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Do you get penalized if you use somebody's post title with few words changed in the title to match your post?

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No. What I do when I decide to write is search for my proposed title and look for the results shown in the top spot. I get their link and use AdWords to search for keywords. Then I take those keyword into the content of my own post.

1

No. There are lots of pages out there using similar or identical page titles. There's a finite number of them available and its unreasonable to expect them all to be different.

What does matter is if the page's contents are very similar or identical. In this case that is low quality content and bad for SEO.

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