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Google’s Opinion On Duplicate Content

Feedback on eCommerce sites using manufacturer product descriptions was answered by John Mueller and he explained how Google is handling product descriptions that are possibly duplicated from the manufacturers.

It’s not a problem because there are ways that Google decides which page to show in the search results. 

How Do You Work Around Duplicate Content?

People were concerned about eCommerce stores using the stock product description provided by the manufacturer. They wanted to know if there’s any way to avoid consequences related to negative rankings that could result from duplicate product descriptions that were taken from manufacturers.

There is no harm algorithmic or penalty for content that is duplicated unless the whole website is filled with duplicate content. For example, if one website scrapes another website for its content. 

How Are Websites Analyzed By Google For Duplicate Content?

The specific situation of resellers using manufacturer descriptions for their products is being handled by Google, but how? Google has no problem with ranking pages featuring manufacturer descriptions.

However, there are two different things that are looked at, which are whether or not the whole page is the same. Things like the shop address and headers and footers, should obviously not match the manufacturer site.

Even if the descriptions are the same, everything around it should be different, if not it’s duplicated. 

How Pages With Duplicate Content Is Ranked By Google

There is some consideration that goes into pages with duplicate content. As mentioned above Google looks at two things, the other thing it looks at is that Google tries to avoid showing snippets of pages in the search results that have the exact same description.

There is some consideration that goes into pages with duplicate content. As mentioned above Google looks at two things, the other thing it looks at is that Google tries to avoid showing snippets of pages in the search results that have the exact same description.

It still would be a better choice to have unique descriptions for your page as Google picks the best page to present.

It’s Okay To Have Duplicate Product Descriptions According To Google

It’s known that there’s no penalty for duplicate content, however, it’s not known that Google uses things like the header and footer to determine whether it’s a store and that it’s different from the manufacturer whose products they’re selling.

Google’s goal is not to populate the snippets with the same search results as every webpage and vice versa. 

It may seem obvious, but also something that’s ignored quite often when ranking for the same keywords, then putting them in your headings and title where others already rank under the same keywords in their titles, unfortunately ignoring the fact that Google ranks pages that has synonyms in their titles. 

Many people are under the impression that duplicate content is actually a negative ranking factor for websites on Google, but that’s not really the case.

If the same content circles the internet, it doesn’t mean it will affect your page rankings negatively. Among SEO’s the topic of duplicate content comes up many times, and according to Google, it’s normal for websites to have some duplicate content.  

It’s also very common for retailers to sell the same product. When shopping online it helps to give potential buyers options from where they could find a certain product from resellers in different areas.

In some cases, Google would rather rank a company that resells a certain product over the actual manufacturer. Circumstances like the following:

  • When the reseller is a better source for the product and the user’s intent to buy is clear
  • The reseller is the best result and is also local

Google’s John Mueller gave clarification on this topic also giving people some things to think about such as why it’s important for your website to have unique descriptions, a few reasons for this is:

  • Higher search rankings
  • More organic traffic
  • Better landing pages
  • Improving the rate of return visitors
  • More potential conversions on site
  • Standing out from your competition
  • Directly addressing your buyer personas