Well, well, well…the SEO world is all abuzz with Matt Cutts saying duplicate content isn’t all bad. In our Search Engine Academy courses, we make a huge point of saying duplicate content should be avoided at all costs.

But is it OK to have some duplicate content? Well, let’s tune into this Matt Cutts video and find out, shall we?

Is duplicate content ever OK?For your further reading enjoyment, Google Webmaster Tools yammers on about “non-malicious duplicate content” to let us know that yes, sometimes it’s OK, alright?

Alrighty then, so if you have some boilerplate language, it’s not gonna sink you. Things like your copyright statement, address and phone number on every page – things like that which are pretty benign and actually contribute positively to your user’s experience, especially having all of your contact information easy to find everywhere.

I’ve also seen local businesses list all the cities/counties/zip codes/neighborhoods they provide services and products to as part of their local SEO strategy. I’ve yet to see a site get penalized for this.

OK, what’s not the way to use duplicate content?

  • Deliberately publishing duplicate blocks of copy that contains a keyword you want to rank well for.
  • “Scraping” or copying some other body of knowledge on another website (the origin) because it has content with a keyword that ranks well – this includes videos, and other forms of indexable content (AKA “search engine friendly”)

In general, I hugely discourage anyone from using any duplicate content. I had someone ask me the other day about re-purposing blog posts for different sites. I told him that if he couldn’t re-write the entire post around whatever subject it is, to modify at least 50% of the post before putting it on another blog. I understand where he’s coming from, but why tempt fate? If you want to put a post on a well-regarded blog, why not bust your butt to create an entirely new, original article for that site?

With Google Panda rolling out monthly, and no more “heads up!” from Google on the roll outs, you never know when or if you’re going to get with a Panda penalty. Why not do the right thing, as hard as the effort is, and create unique, original content?

If you need ideas for content, check out Topsy, Quora, Google Trends and Twitter to see what’s being talked about. If you can write on something trending, it could rank faster and better.

Until next time…think about getting several blog posts ahead and keep looking for subjects to write informative articles on. As always, please keep it between the ditches!

All the best to you,