Duplicate Content Experiment

Duplicate Content Experiment
I wrote an article in August about How to Kick a website out of Google. The SearchMasters page has been top of Google for that phrase. As a duplicate content experiment, I have now created a copy of that article on CoreSEO.com and am tracking Google's reaction to it.


The SearchMasters home page is PR4. The SearchMasters article page is a PR3, and has been around since 23 August 2007. I am not aware of anyone specifically linking to that page. There are no inbound links mentioned on Webmaster tools.

The CoreSEO.com home page is PR2. I added the "How to Kick a website out of Google" article on Nov 18th 07:15 GMT. The website is a Wordpress site, and addition of an article means that it is shown on the home page. Google cached that article on Nov 18 20:23 GMT.

I added the article word for word, and had the same words "How to Kick a website out of Google" at the front of the title (remainder of the title different). The meta description was also the same.

I added a short note on the bottom of the page mentioning that publishing of the article was part of an experiment. There is substantial other text on the SearchMasters article template as compared to the CoreSEO page.

Soon after creating the article, the CoreSEO sites RSS feed was used by an independent website to copy the first words of the article and link back to CoreSEO.

Google's reaction

How could it happen so fast!!!! This is crazy. How could the SearchMasters post be removed from top ranking to nothing so quickly???

If I do a search on Google.co.nz, New Zealand sites only, I correctly see the SearchMasters post.

and if I turn the filter off, the post appears:

The following is the post on MakeMoneyOnline


  1. Since the CoreSEO post is linked from one other website, that is enough to put aside the age of the SearchMasters post AND/OR
  2. The fact that the post is linked from the index page of CoreSEO and the higher PR effect of "New News" has given it enough "PR" to be more than the PR of the existing article.

Experiment Step 2

How can I get the SearchMasters post to appear??? If I create several similar links like the MakeMoneyOnline post, will this be enough to take off the filter?

Over time, will the SearchMasters post be decached, or just filtered?

What are your experiences with duplicate content?

I have just had a clients home page disappear for its main search phrase - City Sales Auckland Apartments. So its a very live issue.

Update 24 November 2007 - all three pages decached from Google

Woooo. This is scary stuff. All three article pages have been decached from Google - SearchMasters, CoreSEO, and MoneyPumps. Interesting question, should I continue the experiment, or stop in case it causes damage to any other pages???!!! SearchMasters is still ranking for Search Engine Optimisation on Google.co.nz, and CoreSEO is still ranking for Search Engine Optimization Blog on Google.com. So safe so far. Just as well.

Update 26 Nov
The SearchMasters page has been re cached, but its still not ranking on Google for that phrase.

Update 28 Nov
  • SearchMasters page cache date 17 Nov
  • The CoreSEO.com article page has been recached/cache showing - cache date 18 Nov.
  • CoreSEO homepage is showing for the phrase - I have posted at Digitalpoint in the past, and use their "recent blog" system. The link text "how to kick a website out of Google" is showing for a link to the CoreSEO homepage. These links are therefore enough to get the CoreSEO homepage showing for the phrase.
  • Searching for the phrase on google.co.nz, nz sites only, shows searchmasters home page, and the /article page. ie the specific searchmasters article page, although cached, has been blacklisted.
  • moneypumps page - page is cached 19 Nov, but not showing on the searches for the phrase.

Update 2 Feb 2008

And the proper SearchMasters page is back on top!!! And oh what a journey. From pages being decached, the CoreSEO site showing top and the original SearchMasters article disappearing ... to Google showing the proper result. The current result is what I consider the "proper result" - if only Google was able to return this result from day one rather than this tortuous journey.

However, on other websites I continue to see problems with duplicate content between websites. I continue to see websites being dropped from the rankings because other websites are copying their content. See my article where I recommend changing your pages wording frequently.