Same Content in Different Formats is Not Duplicate

Same Content in Different Formats is Not Duplicate

Google’s John Mueller says identical content published in different formats, such as a video and a blog post, is not considered duplicate content.

Site owners can safely repurpose a video as an article, for example, without concern about Google seeing the two pieces of content as the same.

It’s even possible that duplicate content isn’t as great of a issue as site owners and SEOs make it out to be, Mueller explains.

This topic came up during the Google Search Central office hours stream held on January 22. A question is submitted from a site owner who runs a YouTube channel. They note when a blog article is repurposed as a video it tends to not rank in Google.

The site owner wants to know if there’s any harm in using identical text from a blog post in a video.

Here’s submitted question:

“I have a YouTube channel with 9,000 subscribers and I also have a blog. Sometimes I write a blog post and use the same text I create YouTube videos with. Is this content duplication because Google can understand videos?

I’m saying that because my two blog posts are crawled but they’re not ranking in Google. Even when you put the direct link in Google Search it’s not there. Other blog posts without a video are ranking without a problem. Would it help to use a canonical tag, delete the blog post, or delete the video?”

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Ordinarily Google would advise against publishing identical pieces of content – does that apply when one is a video and the other is an article?

Here is Mueller’s response.

Google’s John Mueller on Duplicate Content

Google is not capable of doing a text analysis of videos and then mapping the text to web pages. If a video repeats what’s stated in a blog post word for word they’re considered different pieces of content, Mueller says.

Similar content presented in different formats will not be seen as duplicate content. Google makes this distinction because searchers may be looking for different things at different times.

Sometimes people go to Google to read an article, and others want to watch a video. Google would not choose to show one over the other because they repeat the same content.

Mueller encourages repurposing content in this way and says site owners should keep doing it.

“First of all we don’t do text analysis of the videos and then map them to web pages. If your video has the same content as your blog post it’s still something different. People sometimes go to Google with the intent to read something, and sometimes they go to Google with the intent to watch something or to listen to something, and those are very different things.

We wouldn’t not say the text in this video is exactly the same as a blog post therefore we don’t show either of them or we only show one of them. So if you have a video that matches your blog post I think that’s perfectly fine.

That’s a great way to spread your information in different channels. I would definitely not stop doing that. I would not take the video down or take the blog post down. If the blog post is not ranking in google then that would be very specific to the blog post and not specific to the video blog post combination.”

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Back to the initial question which relates to certain blog posts being indexed and not others.

The site owner says blog posts which have been repurposed into videos are not ranking in Google. Why is that?

Mueller says it has nothing to do with the video and article sharing the same content. He adds if Google were to detect duplicate content on a web site it wouldn’t cause any big problems.

“Also, with regards to duplicate content, if you had the same content in textual form on your website where it’s clearly duplicate content then what would happen there is we would pick one of those versions to show in Google Search.

It’s not the case that we would say: “oh this website has some duplicate content, we will not show it at all in Google.”

Rather we will say: “There are two versions here. We will pick one of these to show and we will just not show the other one.”

So that’s something where even when we do recognize duplicate content it’s not the end of the world. It’s really just a matter of us saying we don’t want to show the same thing multiple times to users in the search results. So we will pick one and we will show that one.”

Hear the full question and answer in the video below:

local_offerevent_note January 26, 2021

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