Matt Cutts Talks Duplicate Content Once Again

    September 23, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google’s Matt Cutts has a new video out about duplicate content, a subject he has discussed many times in the past. If you have a site that you use to sell a product that other sites also sell, and are concerned that pages listing the “ingredients” of said product will be seen as duplicate content, this one’s for you.

Cutts takes on the following submitted question:

What can e-commerce sites do that sell products which have an ingredients list exactly like other e-commerce sites selling the same product to avoid Google as seeing it as duplicate content?

Cutts begins, “Let’s consider an ingredients list, which is like food, and you’re listing the ingredients in that food and ingredients like, okay, it’s a product that a lot of affiliates have an affiliate feed for, and you’re just going to display that. If you’re listing something that’s vital, so you’ve got ingredients in food or something like that – specifications that are 18 pages long, but are short specifications, that probably wouldn’t get you into too much of an issue. However, if you just have an affiliate feed, and you have the exact same paragraph or two or three of text that everybody else on the web has, that probably would be more problematic.”

He continues, “So what’s the difference between them? Well, hopefully an ingredients list, as you’re describing it as far as the number of components or something probably relatively small – hopefully you’ve got a different page from all the other affiliates in the world, and hopefully you have some original content – something that distinguishes you from the fly-by-night sites that just say, ‘Okay, here’s a product. I got the feed and I’m gonna put these two paragraphs of text that everybody else has.’ If that’s the only value add you have then you should ask yourself, ‘Why should my site rank higher than all these hundreds of other sites when they have the exact same content as well?'”

“So if some small sub-component of your pages have some essential information that then appears in multiple places, that’s not nearly so bad,” Cutts adds. “If the vast majority or all of your content is the same content that appears everywhere else, and there’s nothing else to really distinguish it or to add value, that’s something I would try to avoid if you can.”

So, pretty much the same thing you’ve heard before. Got it yet?

Find other things Cutts has said about duplicate content in the past here.

  • Ralphie

    “that PROBABLY wouldn’t get you into TOO MUCH of an issue.”

    Gee, way to be definitive and concise there Matt.. Listen if you dont know (Yes/No) then who does, just answer the question and move on, this probably and too much garbage is for the birds.

  • http://seo-site.nl/ Peter Stolwijk

    Well, i’ve noticed that many sites with same contents, are high indexed by search engines. and also ranked top 3 pages in google.

    • http://wwfreeads.com geoio

      Well, me too. Same content from different websites on page #1! But it will stop, I think. Duplicate content is the bigger enemy of Search Engines!

  • http://www.edegreecolleges.com/colleges/christian-online-university.shtml Siteadv


    Nice information, but as an affiliate what to do when program manager ask NOT TO change any text and should be present information ONLY as they provided?

    Than affiliates left NO-CHOICE but to do just copy-paste?

    Is this means THOSE Affiliate Company make it sure that Affiliate Site Contents should be consider as SPAM by Google and punish affiliate site or pages?

    Indirectly such affiliate company or programs slowly ERADICATE AFFILIATES from Search Results with such tactics.

    So here is the start of end of affiliates market and business.

    Matt Cutt need to solve this issue too with such affiliate programs as if NO Affiliate Left in coming few years who will than CARE for PPC, Adwords, Adsense etc. as main company not much care by that time as all search engine results will flooded only with ONE BRAND and if they get sale with Organic Search why the need to do Paid Search?

  • Not a Google lover

    The question asked was about ecommerce sites, not affiliates. Notice how MC basically tries to scare merchants into dropping their affiliate programs…

  • http://www.tomushky.com Jenny

    I think that google can itself in trouble for asking or requiring ecommerce sites to change manufacturer content in food or supplement sites, there are a lot of manufacturer processes that are put into creating those labels or ingredient lists, to please google non-duplicity requirements, any content or ecommerce site has to consider the impact those changes will make on people who rely on the descriptions, which in the case of foods and supplements, can be the difference between allergic reactions or even death. How powerful and important can google people think they are to play around with ingredient list modifications? To avoid the google duplicate content issue?