There is no such thing… end of post!
OK, it is not quite as simple as that, but it nearly is, here is my cut on this.
- Don’t have pages on your site that can be accessed from various URLs (a good example of this is www.yourdomain.com and www.yourdomain.com/index.html – two URLs, one page)
- Don’t have the same pages titles and Meta descriptions on all pages
- Don’t create a site that just scrapes content from the web
- If you are going to syndicate your material, make sure you change the content for each source
- If you can’t be bothered to do the above, make sure you post the content on your site first and market that page well
- Don’t copy pages from other sites and only use that text on your page (be a bit more creative!)
- Make sure your site is secure and use absolute URLs where possible (this cuts down on the chances of being spoofed, your content attacked or copied)
- Control the URLs your content management system/database spits out. Not doing this can create lots of URLs that are not needed
- Make sure your search engine sitemap includes only those URLs that you want indexed (oh, and make sure you submit it too…)
So, as I say there is no penalty in duplicate content, but it can make a mess of your good positions (by diluting the page) and also make Google and the rest confused about how to crawl your site.