Duplicate Content Analyzed: What about Block Quotes?

Google has been cracking down on duplicate content rules and penalties more and more each year, so it’s important to really understand what does and does not count as duplicate content. You never quite know what Google is going to pull next, so you can never be too careful or ask questions that seem too obvious. In other words, if you’ve ever wondered about quotes and how they pertain to duplicate content, don’t hesitate to ask.

block quote

Matt Cutts Explains Quoting and Duplicate Content

Someone finally did ask Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, this question, and he had a few different things to say and rules to explain:

    Always link back. First, you must always include a link that will send readers back to where the quote was originally published. If you do this, you’ll likely never have to worry about getting penalized. Cutts explained that they have good ways of detecting if you’re doing this without any issues.
    Keep the quotes short. Although linking back to the original source is great, that won’t be good enough if you’re quoting an entire article from a site. You want to keep your quotes short to avoid changing your sites reputation in the eyes of Google.
    Offer your own thoughts. You don’t want to have a quote, a few words, another quote from somewhere else, another few words, etc. You have to have “attribution and insight” as Cutts would say. You need to have your own opinion that is more than two or three words.

The moral of the story is that appropriate quoting is completely acceptable. Many great sites do this and Google has said it’s extremely legitimate. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the video that Cutts created in response to this exact question:

About the Author: Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.