Google SEO to copy your own content to reuse on other sites

Google’s John Mueller explained how Google can view the practice of using your own content that you’ve already written on one site and then copying it to another site or two, with some tweaking to fit that site. Is this considered content plagiarism? Are these doorway pages? Will the content do the trick?

The question was asked at 7:36 in this Friday’s video. The question was “Is Google OK with publishers plagiarizing their own content? For example, I wrote an affiliate article suggesting something for mom. Can I copy the content of this article to write more items for maybe a sister or a wife or an aunt or a grandmother?”


The technical answer is that it really isn’t considered plagiarism if you own the content. This means that you cannot plagiarize yourself. John said “so I don’t know what the full definition of plagiarism is, but it seems like if you’re using your own content that doesn’t really plagiarize, well at least the way I understand it.”

Will Google rank self-copied content?

But as far as how Google will treat the content you copy from site to site, well, that might not work too well – but you can do whatever you want. He said that simply tweaking a few words of a page’s content and copying it to a new page or site probably wouldn’t add much value and might not rank well. He said “from Google’s point of view, if you take content from your own website and republish it with some elements of page switching, that’s basically up to you. And that’s something where I guess that in many cases you’re not providing much value by simply copying the existing article and changing some of the words in it.”

He said that probably wasn’t the best SEO strategy for you, John said “so my feeling is from a strategic standpoint, you’d probably be in a better position to write something unique and compelling for those topics or to create an article that kind of covers those different variations. So that’s something like from a strategic point of view that I would recommend.”

But again, you can do whatever you want, he said, adding “But from a purely political point of view, I don’t think there’s anything specific in the way of which you take individual items and then make, I don’t know, a handful of copies of that So that’s something where just from a practical point of view it’s kind of up to you But my recommendations really make fewer items that are really, really good.

Door Pages

The only exception is if you are doing this with a doorway page mentality. He said: “The only extreme case here that can happen if you really like intensely copying your own content is that you end up creating doorway pages and it basically takes one piece of content and creates lots of variations just with different words in. And that’s something that would go against our webmaster guidelines, so that’s something I’d be careful about. And it’s also something where you create a ton of really, I don’t know , lower quality, I dunno I would almost say junk pages for your website that are basically like fluff that provide no unique value overall.And instead of diluting your website content like that, I would recommend focusing on making the main content of your website much stronger instead, so that’s kind of my recommendation there.

The last point he said was “So if you ask, is Google okay? Well, it’s like you can do whatever you want on your website, but that doesn’t mean not that Google is going to like it.”

Here is the embedded video:

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