Does Uniqueness of Content Help Rankings?
Google’s John Mueller offers a piece of surprising information on the quality of content as well as ranking.
The content of a publisher copied by many sites was removed from Google via the DMCA procedure. The person contacted Google’s John Mueller to see if the uniqueness of the content was necessary and if it wasn’t, it was not worth the effort to combat content theft.
Context of Mueller’s Comments
To keep from confusion, it is crucial to remember that John Mueller’s comments were made within the context of addressing an inquiry regarding the content copied and reproduced on more than three thousand websites.
When John talks about the “uniqueness of content,” his words fall into that specific context for the unique content.
In the past, John has mentioned that having unique content is essential. The words “unique” in those earlier statements were in the sense of being original and not about content that has been stolen.
I’m just trying to be clear about the context to avoid perceiving that John’s advice in this instance applies to a different situation; however, it is not.
Massive Content Theft and Rankings
The person who asked the question suggested their ranking was not very excellent. The assumption was that their low rankings were due to the replication of their material on many other websites.
After they took down thousands of websites replicating their content, their rankings didn’t improve.
The legal method for removing the content was done through a United States law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
What is a DMCA?
The DMCA offers a legal remedy in which businesses like Google can be protected from being sued over the publication of content stolen from another as they offer the original content creator the option of requesting that the content be removed.
This DMCA takedown request allows an author to request Google to take down the content they stole from them.
Google will next send the infringer a notification regarding the complaint. Google also allows the party to challenge the allegations.
If the accused infringer decides to challenge his claim, then the party making the DMCA must appeal the claim to the courts.
Making a DMCA is not an easy process. It’s a necessary legal procedure, and publishers should seek advice from an attorney to find out details about DMCA procedure if that’s something they’re considering filing.
Is It Worth it to Defend Content From Theft?
This is the subject of the debate:
“Every content on my site contains a specific phrase in the beginning. I discovered three thousand doorway websites that stole my content by conducting a Google search of this exact phrase. Within six months, I had them taken off Google’s index using the DMCA.
I did an excellent job, but it didn’t impact my job.
This raises the question: Is a significant increase in the total uniqueness of a website’s content not having any effect on the ranking of the website and its visibility in search results?
Isn’t it worth the time and effort required to fight the theft of content?”
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The uniqueness of Content and Rankings
John Mueller focused his answer on whether content’s uniqueness can affect rankings.
“So it is that there’s no element of our algorithm that says, “oh, this is distinctive to this website. And it will be since there’s something unique about this website, ranked more highly for all sorts of other queries.
So if you’re selling, I’m not sure… the most unique kind of shoe and someone is looking for shoes, it’s not that we’d place your website higher because it’s a distinct shoe style but because you’re selling shoes. This person is searching for shoes. Maybe other websites also offer shoes, which we’ll also rank according to the kind of content related to shoes we see.
It’s not a matter of us looking around and saying, “Well, we have something special about this, and we ought to rank it higher than the generic phrase.”
Is it Worth it to File a DMCA?
Mueller then addressed the portion of the question about whether it’s worthwhile to submit the DMCA.
“Obviously, If you’ve got something unique and people are seeking that particular item, we’ll attempt to showcase your website there.
That’s a big reason also for the DMCA complaint procedure where you could state that another person is ranking using my unique features, which I do not want to be able to show up since it’s my content or I’ve got intellectual copyright to it at a minimum.
The method makes sense.
However, for the case of a generic one where people are looking for something general, and you’ve got unique features that also fit into the general category, I’m not sure that we’d rank your site more simply because they’re specific things.
It’s a good sign that you’re finding that other websites rank for your particular item or the unique aspect you’ve put on your website. You own copyright over your content, and if anything else is aligned, that allows you to apply a DMCA process to remedy that, and it’s a perfect instrument to clean that mess up.
It’s not true that we’ll rate your site higher because we’ve noticed something unique on your site.”
Unique Content and Rankings
The person who asked the question apparently did a Google search for a particular phrase embedded inside the article. They thought it was because the copy content harmed their rankings. However, when the content was taken off, rankings didn’t improve.
If a different site is overtaking your site’s ranking by copying the entire page, this could be a problem. However, if thousands of websites copy the content, but aren’t outranking your site, then it’s not the cause of the poor ranking.
The problem lies in another place.
Sometimes we search for why rank sites aren’t performing as they should. The reason may be an odd thing like stolen content or poor hyperlinks.
It could be that the content, the site quality could be improved, or the website needs better marketing.