If You're Copying Content, Don't Tell Google You're Being Copied

Mar 25, 2011 • 7:59 am | comments (18) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Copy - SimonI find way too many head-smacking moves made in the Google Webmaster Help forums. The latest? A webmaster complaining his site dropped in the rankings, then Google suggesting they only post unique content on their site, then the webmaster saying that their content is unique but others are copying his content. The story is all too familiar but in this case, Google investigated and said that no- you are copying content from others.

Lesson to be learned here? If you are copying content from other sites, do not complain in a Google forum, do not lie in a Google forum and do not look dumb in a Google forum.

Here are the relevant snippets from the thread:


One thing that is very important to our algorithms is unique and compelling content. In general, it makes little sense for us to crawl and index content that is copied, rewritten, automatically translated or otherwise automatically processed -- we assume that our users would much rather want to find the original source. With that in mind, I would strongly recommend removing all such content -- should you have any -- and making sure that all of your content is of the highest quality possible, and really unique and compelling, in short: something that users will want to refer friends to.

Should you find and remove content like that, I would recommend submitting a reconsideration request after cleaning everything up, detailing the changes that you have made.


Please also understand the fact that people are copying me. Just like my last post New Zealand vs South Africa it is totally unique, read it as its worth reading as I write my own reviews and you can see last night I submited this post and it is already copied to two or more sites. You can check all my reviews, they are totally unique but it seems they are no longer, on web I can not stop people copying me. And if I would be well indexed this would surely copied by many.


It would seem strange to me that the Times of India would be copying and correcting the mistakes in your posts... Looking through a sample of your posts, I don't see a problem with other sites copying your content, but I do see posts on your site that are just rewritten from other sources. While I understand that you can't make up news, it's really important to us that your site provides unique and compelling content of its own, even if you are referring to other sources. One way to do this could be to properly quote and link to the original source, while making sure that your commentary makes up the majority of the content on those pages. Rewriting other sources without attribution or unique additional value is not something that our algorithms appreciate.

Seriously? You want a human Googler to look at your site after you were penalized, to find out you are lying even more?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: March 24, 2011


Liam Shepherd

03/25/2011 12:10 pm



03/25/2011 12:18 pm

Amazing.. "It's not me that's copying - it's the Times of India!" It would be funny if it weren't so widespread.


03/25/2011 12:18 pm

Amazing.. "It's not me that's copying - it's the Times of India!" It would be funny if it weren't so widespread.


03/25/2011 12:24 pm

lol what a muppet everyone knows google just wants original content if you are copying just put no follow in from so google doesnt see the content

S Jadon

03/25/2011 12:28 pm

that was weird!!

Nick Stamoulis

03/25/2011 02:12 pm

It baffles me that so many website owners think they can get away with black hat tactics like this. Google didn't become what it is today by letting websites talk/trick their way into the SERP. But to contact Google and think you could get away with it shows some serious naivety.

Jill Whalen

03/25/2011 02:59 pm

The best part was that he thought it was cuz he used H3 tags!


03/25/2011 08:41 pm

I lost all my visitors, revenue, credibility, repute with Google & I feel like alone. I am feeling the pain of this kick/slap & I cannot sleep even. May be I deserve for that. orlando villas


03/26/2011 11:38 am

Well, its good to read that google is strict about content copying. But My case is strange. I wrote a article, unique obviously, its been copied by many blogspot blogs and even some shameless websites without giving any credit to the original article. The issue I am facing is that when people enter that "particular keyword" in google my website article comes on top and surprisingly the sites which copied content from my blog appear just below my links. I filed DMCA for blogspot but nothing happened yet. I thought Google will realize this soon but nothing of that sort happened those articles (copied by shameless people from by blog) are still appear where they should not.


03/26/2011 01:05 pm

You can't bluff Google!!

Goof spotter

03/26/2011 04:04 pm

What a goof

Gabriele Granato

03/26/2011 10:22 pm

God forgives Google no :-)


03/27/2011 04:09 am

Hi Barry, Well, sometimes I just forget about SEO... you know. It is important, but not all the time, sometimes, if had to choose between writing something that makes sense to a search-engine but is written in a "weird" way when observed by a real human being, almost every time I'd just ignore the Search-engine. I'm not willing to pay the price of making myself look like an idiot because of a stupid search-bot. In my humble opinion, if you write something valuable, then reference is almost always makes sense, although if the majority of your articles are short in words, then "references" may have an negative impact, ... but the rest assured... I don't trust "advices" that comes from an employee of Google or Bing, etc. For instance, the "Google" person says that - "It would seem strange to me that the Times of India would be copying and correcting the mistakes in your posts" Not sure about times of india, but CNN, USA Today, Yahoo, etc just copies articles of others and paste in their site all the time. If you think I'm lying, use http://www.copyscape.com/ and find it yourself. But I do agree on you that, to some extent we should be careful. Nice post BTW :). Have a look at this post - http://bloggerillustrated.net/hey-google-i-found-some-content-farms-for-you-to-zap/ Gayan.

dee oneal

03/28/2011 12:44 pm

Well, in my opinion it's okay to get some ideas on some articles or posts that you read but to copy it then that's the problem. You can get and collect some sources so your article will be clearly stated however there's still a conflict if you actually get the unique content of what you've read. Why not just make or create something that's your own and highlight some pointers that you think should be included. Google is intelligent enough if you just copy what you've posted or not.

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03/28/2011 01:02 pm

It is all most impossible to cheat Google. Google crawler are now much more efficient and clever. RT @ If You're Copying Content, Don't Tell Google You're Being Copied - http://goo.gl/k6SqV


03/28/2011 01:08 pm

Absolutely amazing


03/28/2011 01:09 pm

I checked out the thread and it appears that the guy actually didn't mean to copy but wasn't aware of how to reference correctly. No big deal.


04/01/2011 02:43 pm

haha...he does not exist.....he is amazing

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