Google's Matt Cutts: Don't Copy Wikipedia Content & Expect To Rank Well

Dec 27, 2013 • 8:07 am | comments (20) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

WikipediaA Google Webmaster Help has Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, giving advice to a webmaster. The advice, don't copy content from Wikipedia and expect to rank well.

The truth is, Wikipedia is a great source for facts. Webmasters simply should not copy and paste it verbatim. You can use it when writing stories and for fact checking, but not for copy and paste.

Matt Cutts wrote:

I picked a page at random: http://www.listofwonders.com/top-10-famous-haunted-places-in-the-world and the first sentence of the first haunted place is "Berry Pomeroy Castle, a Tudor mansion within the walls of an earlier castle, is near the village of Berry Pomeroy, in England."

If you look up the Wikipedia page of Berry Pomeroy Castle, the first sentence of the Wikipedia page is "Berry Pomeroy Castle, a Tudor mansion within the walls of an earlier castle, is near the village of Berry Pomeroy, in South Devon, England."

That was the very first random thing I checked, and it doesn't bode well for your site. If you're just copying text and pictures from other sites, I'd expect that your site would only be adding a limited amount of value for visitors, so it's not a huge surprise that your site doesn't get a ton of traffic at this point. I'd take some time to think about ways to add more value for someone who lands on your site.

It is tempting to just copy and paste and try to pass it off as your own. But use it as research, not as a content source. Write your story or summary around your research and don't just copy and paste.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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