I recently purchased some domains for SEO, and I wanted to do some research about best practices for using multiple domains on the same content.
The good news? Google does not punish duplicate content; they just sort it out themselves. From Duplicate Content Summit at SMX:
- Google wants to serve up unique results and does a great job of picking a version of your content to show if your sites includes duplication. If you don’t want to worry about sorting through duplication on your site, you can let us worry about it instead.
- Duplicate content doesn’t cause your site to be penalized. If duplicate pages are detected, one version will be returned in the search results to ensure variety for searchers.
- Duplicate content doesn’t cause your site to be placed in the supplemental index. Duplication may indirectly influence this however, if links to your pages are split among the various versions, causing lower per-page PageRank.
Duplicate content links
This information is from the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog, which is a great resource. A couple of articles relating to duplicate content and multiple domains:
- Google Webmaster Guideline for Duplicate Content
- Duplicate Content Summit at SMX
- Deftly Dealing with Duplicate Content
- Duplicate Content Caused by URL
So after doing more in-depth reading, Google’s only worried about people using duplicate content on multiple domains for spamming purposes. From Deftly Dealing with Duplicate Content:
In the rare cases in which we perceive that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. However, we prefer to focus on filtering rather than ranking adjustments … so in the vast majority of cases, the worst thing that’ll befall webmasters is to see the “less desired” version of a page shown in our index.
As long as you aren’t scheming, you’ll be ok. If you want to get the most use out of two or more domains, you’ll need to have unique content for each domain — so get writing!