Archive for February, 2008

Duplicate Content *Can* Penalize

February 4th, 2008 tony No comments

duplicate contentFor some time now I’ve been telling clients and friends that publishing duplicate content will not cause you to receive a penalty but that Google will only choose one version of a unique piece of content that it believes to be the authority and refuse to allow other copies to be indexed. So if you publish a copy of one of my blog posts, Google will likely allow my original copy to rank but yours won’t be found.

I think I’ve discovered that enough duplicate content can actually do harm to a domain.

I had an old site we’ll call I was publishing fresh, unique, well written content there several times a day. would always enjoy nice rankings for the content published there and new content was indexed quickly. I had always intended to eventually 301 redirect all of’s pages to which would be hosting identical content. Past experience tells me that the 301 will cause all of’s backlinks and authority to transfer over to and within days I’d see the new site perform nearly as well as the old site’s.

Now here is the mistake I made: some time ago I setup to mirror (for some offline promotional reasons). I had zero backlinks to but it was crawled and indexed anyway. Obviously it was 100% duplicate content and nothing but duplicate content. But I didn’t worry too much about it. The day came to 301 redirect and within days the traffic plummeted. Its been several weeks and no recovery has happened.

Categories: Google, Search Engine Optimization Tags: