Google's Matt Cutts has put out his latest Webmaster Help video. This time he takes on a pretty classic topic - duplicate content. There's not much here that any industry veterans will find to be of particular interest, but he is answering a user-submitted question, so clearly there are people out there unsure of Google's take on quoting other sources. The question is as follows:
Correct quotations in Google. How can you quote correctly from different sources without getting penalized for duplicated content? Is it possible to quote and refer to the source?
"You're a regular blogger, and you just want to quote an excerpt - you know, some author you like or some other blogger who has good insight - just put that in a blockquote, include a link to the original source, and you're in pretty good shape," says Cutts. "If that's the sort of thing that you're doing, I would never worry about getting dinged by duplicate content. We do have good ways of detecting that sort of thing without any sort of issue at all."
"If, however, your idea of quoting is including an entire article from some other site, or maybe even multiple articles, and you're not doing any original content yourself, then that can affect the reputation of how we view your site," he adds.
Basically, as long as you are adding some kind of value and perspective to what you are quoting, you're going to be as far as Google is concerned.
"Those sorts of things are completely legitimate and absolutely fine," Cutts says. "I wouldn't worry about that.
So, if you're quoting (and linking) rather than scraping, you're probably okay. You may not want to go overboard on how much text you're actually quoting from a source, however. Otherwise, you're liable to be run into trouble with the source itself.