The words “duplicate content penalty” strike fear in the hearts of practice owners and marketers.

People with no SEO experience use this phrase all the time… and most have never read Google’s guidelines on duplicate content.

They assume that if something appears twice online, asteroids and locusts must be close behind.

So, what’s the big deal?

Well local business owners get told all the time that every page on their website should have unique content.

I often say, ask those people if they have any first-hand experience with duplicate content issues?


two kneeling girls spreading arms together


Do they really believe that Google expects to see different content about your services in Manly vs in Balmain?

Of course not.

Now there is a difference between plagiarism and duplicate content. I do not advocate for taking content somebody else wrote and putting it on your website.

But I do think you should only write as much content for your website as is efficient for ranking on Google.

My main message is…

Calm down.

In my view, we’re living through a massive overreaction.

People talk and worry about this far too much.

For some, it’s a near panic. So, let’s take a deep breath and consider the following…

Google’s bot visits most sites every day. If it finds a copied version of something a week later on another site, it knows where the original appeared. Googlebot doesn’t get angry and penalise. It moves on. That’s pretty much all you need to know.

Remember, Google has more than 2,000 math PhDs on staff. They build self-driving cars and computerized glasses. They are really, really good.

Do you think they’ll ding a domain because they found a page of unoriginal text?

A huge percentage of the internet is duplicate content. Google knows this. They’ve been separating originals from copies since 1997, long before the phrase “duplicate content” became a buzzword in 2005.

So the next time you hear an “SEOer” or an “expert” try to tell you that every page on your website must have unique, ask them if they have any experience with duplicate content issues before giving their opinion much weight.


Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.