I recently discussed with an acquaintance what if someone creates a webpage that looks exactly like another website he created, and duplicate pages are showing up in the search results. It would appear that Google has some same content issues to contend with, but what exactly is Google doing about it? What exactly is penalizing someone for duplicating content? Is it a black hat or white hat search engine optimization technique?
Google states in its terms of service that it does not use a black hat strategy. However, I didn’t see any reference to a FAQ stating that Google does not use a redirect method for duplicate content. So my question is, does Google penalize you for duplicating your web pages? If you’re smart about duplicate content, you avoid repeating the same content twice. There’s an option in your Google settings to “plex” the URL (see my article on SEO for more information on “plex”), but in my experience, I haven’t seen it used very much. You can read some reviews in Scam Risk sites about how Google penalizes duplicate content.
By looking at what Google states is their “plex” policy – it’s basically a fancy term for a link that contains two or more links leading to the same page. Google also states that they don’t use a “301 redirect” when determining which URL a page on your site ranks for. However, a “redirect” is a Googlebot way of directing traffic to another page. This can be very useful for SEO purposes. It allows you to create a “2 ways to link”, where you can link to a duplicate page on your website, but still have your “scope” of being able to receive traffic from the original URL.
So if Google doesn’t use a “redirect” to navigate from one page to another, why does Google penalize duplicate content? It’s simply because it doesn’t realize that the same page may contain the same information. Google has a special algorithm for ranking websites. It looks at the “redirects” to see if there is a correlation between them. If it sees a lot of them, then you get punished.
The way Google works is by analyzing a site’s structure. It compares each URL to its competitor. If they are similar, then you might be penalized. On the other hand, if they are very different, then your page may not be punished for duplicate content, even though it may contain the same information.
The most common way to get your url punished is to have duplicate content within the same website. Google will often penalize sites for duplicated content that is placed on the same domain. For example, you could have two URLs on the exact identical site (one pointing to an affiliate link, and one leading to a sales page). This is a problem that are pretty easy to avoid, but it does happen. When this happens in a major search results, your site will be dropped from the top results, and all of your backlinks will be deleted.
What happens if your webmasters tried to create SEO rich sites, with duplicate pages within the same site? Google still looks at the structure of your site, and no-index or no-follow links will be created. So, they still won’t penalize you for duplicate content, even though you may have many of them within the same site. If you want to create SEO rich sites, you’ll want to include a no-follow, or no-index tags to each of your pages.
Now, if you created a site where you had no-follow, no-index, and a few different pages, and your site didn’t follow the structure of the other three, Google still doesn’t like it. You’ll likely get penalized for duplicate content within your site, regardless of whether the pages are naturally placed together, or placed in a unique format. Even if the duplicate content is part of the original content, you still have to provide an explanation for why the content was duplicated. This is a big problem for people trying to create SEO rich sites, but the solutions provided here can help minimize your risk of getting penalized.