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Why Google ranks plagiarism over original content

Why Google ranks plagiarism over original content

John Mueller explained why Google might rank plagiarized content above the original content in a Google SEO office hangout. He explained that this can happen when the publisher of the original content is generally of low quality.

John Mueller’s answer was in the context of a question as to why an article thief would surpass the publisher of the original content.

Another site that ranks with copied content

The person asking the question was concerned about being overtaken by another site using content copied from their site.

He asked John Mueller if Google was able to tell which site is the original content publisher and which site published the copy.

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The person asked:

“Can you tell me if anyone is copying my content consistently and ranking better than us, … what might be the factors we need to look at, or what steps should we take …?”

DMCA is a legal action

Mueller first discussed filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint. It is a legal process that applies to publishers in the United States.

The person followed up the question by asking if Google is able to tell the difference between original content and plagiarized content.

John Mueller began his response by confirming that Google can tell which site is the original publisher of the content.

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He then explained why in some cases Google would rank a plagiarizer over the publisher of the original content.

John Mueller:

“From my point of view, it is something we can largely decide.

But even if we know which is the original and which is the copy, it sometimes makes sense to show a copy in the search results.

So it’s something where it’s like it can happen.

And one of the situations where I have seen this happen consistently is if a site generally has lower quality, where when our systems look at it, they are like we can not really trust this site.

But if a higher quality site were to take some of this content and publish it, we would say, yes, we know more about this site, and in fact, maybe we should show this content in the search results.

It is also one of the situations that you might run into where it might be worthwhile to also invest in improving the quality of your site in general.

So not just the one article that people seem to like. But also the rest of your site in general. ”

Why would Google not trust a website?

There are many reasons why Google may not trust a site.

If Google ranks another site with the plagiarized content, the quality issue may not be the content, so excluding content as a quality issue is fairly safe.

What is left, among the important quality issues are low quality inbound and outbound links. Along with the content itself, inbound and outbound links are without a doubt the most important quality issues.

There have been rare cases where a domain is poisoned after it has previously been used for spam purposes.

It’s an older sanction that does not appear in the Google Search Console that can cause a site to not rank according to their keyword phrases.

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Typically, the site may jump out and rank by its own domain name once a month, but after a few days the search results drop.

Read: The site cannot be placed on Google: Is it an older domain penalty?

In the article above, John Mueller asked the person asking the question to send the domain to him so that he could make it known to others.

I monitored the domain for about a month and a half, and after about six weeks, the problem was calmly fixed. I and others have seen that question before in the last 18 years.

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If another site surpasses your site with your own content, it may mean that you are assessing quality signals. If nothing appears, you may need a different opinion from someone not affiliated with the site.

Google sometimes displays stolen content if the original site is of low quality

Watch John Mueller answer the question in the 11th minute

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