During a hangout, one SEO professional submitted a question to John Mueller and asked about what happens if bloggers plagiarize their own content.
Their question was: Is Google okay with publishers plagiarizing their own content?
For example, they wrote an affiliate article suggesting something for mom. They asked if they can copy the content of that article to write more articles for maybe a sister, wife, aunt, or grandmother?
John explained that he doesn’t know what the full definition of plagiarizing is. But, if you’re rewriting your own content, that’s not really plagiarizing.
At least, that is the way that John understands it. From Google’s perspective, if you’re taking content from your own website and publishing that again, with some elements on the page being changed, that’s up to you.
And this is something where John’s assumption is, in many cases, you’re not providing a lot of value by just copying the existing article and changing some of the words on it.
His feeling is that from a strategic point of view, it’s better to write something unique and compelling for those topics, or to create one article that covers these different variations.
This is something that John recommends doing from a purely strategic perspective.
Purely from a policy point of view, John doesn’t think there is anything specifically in the way of an SEO professional taking individual articles and then making a handful of copies of that.
This is something where, from a purely practical point of view, this is up to you.
John’s recommendation is to really make sure that you concentrate on fewer articles that are actually really good, and deliver a lot of value.
The one extreme case where John believes one may run into issues is when someone is really intensely copying their own content and creating doorway pages.
That is taking one piece of content and creating lots and lots of variations, just with different words in it.
And this is something that would be against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This is something that John would watch out for.
You’re essentially creating a ton of lower quality, almost junk pages for your site, which is just fluff that doesn’t provide any unique value overall.
Instead of diluting the content of your website, John would recommend focusing on making the primary content of the site a lot stronger instead.
This happens at approximately the 07:34 mark in the video.