How to Explain Duplicate Content

I recently had an interesting experience. In working in marketing for my company, I am the sole gatekeeper to a lot of different tasks, one of which is SEO. In doing a basic search on to check for duplicate content, I came across a wholesale customer of ours who had plagiarized us.

According the Copyscape, out of the 50 words, 40% originated from our company site.

Since this customer was a new account, I first reached out to the co-worker who set up their account to learn more about how and why this happened. I should mention this co-worker is a self-described non-techie. (He has also voiced his loud opinion over the uselessness of social selling, which is a different post unto itself.)

Saying the duplicate content was bad, didn’t faze him. Saying it was worse than cheating on your book report, didn’t have a strong enough impact as to how this could, if perpetuated hurt our search rankings.

Instead I came up with this jewel:

Okay. Whether we admit it or not, we all love rumors. Typically, when we hear a really good one, we want to know more and pass it on. If we know someone who always knows the best new rumors and has more information on the rumors we have already heard, we want to return to them.

Google is not blind to this idea. They want you to keep using them to find your best source of gossip. They also want to make sure you aren’t reading the same thing over and over. So, if they everyone copying and pasting they penalize those people in order to prevent them from spamming their feed.

After using this explanation my co-worker in question nodded his head in agreement. “So,” he started with his finger tapping his chin, “getting them to use different wording would be a lot better.”


What is your best way to explain SEO to non-techies? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheresaPotratz


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