Duplicate Content Question


iFuse

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Hi all, I have a question for you regarding duplicate content on websites. I know it's bad, but how does Google figure out what is what? I have found a competitor to my client that has copied our content word for word on their services pages on their website. Who does google penalize for this, how do they know who had the content originally? Do we both get dinged? Thanks!
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Chris,

Great question. However, there is no duplicate content penalty per se. It's more like Google acknowledges the original and discounts the copies.

There are tons of posts explaining that the duplicate content penalty is a myth. Here's one of the more recent one with a quote from Gary at Google.

<a href="http://www.thesempost.com/duplicate-content-penalty/">There is No Duplicate Content Penalty in Google</a>

And I'm sure she can tell just based on crawling/indexing who the original was.

That's my guess anyway.
 

Linda Buquet

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FYI the best way I found to get duplicate content taken down, if the owner won't respond to emails? Is to email the host with the DCMA take down notice. Here's a sample you can use as a starter/base and customize.

<a href="http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2009/07/06/sample-dmca-take-down-letter/id=4501/">Sample DMCA Take Down Letter - IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law</a>.
 

Nevyana

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Hi Chris,

You can report the scraping site to Google via the following form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Pw1KVOVRyr4a7ezj_6SHghnX1Y6bp1SOVmy60QjkF0Y/viewform - it is a pretty straightforward process and I hope it helps.

As Linda mentioned deindexing duplicate content from Google SERPs is not a penalty but a filter, yet I guess no one wishes to has his pages burried at the end of the SERPs in the tiny url with anchor text “display search results similar to the pages shown above”.

The risk is higher if the competitor's site has better authority than yours (Google might consider the content on his site to be the original one and to hide your pages for good), so be extra careful.
 

Tim Colling

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...The risk is higher if the competitor's site has better authority than yours (Google might consider the content on his site to be the original one and to hide your pages for good), so be extra careful.
Is that really true? If your site clearly published the content before the scraping site, wouldn't Google know that and give your site the "credit"?
 

heckler

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Bing is much more strict with how they handle duplicate content (often times just removing an entire website from the index altogether), I would check to see if Bing has penalized you.

Is that really true? If your site clearly published the content before the scraping site, wouldn't Google know that and give your site the "credit"?
It's best not to leave it to chance, but Google COULD potentially crawl and index a scraped page before your own. But more often than not Google will be able to suss out who published it 1st.
 

Nevyana

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Is that really true? If your site clearly published the content before the scraping site, wouldn't Google know that and give your site the "credit"?
heckler is right. Hoping for the right judgement of the ranking algo not always renders positive results.

You might wish to read this great piece by Glenn Gabe on the issue:

"If you're going to syndicate your content, make sure the websites consuming your content handle attribution properly. In a perfect world, they would use rel=canonical to point back to your content. It's easy to set up and can help you avoid an attribution problem.

In addition, the sites republishing your content could simply noindex it and keep it out of Google's index. They can promote and highlight the content on their site (so it can still be valuable for users), but it won't be indexed and found via search. In aggregate, handling syndicated content properly can help everyone involved avoid potential SEO problems." over at: More Panda 4.0 Findings: Syndication, User Engagement, Indexation & Keyword Hoarding | SEW
 

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