When creating website content, it can feel like there’s a laundry list of factors to consider. Outside of the usual best practices for writing, writing for websites has its own set of standards, which take things like mobile users and SEO into consideration. Included in this is original content – but why?
Google’s goal is to provide users with the best answer to their question. If you were searching and came up with the same answer over, and over, and over again in your search, would you find that as valuable as if your search brought up several different answers to choose from?
For this reason, Google filters search results so that only the original source is listed. You may also hear this referred to as a penalization, but in reality, it just means that if your site contains content that is the same as or very similar to another source, also known as duplicate content.
Google filters duplicate content out of searches in favor of the original source. It’s certainly not a slap on the wrist; it’s just an attempt to show the most relevant answer to the query, improving user experience. While it’s not an outright penalization, having duplicate content still may impact your site ranking, which, of course, isn’t favorable.