The Google Panda Algorithm, Your Website, and Duplicate Content

Although Google’s newest algorithm update had to do with Penguin (website links), Panda is something you should also be paying attention to.

Panda was developed to make sure sites produce high-quality content aimed to benefit the reader with new or fresh information. ‘Poor’ (fluff or no-value) quality content will cause a drop in search ranking for the site.

This ‘poor’ quality content includes duplicate content – using reprints (even permission-based reprints) and even if it’s ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ to your audience.

If I hadn’t been hit with dropping search ranking because of the Penguin update, I wouldn’t have paid so much attention and I wouldn’t have researched more about all the Google algorithms.

As little as last year, it was okay (at least I thought so according to a video by Google’s Matt Cutts) to use reprints as long as you included the “original article source link.” Meaning, as long as you linked to the source, you were ‘good to go.’

Being a rule follower and ethical marketer, I took care to do what was needed. I used permission-based reprints to help lighten my work load and save time. I may have used them once a week or less.

BUT, it was always information relevant to my site and information my readers would find valuable. It worked.


Unfortunately, Google considers this blogging practice “scraping.” And, per the Google Quality Guidelines, scraping should be avoided.

This “scraping” practice pertains to a wide variety of content:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Web copy
  • And, so on

If you copy and republish content from other websites without adding any original and substantial content or value of your own, you could (most likely will) be penalized with a hit to your search ranking.

This holds true for all content on your website. If you have duplicate content on your webpages, aside from blog post reprints, you could be penalized.

Not Looking at the Whole Picture

I do get that Google wants to ensure a valuable experience for their searchers. They want to provide them with the best possible results to their questions. But, the company is not looking at the whole picture.

I mentioned I would use relevant permission-based reprints that were helpful and informative and FRESH to my audience.

I do lots of research – most of my readers don’t do the same type of research. So, I’d share some of that information to give my audience a broader reading experience and bring in new and different perspectives. It worked. My audience appreciated my efforts.

While duplicate content is “duplicated content” to Google, IT’S NOT TO MY AUDIENCE.

The other element in the mix is that many bloggers like having their content reprinted because it broadens their visibility to new audiences. It’s just good marketing.

It really is a win-win situation.

But, none of this matters to Google.

My Dilemma

It’s obvious I, along with every other blogger out there, need to be in Google’s good graces, so I have to decide what to do.

Do I rewrite the blog post reprints I have on my site or do I just start from this point forward with NO permission-based reprints?

Not sure what I’ll do yet.

Update: I've decided not to rewrite or delete the reprints I have on my site. I've seen some 'high quality,' high-ranking sites that have reprints with NO additional content. This makes me think it's not that big a deal as long as the bulk of your content is original.


Be SUPER Careful of the Content Marketing Strategies You Use – A Tip on Penguin 3.0
Have You Had Your Content Hijacked? Protection Strategies You Should Know
Blogging and Conversion – How to Get More Juice Out of Your Efforts


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