Google’s John Mueller: sometimes we rank duplicate content copies from other sites

In a Google webmaster hangout, Google’s John Mueller said that Google sometimes ranks websites that copy content from other sites.

Usually, Google does not rank duplicate content

In general, Google shows only one version of the content (usually the original page):

“What would happen if we find exactly the same content somewhere else, then we try to make a decision on which one of these is the canonical version, and we’ll pick that one for indexing.”

Sometimes, Google does

Google will rank the page with the copied content if they think that it makes sense:

“On the other hand, if you have your product description on your website, and someone copied the description and put it on eBay, then those pages, when you look at them overall, will be very different.

And it won’t be the case that we’ll say, oh, some of this content is the same as here. Maybe we should fold them together. t’s more a matter of us looking at these pages and saying, oh, well, these are two unique pages, we’ll index them separately. But depending on what people are searching for, maybe it makes sense to show this one or that one.

If we recognize that someone is searching for something maybe more geared towards eBay, then maybe we’ll show the eBay version. If someone is searching for something that maybe they can pick up in a physical store nearby, then maybe it’ll show your version.

So from that point of view, it’s not that they’re hijacking your search results, or that there’s anything kind of problematic happening there. It’s just a matter of our search algorithms trying to figure out which one of these pages is the more relevant one in which situation when someone is searching.

You can view John Muellers reply here:

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Tom Cassy

Tom Cassy is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at “”.