Our company recently built a brand new website to replace the old one. They were both content driven, but the old website was very old (built in 1999) and had to be upgraded.

To our new website we added canonical links to show that our content is original. We didn't have those on the old website.

But we now are faced with a problem: for many years, our content was posted first in a major local online newspaper, and only then posted on our (old) website. It turns out that this newspaper added canonical links to themselves, supposedly making the content their own.

So now, with our new website up and running, we have around 1,000 articles published on both websites, ours and the newspaper, both of them claiming the content is theirs.

My questions are:

  1. Does this affect our Google rating?
  2. Assuming that we can't ask the newspaper to remove or fix their canonical links, what is our best course of action?

1 Answer 1


Well, Google is going to assume that your content is the duplicate and this will affect you negatively. In case you cannot get the newspaper to change it, you are better off with replacing the content.

  • The newspaper does not own the content. They must update the canonical tag or remove the content or face a copyright suit. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    May 10, 2018 at 2:21
  • Awesome, that's the way to go. However, take into account that if they decide not to update the canonical tags, and instead they remove the content, you will still have to wait some time for Google to completely de-index it, so you can post it without problems. Your best bet is to get them to change the canonical tags. May 10, 2018 at 17:59

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