Google: We're Good At Handling Boilerplate Text

Dec 29, 2011 - 8:11 am 1 by

BoilerplateMany websites have it, the boilerplate text on the site. Either it is a repetitive copyright or legal disclaimer on the footer of every page or it is a statement of some sorts find on all your pages.

Boilerplate text comes in many flavors and locations but Google says they handle it just fine.

A Google Webmaster Help thread has Googler John Mueller telling a webmaster not to worry about having boilerplate text on the page.

John said:

Google is generally quite good at recognizing "boilerplate text" (text which you repeat on many pages) and treating it appropriately. I wouldn't worry about having to place a disclaimer on your pages. If you want to make it clearer to search engines that it's not relevant to your content, you could also just place the text in an image (personally, I'd just place the text on the pages normally).

I think going the text in an image route is a bit extreme. I think just letting Google figure it out is the best approach. Of course, many SEOs would obsess about these things might disagree.

If you remember, one of the Google update posts talks a little bit about boilerplate text. They wrote that they improved "Better page titles in search results by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors." Adding, "We [Google] look at a number of signals when generating a page's title. One signal is the anchor text in links pointing to the page. We [Google] found that boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as relevant, so we are putting less emphasis on these. The result is more relevant titles that are specific to the page's content."

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Image credit to ShutterStock repetitive homes.


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