In a recent video Matt Cutts, Google’s head of web spam, answered a question regarding duplicate content and how it affects rankings. Right off the bat Cutts makes it clear that not every case of duplicate content is spam and if Google thought so they would only be hurting the quality of their search results.
According to Cutts about 25 to 30 percent of all content on the internet is duplicate content. Google understands that people quote others and often use unoriginal content to support their own, but Google also stresses the importance of giving credit to the author or site where the content originated.
He also points out that a site that produces nothing but duplicate content isn’t adding a lot of value and is more likely to be viewed as spam. He also says, “It’s certainly the case that if you do nothing but duplicate content and you’re doing it in an abusive, deceptive, or malicious, or manipulative way, we do reserve the right to take action on spam.”
You can listen to the video below:
It’s not that common today thanks to algorithm updates such as Panda, but we still see sites using duplicate content either because of laziness or a simple desire to shortcut the whole content producing process. Creating unique, quality content takes time and Google rewards those sites that do it consistently.