How many of you have read Google's guidelines on duplicate content? Well if you haven't already and you are concerned about duplicate content on your website then read them now.

There's no better online SEO resource than Google's own set of guidelines.

We've examined some common myths about duplicate content below, but please be aware that this blog post isn't about technical issues like URL structures, but about content and publishing.

Myth #1: Non-original content on your website will hurt your rankings

Lets read what Google themselves say:

"Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results. If your site suffers from duplicate content issues, and you don't follow the advice listed above, we do a good job of choosing a version of the content to show in our search results."

Google realise that many web masters syndicate content from other websites in order to improve their own user's experience. They aren't trying to game or fool Google.

So if you are syndicating content just make sure you follow Google's own guidelines and you'll be fine:

• Include a back link to the original article
• Use the 'noindex' meta tag to tell Google not to index the page
• Don't claim to have authored the content when you haven't

Myth #2: Scrapers can kill

Its true that on rare occasions scrapers of your website can hurt your own rankings when Google is fooled into thinking that the scraped content is more 'worthy' than yours.

In these cases sending a simple report to Google should solve the problem.

You should also sign your content with Google Authorship.

Myth #3: Google views all duplicate content the same

Google are building driverless cars, glasses from the space age and have half a million servers. They are able to tell when someone has made a webmaster error and not marked duplicate content as such.

The easiest way to avoid duplicate content issues for the same pages on your own site is using something called 'canonicalisation' . Find out more here.

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