Over the past year, I’ve heard more and more worries about duplicate content issues. It’s a serious concern site owners have, though sometimes I fear the worry is out-of-proportion to the reality of people actually getting hit by duplicate content penalties. Others may disagree. If you are worried, Deftly dealing with duplicate content from the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog provides some excellent tips and advice on how to avoid issues with Google. I especially like the last tip:
Don’t worry be happy: Don’t fret too much about sites that scrape (misappropriate and republish) your content. Though annoying, it’s highly unlikely that such sites can negatively impact your site’s presence in Google. If you do spot a case that’s particularly frustrating, you are welcome to file a DMCA request to claim ownership of the content and have us deal with the rogue site.
Postscript: Then again, you can understand the worry when you do a search like site:searchengineland.com and find Google lists only 5 of 146 pages it knows about, with the comment:
In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 5 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.
It’s just lame, nearly 140 different pages seemingly considered the same.
FYI, this is probably down to us getting the same meta description tag accidentally on every page:
Search Engine Land is a hub for news and information about search engine marketing, optimization and how search engines work for searchers.
That happened as part of the redesign process, and I’ve now fixed it. But it’s still lame that all those different pages get considered virtually identical for purposes of a site: report based on one sentence.