How does Google handle duplicate content?

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Having duplicate content on your website can often prove to be detrimental. Even if it is accidental, you still need to handle it as early as possible to avoid being penalized. But how does Google handle duplicate content? Have you ever thought about it? Before we dive into the answers, it is important to point out that a lot of content out there on the web are duplicate content. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that around 30 percent of the content falls under the duplicate content category!

What exactly is duplicate content?

Duplicate content refers to chunks or blocks of content that are either entirely similar to one another or almost identical. So, we are talking about exact duplicates and near-duplicates. No doubt, people often copy content from other websites, either intentionally or unknowingly. Sometimes, people will pick a paragraph and quote the same in their blog, and then link to the main blog. Moreover, it is not that duplicate content happens every single time. In some cases, it can also be spam! In such cases, the search quality of your website can get affected negatively. 

Types of duplicate content

There are two categories of duplicate content. And they are:

  • Internal duplicate content: This happens when one domain generates duplicate content via several internal URLs. Here, we are talking about the same website. 
  • External duplicate content: This kind of duplication of content is also referred to as cross-domain duplication. It happens when two or more dissimilar domains carry the same webpage content indexed by the search engines. 

Does Google looks for duplicate content?

Yes, it does. When it comes to finding duplicate content, most of us try to group them up together. We treat the duplicate content as if they are just one single piece of content. But it is the other way around. When we use plagiarism tools to look for duplicate content, we do not check more than two or three pages. We just compare the duplicate content from the first two or three pages and ignore the remaining ones. To ensure we get complete rid of duplicate content, it’s important to carry out an exhaustive search. We should check out every single page. This way, we can ensure that our content will not be treated as spam by Google or any other search engine. 

When it’s okay to have duplicate content?

If you are making a second version of your website, with two different domains, in that case you can take the liberty of having the same content for pages like terms and conditions, privacy policy, etc. That kind of duplication is quite normal and it happens all the time on the internet. As long as you are not copying large chunks of content, you are completely okay!


So, that’s all you need to know about duplicate content, their types, and when to avoid them. If you want your content to rank higher, it’s important to stay away from content duplication. Spending a little time on creating unique content can prove to be beneficial in the long run.