What Does Matt Cutts Say About Duplicate Content?

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 13.51.47We’re often asked about the pitfalls and possibilities of duplicated content – when it’s good, when it’s bad, and what Google thinks. Here’s our quick guide of how it works and what to watch out for.

‘Duplicate content’ means, as its name suggests, content that can be found in more than one place on the internet. When talking about duplicate content its helpful to bear in mind that there is a big difference between copying an entire page of content from one website to publish it on another, and simply referring to or quoting another site’s content.

Many people worry that having duplicate content can result in their site being penalised by Google and other search engines. This is highly unlikely to happen, as Matt Cutts (head of web spam at Google) has repeatedly said. Unless the duplicated content is ‘spammy’ then it really isn’t a problem – don’t worry!

Duplicate content on a reasonable scale isn’t a bad thing – many sites quote others and display some of the same information, and for good reason. Google recognises this, and you won’t be penalised. In some cases duplicate content is unavoidable – legal disclaimers, terms and conditions, greeting messages and more might be identical across several sites, and that isn’t a problem either. To put it simply, unless 95% of your content is directly copied from another page you aren’t going to run into difficulties.

Of course, Google and other search engines do look for variety and diversity of content when ranking pages, and unique content is always important in optimising your rankings. But again, unless your content is almost identical to that on another page, it is unlikely to affect you. Your site’s rankings are also very unlikely to be negatively impacted if someone else copies your content, though you can report this if you wish.

The important things to remember are that while unique content that adds additional value to your website is great at improving your rankings, you don’t need worry about duplicating content if it is appropriate and beneficial.

If you have any questions about duplicate content, or want any other advice and tips don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Click Hub. Contact our head of content by emailing

Jimmy Rothwell – Content Manager