As an Inbound Marketing Consultant here at HubSpot the questionwhat is duplcate content of duplicate content comes up at least once during the consulting period for every customer. The most common question is “what is duplicate content?” so let’s start with that. Google’s answer to the question is as follows:

“Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.”

So, what does that mean exactly? If you have the same content on different URL’s, regardless of whether it’s on the same domain or across multiple domains, it’s duplicate content.  Search engines try to eliminate duplicate content to give you the best search results possible and limit spammers attempts to rank for the same content multiple times.

Still, Google recognizes that in many cases duplicate content is not intentional and sometimes even out of your control. To make sure you don’t mistakenly have duplicate content across the web you can proactively address any potential duplicate content issues. In instances where your own content is being scraped by other websites and republished you shouldn’t worry about being penalized by search engines as they recognize these occurences.

Two specific questions came up during the first webinar in our Blogging series that I wanted to address.

1.) The first came from Angela Stevens of Reading Horizons who asked “is posting an article from a guest blogger on your blog who had already published that same article on their domain duplicate content?”

The answer is yes. As long as the majority of the content, if not all of it, can be found elsewhere it’s always duplicate content – regardless of the circumstances. A better solution that still gives credit to the original content creator and while providing an opportunity to rank for a new keyword is to reference that blog article and include a link back to it through a new post that is relevant to the original article. Take the original blog post and expand upon it express your opinions.

2.) The second question came from Dwight Kellams of Your Financial Watchdog who asked if “republishing  existing articles on our new HubSpot blog page from our old blog duplicate content?”

Once again, if the content can be found in more than one place it is duplicate content. In this case you would want to setup a permanent 301 redirect from the old blog article’s URL to the new URL. This will maintain the authority of any inbound links generated by that article as well as keep the links intact. You also will want to remove the original blog article from the old blogging platform.

Have any more questions regarding duplicate content? Ask us in the comment section below.

Photo credit: Mukumbura

Originally published Feb 2, 2011 10:04:00 AM, updated December 16 2013