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Google on the use of duplicate manufacturer descriptions

Google on the use of duplicate manufacturer descriptions

Google’s John Mueller in an SEO Office Hours hangout responded to how Google handles product descriptions that are duplicates from the manufacturers. Mueller assured that it is not a problem and described what Google is doing to choose which page to display in the search results.

How to get around duplicate content issues?

The person who asked the question was concerned about an e-commerce store using the stock product descriptions from the manufacturer. He wanted to know if there was a way to avoid negative consequences of the ranking of duplicate product descriptions taken from the manufacturer.

The person asking the question whether linking to the original source can be a way to avoid duplicate content issues.

Google’s John Mueller on the use of manufacturer descriptions

There are no penalties for duplicate content

John Mueller started by answering that they do not need to link to the original source to avoid the consequences of duplicate content.

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He explained that the reason he did not have to take this step was that there is no algorithmic penalty or damage due to duplicate content.

Mueller commented:

“So there are two aspects here when it comes to duplicate content.

First of all, you do not get a penalty for duplicate content.

So … even before you look at it too much, the only time we would want something like a penalty or an algorithmic action or manual action when the entire site is purely duplicate content, … if it’s a site that eg. Scratches other sites.

If these are e-commerce sites and you have the description that is the same and the rest of your site is different, that’s fine.

You do not have to worry about any degradation or declining ranking or anything. ”

How Google analyzes duplicate content sites

Mueller then shared how Google handles the specific situation of product retailers publishing manufacturer descriptions.

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He went into detail about how Google feels about ranking pages that contain product descriptions that are the same as on the manufacturer’s site.

John Mueller explained:

“With duplicate content, we have essentially two, roughly speaking, different things that we look at.

On the one hand, we check if the whole page is the same.

And that includes everything like headline and footer and store address and similar things, which in your case would not be the case because one might be a manufacturer’s site and the description is the same, but everything around it is different.

So it’s a bit of the basic kind of duplicate content. ”

Related: Google: Duplicate content is not a negative ranking factor

How Google ranks duplicate product description pages

Mueller then explained the considerations that go into ranking web pages that contain duplicate content.

He said,

“The other kind is in terms of things like a description. It plays a role when we show an excerpt in the search results.

So what we are trying to avoid is essentially creating pages with search results where the snippet of code is exactly the same as other sites.

If someone is looking for something generic, which is only found in the description of that product and the excerpt that we would show to your site, for the manufacturer was exactly the same, then we would try to choose one of these pages and only show one.

It’s a bit the second part of the duplicate content story … it’s a bit simplified.

But it also means that if someone is searching for … something generic that is in the description and we can tell that they will buy it and maybe you are the best source or the local source for that product or you have it in stock or whatever, we will show your pages and not the other.

And all of this is independent of you marking as where you took the description from.

It’s mainly we have this description, we want to show it in search, and we choose the best page we can show for this description. So from that point of view, I think it is always a good practice to have unique descriptions on your pages.

But if you have many products, it is not always possible.

And it’s also like we would not penalize a site for having duplicate descriptions in their products. ”

Related: How to Solve Duplicate Problems: The Complete Guide

Duplicate product descriptions are fine with Google

While it is relatively well known that there is no such thing as a double content penalty, it is generally less well known how Google uses things like header and footer to determine that a page is a store and that it differs from it. manufacturer whose product is for sale in that store.

Another interesting point Mueller made is that Google does not want to fill in the search results with the same exact snippets for each ranked web page.

It may seem obvious, but it’s something some might ignore in the process of ranking “Keyword XYZ” by adding these keywords to the title tag and headlines, even though two or three competitors already rank with exactly the same keywords in their titles and ignore the fact that Google ranks pages with synonyms in the title …

Mueller also noted circumstances in which Google would choose to rank a retailer over the manufacturer:

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When the user’s intention to buy is clear and the retailer is the best source for the product The retailer is local and a local retailer is the best result

Overall, Mueller provided several interesting things to think about.

Citation

How Google selects product pages with content duplicated by manufacturers

Watch John Mueller answer the question in 55 minutes:

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