way to keep unique content.
    Ahsan recently posted..Speed Up Internet SpeedMy Profile

    • Tim Arends says:

      Ashan, it’s true that “there’s nothing new under the sun” and any topic you write about will have been covered before. However, the phrase “unique content” merely means that you put your thoughts into your own words. To the search engines such as Google, that makes the content totally “unique” even if your topic has been covered online many times before.
      Tim Arends recently posted..Know Your Target Market For Effective Blogging For BusinessMy Profile

  3. Hi Tim,

    Insightful post on duplicate content. The easiest way to get unique content is to write your own opinions on topics affecting your industry and your customers in your own way.

    By putting a different slant on an existing topic you’re content will be unique and help get you noticed.
    Jamie Fairbairn recently posted..A Beginnerโ€™s Guide to Guest BloggingMy Profile

  4. This is so refreshing! There’s been such a debate back and forth, and one thing I’ve noticed about the blogging community is that when Google sneezes, everyone gets totally nervous about the slightest thing that Google’s algorithms don’t like.

    Thank you for finally helping to clear up the debate once and for all.

    Delena Silverfox recently posted..epc LisburnMy Profile

    • latief says:

      Just write useful, unique and fresh contents Delena, we writes not just for search engine but for our readers too. They will abandon your blog if they didn’t found high quality contents.

  5. DiTesco says:

    Duplicate content can be a lot of factors, and sometimes it does not even have to be a “plaragized” copy of anything, lol. An example is something like this: and This can easily be considered as duplicate content..

    All in all, I think that the best strategy is to write, fresh, unique and quality content.
    DiTesco recently posted..Top Tools To Improve Site Speed Performance And Your Online BusinessMy Profile

    • latief says:

      Agree with you DiTesco, writing fresh and unique contents will avoid us from duplicate content trap, but IMO bloggers must avoid duplicating others articles since we re must show our readers that we are have something to say in our words ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Margaret says:

    I have to agree that content is the key and duplicate content should be avoided. The free 75-page ebook seems a great idea but I don’t have a macbook to begin with. Some people are very strict with their copyright privilege so it is better to come up with unique content.

  7. Alex Aguilar

    Duplicate or rewritten content may be enough to slowly improve your siteโ€™s search engine rank, but I doubt many readers will keeping coming back to a site that only regurgitates stuff that can be found elsewhere. You have to remember that there are actual human beings, and not just Googlebots reading your blog, and human readers expect original, compelling content.

    • latief says:

      Agree with you Alex, we must always remember that we are writing the article for our readers too not only for search engines. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This whole topic is filled with so much different information – I personally get confused. In fact even what people consider duplicate content is different – your post provides something to think about….

    Thank you
    Jason Mitchev recently posted..VA Beach Dentist- Choosing Virginia Beach Dentist GuideMy Profile

    • latief says:

      That is what Google wants, confusing us, lol! That is always SEO is always interesting Jason. Nice knowing you like the article.

  9. Kathy says:

    Thanks for your thoughts on this subject.
    Obviously the search engines love fresh content and with that being said…We all have our own opinions (let’s write about them).

    Great Post Tim!


  10. D.J.Rony says:

    Hah-after reading this post I think I have to get thinking again about duplicating my own content. Anyway there are always things to learn.

  11. Twitter is quickly becoming among the top couple most important sites for promoting things on the internet, and the new algorithms currently employed are making twitter even useful for SEO purposes!

    greg | ascentive recently posted..5 Strategies for Leveraging DiversityMy Profile

  12. WPExplorer says:

    Even if there is no such thing as a “duplicate content penalty” you should always strive for unique content.

    In the past Google has ranked people that copy and paste the content from my sites onto theirs pretty highly, however, I am starting to see those sites die down. Maybe Google is finally getting their sh*t together.

  13. Tim Arends says:

    Im glad to hear that WPExplorer! Google continues to adjust their pagerank algorithm, so let’s hope they keep improving.

  14. Ragab says:

    You can get thousands of visitors a day using duplicate content, it only becomes a problem when Google manual team finds it. so who is the team? the adsense quality control team, when they review your site, they will de-index it.So…. just don’t run adsense.

    Think about it, they are the only people paid by Google to check up on sites.