I have a website about Delhi and its tourism spots. Now for giving information about these spots, I am using Wikipedia and any other website for the information content, but I want to give Credit to these sites and don't want Google to spam my site for duplicate content. Can anyone suggest some legitimate way to tell Google that I am giving the due credit to the original source pages but I also want to rank for these pages. (I will not be posting the exact content from these pages, but only used for reference). Since my site is NOT a news site, is it okay to use the original-source metatag? Or there is some other way around? Please help!

3 Answers 3


Make sure you are using the content in accordance with the license that you have to copy, modify, and share it. In the case of Wikipedia (described here) that is the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts). For Wikipedia under the CC-BY-SA license you must attribute the content to them with a link and you must license any derivatives under the same license.

The link to Wikipedia is also good for Google SEO. Google is much less likely to penalize your site for duplicate content when you use a specific deep link to the original source of the content.

The other way to prevent Google from penalizing your site it to prevent Googlebot from indexing that content. You can either put those pages into robots.txt so that Googlebot can't even crawl it, or use the meta robots noindex tag on those pages.

  • Thanks Stephen, but after reading the articles you linked to, one thing I have understood that I can adapt the wikipedia article under the CC-BY-SA licence. But just giving the link back to that wikipedia article at the end of the article is enough? or there is some specific format or guideline I should follow while attributing the original content source? And one last thing, what does it mean by "you must licence", I mean do I have to do something else other than giving the link back to that article? Please simplify. Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 13:37
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    You must give a link back to the article and notify your sites visitors that the content on your site is licensed under CC-BY-SA so that they may in turn take it from your site just like you could take it from Wikipedia. Look at the bottom of this page to see how StackExchange gives this type of notification. Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 10:59
  • Thanks @Stephen Ostermiller for your help. Suppose I want to give attribution to this page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India_Gate, how would I give attribution? Is this method fine? Article Reference: This article is the adaptation of India Gate at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India_Gate under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 17:09
  • That looks to me like it would fulfill the terms of the license. Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 17:11
  • And you also suggested that I should also licence content on my site under the similar licences like Creative Commons, Is it necessary? I mean I am not going to produce any 100% original content of my own, so can I also licence content on my site? How is it helpful in any way? Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 17:18

Use simple link-back, and use metadata to tell search engines the original content location.

  • is simple link back enough for the Google? I mean, I want to convey Google that my article is the adaptation of some other article, so how should I link back keeping in mind the SEO of the page also? ANd one more thing, can I use 'original-source' metatag which I think is only for News related articles! Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 13:53
  • yes the 'original-source' metatag is good enough also do more search on the meta tags ,there was one i cant remember but is good for SEO...ALSO I WOULD recommend you alter the articles abit dont just post them as they are,it would look spamy and like abots work...also give credit where it deserves,if you find any answer useful give it a reputation that's the only way you can give you thanks to the other person Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 5:51
  • thanks @jimmy obonyo for your suggestions, I would have given you the reputation for your answer, but I am new to this forum and my reputation score hasn't reached to 15, which is minimum required to be able to give someone reputation! :D Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 17:04

If you're only quoting small chunks of information, just code it appropriately (<blockquote>) and provide a link to the original.

If you're copying whole or substantial chunks of Wikipedia and other sites' articles, with or without attribution, it's duplicate content and will be treated accordingly. You may run into copyright issues with the "any other websites" too, depending on who they are.

Google, and indeed most search engines, don't want sites to duplicate entire pages of content. So unless you're adding value – and if you're taking whole articles, that's going to have to be a lot of value – you will be penalised for it.

Google's Matt Cutts talks on the issue here.

  • Actually I won't be copy-pasting the Wikipedia articles but I would take them as a reference and would try to rewrite major portions of that in my words. But still I want to give the original source reference and credits to original authors. After googling for the same, I have got to know giving attribution is enough, but there are certain doubts in my mind: 1. In what format I should give attribution 2. There may be many revisions of the same wikipedia articles, should I have to attribute all of them!!! 3. Do I need to hyperlink or just simply write the URL of the wikipedia page Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 17:01

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