But seriously, a lot of text in legal documents will be the same, with minor variations. If you use Complianz, this effect will be less than when you just copy over a default page from someone else, because the text will be custom built based on your answers in the wizard, your contact information, cookies and services. But even then, chances are that a lot of other websites will have large chunks of text with the same content.
I’ll explain why we believe there is no problem with duplicate content on legal pages.
With the duplicate content penalties in mind, it is understandable that some website owners worry about this. So let’s first take a look at the Duplicate content guidelines.
An important statement from Google is:
Google does not recommend blocking crawler access to duplicate content on your website
So you should not prevent crawlers from crawling your legal documents. And, most importantly:
Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results
Matt Cuts from Google stated:
25-30% of the web’s content is duplicate content
This duplicate content is not treated as spam but grouped together. The bottom line of this article is that Google only wants to show one of the duplicate content pages in their search results. If a site is duplicating content excessively, and an obvious malicious intent is shown, a site might receive a penalty.
The question was asked directly to John Mueller, Google. When asked if copying legal pages would be harmful from a SEO point of view. The answer was very short:
So what this means is, that there is essentially no such thing as a duplicate content penalty.
Technical configuration by Complianz is optimised
The legal pages are usually not very interesting for visitors and therefore are automatically ranked lower by search bots anyway.
This article is focussed mainly on the legal pages, not on the cookie banner itself. This is mainly because the cookie banner is excluded from Google Search by using the
attribute. This tells Google it should not index the content of this snippet. But generally, the content of this article applies to the cookie banner as well: Google is smart enough to recognise this as a cookie banner, and won’t consider the content as duplicate content.
- Google does not have an issue with duplicate content as such, only with malicious intent, often showing in excessive amounts of duplicate content.
- We have not had any reports of issues with duplicate content on any of the 250000 websites that use our legal documents.
- Legal documents are known to be often copied across the internet, without any known issues.
- John Mueller from Google states that duplicate content in legal documents is no issue.
Based on the above, we are confident that your site will not get hurt in any way by using our legal documents. Questions? Let us know!
Got interested in duplicate content issues? Read it from the source at Google.