Long since the Penguin release (April 2012) we have known that Google has rightly been penalising websites that contain duplicate content* from other websites. After all, the user experience is frustrating when you do a search and, say, 10 websites all appear on Google page 1 with links to exactly the same article across different domains (websites). To maintain its position as the best Search Engine Google had to address the proliferation of websites blatantly copying (or simply republishing) original content.
The problem was further compounded as many low grade article writers (and low grade SEO companies) would simply copy an original article and use it as basis for cheap link-building in a further attempt to game search results.
In August 2012 Google has taken the next step by adding a new search algorithm to already over 200 to penalise sites that have had a high number of ‘Copyright Removal Notices’ reported against them.
Amit Singhal, Senior VP Engineering stated, “Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results”.
This appears a rapidly growing issue with Google reporting over 1.5 million per week in July 2012.
When we analyse websites of clients of Somerset Web Services we rarely, if ever, notice signs of copying or republication of original content. Our customers are advised to check Webmaster Tools to check if there have been any ‘Copyright Removal Notices’ served on them. Furthermore, as part of our CMS support we will advise our clients of best practice to avoid unwitting pitfalls that may lower their search engine results position.
* Google definition of Duplicate Content “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.“