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Google Penalty: Why You Should Not Copy Content

Samyak Lalit | March 7, 2012 (Last update: April 24, 2021)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

Many people who believe in shortcuts of making online money tend to fall in the trap of deliberate content duplication. Attracted by advertisements like “Google blessed me with $500 a day” –they feel that there cannot be any easier way to make money than setup a website and place AdSense on it!

But then someone reminds these people “see, you would also need content on your website!”

And these people reply, “Alright, buddy, that’s not a problem! Chill out! Let others produce content, I will simply do a Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V job”

And this is one of the most uninformed and bad decision one can make.

Those who think that by copying content from other website –they can make their own website a money making machine; well, forget about it.

This post belongs to my GOOGLE ADSENSE BIBLE (a must read for AdSense Success aspirants)

By duplicating content (or scraping content as it is more commonly known as) you can make a heap of information on your website –but the problem is that you’ll hardly find any readers!

Google Penalizes Scrapers

Google, the almighty search engine, heavily penalizes websites that scrape content. Other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Baidu etc. also impose similar penalties on misbehaving websites. Such penalty will push your website down the search results and that will make it difficult (or almost impossible) for users to reach your website through search.

Webmasters strive for a ranking on first page of Google search result because that is the single most important way of getting search traffic for your website. More importantly, mostly it is the traffic sent by the search engines that makes you money. Therefore, it is extremely important to aim for higher Google ranking. And, duplicating content is a certain way to kill your cyber dreams.

What is duplication?

You might wonder about so many newspapers around the world publishing the same news but they don’t get penalized. See, newspaper websites are that of high-trust and high-authority websites; so Google inherently trust them that they are not duplicating information but are actually buying it from agencies like Reuters. And then these websites put up a lot of original content as well by the means of their reporters and columnists.

Sometimes we come across an interesting news or an article about which we also want to write on our own website. You can safely do so but only if you add more value to the existing content AND write it completely in your own words. Google search algorithm is an intelligent software. It can see through and decide what is a genuine attempt to contribute new content to Internet and what’s a fraud.

Unintentional duplication

If your website has many distinct URLs pointing to the same page (here I am not talking about 301 redirection), then you could be the victim of unintentional duplication. Such duplication is not actually duplication in human eyes –but a search engine will see it as such.

Please note that here I am talking about many distinct URLs and not many links.

Let’s take an example. Suppose your website is and you have 10 links within your website pointing to

That’s fine!

But if you’ll have , and having same content –then you will be seen as duplicating content.

The question is who would be stupid enough to do something like this?! Well, webmasters don’t do the above fiasco intentionally but when the website becomes larger –such issues may arise in somewhat more complicated form. Consider the following two URLs:


Both these URLs are pointing to the same content. The programmer, without meaning or realizing any harm, has unintentionally changed the sequence of parameters. This little thing makes these two URLs distinct in the eyes of a search engine!

You should also be very careful in case of CMS (like WordPress) which provide tags and categories as alternatives for categorizing content. If you will use both of these options –you may end up having multiple URLs pointing to the same content.

Well, so this is it for today! Please feel free to comment and ask me if you have a question about this subject of content duplication. Thank you for using TechWelkin.


5 responses to “Google Penalty: Why You Should Not Copy Content”

  1. Chris says:

    I have only been blogging for a few months. I have a couple of posts with approximately 10 percent copied content that I haven’t published. I have been debating whether to publish them, as I don’t want to get penalized by Google. Your post has answered my question not to publish those two articles. It’s too bad as I did put a lot of work into the articles, even though approximately ten percent is copied.

  2. Sridharan Appia says:

    Nice post and the details are very useful as I am quite new to blogging.

  3. chinmaya kumar says:

    this is seriously a great article for newbies, lot of informations are there

  4. Mirza Shahbaz says:

    I like your article. I think it is a very helpful for anyone who wants to earn from blogging but they did not know, like me, that copying is wrong. Sir, one thing I want to ask you. I have a blogspot site and I have copy pasted many articles. But I did not connect my blogger site with Google AdSense because I created my site just last month. Please tell me if I will delete copied content from my site; will Google AdSense accept my blogger site?

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      There is no guarantee whether AdSense will approve your application. If you have copied material, I would suggest that you simply delete your blog and create a new one with original content written by you.

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