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

Mar 25, 2011 - 7:59 am 18 by

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:

Google:

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.

Webmaster:

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.

Google:

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.

 

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