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I have a site with uses a some content generated by myself, some from users, and some from a source such as wikipedia. The wikipedia sourced content is unmodified but makes up no more than 30% of the page and is never the entire wiki article, just an extract of a few paragraphs.

How much new content do I have to add to the wikipedia source to avoid being marked as duplicate content and penalised in my SEO?

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Why not block it from Google? You're not adding any content with real value anyway. – John Conde Aug 5 '11 at 0:35
up vote 5 down vote accepted

How much new content do I have to add to the wikipedia source to avoid being marked as duplicate content and penalised in my SEO?

That question may raise a few eyebrows, as it appears as though you are asking what bare minimum percentage of change is necessary to avoid spam detection (which raises the question of whether or not you are attempting to produce undetectable spam).

You may want to consider Google's own Duplicate Content guide and Jill Whalen's Duplicate Content Penalty Myth article (which echoes Google's recommendations) - fair use of content from other sources will not trigger a penalty of any kind, and, though it would be inadvisable to copy things wholesale if you want to rank first in results, there is proof* that Google does not penalize such activities.

(* See answers on that question for active, attribution-compliant clone sites or try an exact phrase search for any StackOverflow question to see how Google prioritizes duplicated content)

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This isn't about spam, it's about whither the perfectly normal practice of quoting sources in an article would count as duplicate content and incur some penalty or not. – Rincewind42 Aug 5 '11 at 0:43
@Rincewind42 - So you believe that there may be a duplicate content penalty applied for a purpose other than spam/scraper site filtering? – danlefree Aug 5 '11 at 1:08

Mix the content from a few sources and add attribution links. Tada! ;) I don't even bother doing that fyi and I don't face any problems. I would not recommend it as a long term strategy though, because a manual review may hammer you down. Make sure you have good design and the chances are slim ...but then again, if you create looots of sites, it 's not even important...

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"if you create looots of sites, it 's not even important"... Seriously, what's the point of doing this? – Sherwin Flight Apr 19 '12 at 8:16
@Sherwin Flight: The point is that you get a few $ per each shitty site per month while having thousands of sites, instead of having 1 big authority site. – john Apr 19 '12 at 13:06
But shitty sites serve no real purpose. They are just annoying because of the very poor quality. The purpose of creating a website is supposed to be to publish things of some value, not to create as much junk as you can and try to rake in advertising money. This is exactly the reason why Google drops sites like this from their index, because they serve no purpose to people looking for information. – Sherwin Flight Apr 19 '12 at 19:57
Of course they do and the fact that they generate income is the obvious proof. What Google does or does not choose do is irrelevant as it is not the Judge of the Internet - lest you forget, it 's a for-profit organization; not some incarnation of Light :) Last time I checked, anyone was free to put anything on the web and anyone was free to consume any information online he deems, regardless of third party approval. So, the actual value is defined by the consumers of the information, not any reviewer. I 'd write more on this, but I 'd go through the character limit, so excuse my brevity. – john Apr 20 '12 at 1:40
What type of advertising is used on these sites? Do the ads require clicks to make money, or is it based on impressions only? – Sherwin Flight Apr 20 '12 at 4:49

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