Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, answers a question about duplicate content in his latest video where a user writes in to ask:
How does Google handle duplicate content and what negative effects can it have on rankings from an SEO perspective?
Matt begins his answer by saying it’s important to realize around 25 -30% of all content on the web is duplicate content. Google realizes duplicate content does happen, especially when quoting someone else’s content with a link back to the original post.
Not every instance of duplicate content is spam, and Matt says if Google treated all duplicate content as spam they would only end up hurting the quality of their search results rather than helping it.
Google handles duplicate content by grouping parts of the same content together and treating it as though it’s all one piece of content.
With that being said, Matt is careful to point out if all you do is post duplicate content in an effort to manipulate the search results Google reserves the right to take action on that kind of spammy activity.
Genuine, duplicate content that is not meant to be manipulative happens all the time on the web. Matt says not to stress out about potentially having pieces of the same content showing up in multiple places.
To listen to Matt’s full response to the question please see the video below: