Duplicate Content is Not a Negative Ranking Factor

  • Duplicate content doesn’t count as a negative factor against a website for search ranking, John Mueller, the head of Google. John Mueller.

John Mueller from Google John Mueller clarifies a misconception regarding duplicate content and says that the same content is not considered a bad ranking aspect.

The same content being repeated across several pages is something other than something that can make a website rank lower in the search results.

Mueller says it’s common for websites to have several copies. Google’s algorithms are designed to handle this.

The topic was mentioned this week; however, it’s been discussed again during next week’s Google Search Central SEO office hours.

Duplicate content is a subject that is often discussed among SEOs. Experts look to see if they can spot it when reviewing a website.

Does it affect the search engine rankings? If so, to what extent?

That’s precisely what Davor Bobek, the manager for Blue Glacier, asks Mueller during office hours this week.

Bobek has a website dedicated to car parts. The descriptions of the features are repeated on multiple sites. He is interested in knowing whether this will negatively affect results from searches.

Read Mueller’s reply below.

Google’s John Mueller on Duplicate Content

Mueller clarifies the misconception of duplicate content by saying it’s not a factor that can have an unfavorable ranking score.

If the content of a page is complete or a page is duplicated, Google will show one of them and not the other. Multiple duplicates of the same page do not mean the site is ranking negatively.

Duplicate pages can add weight to the site and consume the budget for crawling; however, that’s another subject that needs to be addressed in this clip.

If parts or content appear repeated across the site, for example, the footer or header, Mueller confirms it will not cause negative ranking signals.

“With this kind of duplicate content, it’s not that much of a problem to have an unfavorable score attached to it. If we discover identical information on several websites, we’ll attempt to locate the most appropriate page if someone is searching specifically for that particular piece of information.

We will not show each if you’ve got the same content across multiple pages. We’ll pick one and display the content on that page. There’s no evidence of any negative message associated with this. In most cases, it’s normal to have a certain amount of shared content on several pages.”

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Get Data Now ADVERTISEMENTTo illustrate how typical duplicate content could become, Mueller provides examples of the same content that people run across all the time.

Shopping online is a vertical in which content is repeated across the board. It is common for retailers to offer the same item, and product pages will likely have a significant portion of the same information.

Google doesn’t take negative signals from searching for product descriptions on a different retailer’s website.

Footers on websites technically count as duplicate content, Mueller says, but it’s also not an issue in terms of rankings in Google.

“A very common an example is e-commerce. If you’ve got a product and someone else sells the same item on a website, there may be an footer that you use across all your pages, and it can be an extremely large footer. Technically, it’s duplicate content, however we are able to handle this. This shouldn’t pose a problem.”


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