Google Doesn’t Punish You for Duplicate Content – Sort Of

  • February 04, 2021
  • Bradley Taylor

SEO duplicate content

Those of us in the SEO business know about duplicate content and that the general rule is to avoid having it. We always tell our clients to avoid copy and pasting into their pages or blog posts.

Recently John Mueller, head algorithm muckety muck  over at Google, sat down for an interview. He was asked if his search engine punishes websites that use duplicate content.  He replied that certain duplicate content is unavoidable on a site. Site headers and footers will often display the same information no matter what page is loaded.

Mueller went on to say that if you have duplicate pages within your site Google will make an attempt to see which one is better and more relevant and then list that one only.

It is still considered a “no no” to copy content from another website and paste into your own. That is unless you are quoting a person. Copying and pasting small portions of text from another website has negligible effect on your search engine optimization efforts.

Mueller was also asked about embedding a video into your page. The specific question was if it is better to embed a video from a streaming website or if hosting your own video was better for SEO. Mueller responded that it makes no different where the video is actually being served from.

My own take on this is that it may be better to upload to Youtube because it seems that since YT is owned by Google, they tend to display videos from that site more often than not. However, YouTube will show an advertisement before the video is played to those who don’t pay for their ad-free subscription plan. A visitor to your site may get served the ad which may cause them to lose interest.


  • Tiny snippets of copy and paste are OK
  • Duplicate content in the header and footer are OK
  • Deliver video content from wherever you like

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