I am building a news site about cultural events.

Most of the posts that are published are about events (theatre, music, arts etc) and are taken from press releases that are distributed by email by news agencies, galleries etc.

This fact leads to a lot of sites getting said press releases and thus google possibly marking some of them as containing duplicate content.

Since my site is the newest of the lot, it is getting penalised (hidden from search results in some searches) due to the fact that it is considered a source of content duplication.

Is there any way (apart the obvious one to not use the press releases as they are and have editors change them) to avoid being treated as a source of content duplication?

  • 1
    You may actually have several things going on. 1: New site- no rank or history. 2: Link heavy/centric. 3: Content farming. And so on. Each site has to have value of it's own. Are you adding value? Do you have original content that people can find useful?
    – closetnoc
    Jun 24, 2014 at 21:27
  • @closetnoc not all of the site's posts are from press releases, there are also original posts. The value I am trying to add to the end user is a events news site with a fresh perspective. Unfortunately, due to the very limited editor capacity we need to use press releases in order to jump start
    – bmenekl
    Jun 24, 2014 at 21:35
  • Okay- you sound like you are out of the danger zone. As long as the site is not completely comprised of links, borrowed content, and so forth. How old is your site??
    – closetnoc
    Jun 24, 2014 at 21:38
  • a little more than one month old :)
    – bmenekl
    Jun 24, 2014 at 22:02
  • 1
    Well, there's your problem! It takes at least 60 days to really begin to soak in to Google's index and for Google to figures things out. For my site and others like it, the site really does not soak in for all of it's keywords for a fairly long time.
    – closetnoc
    Jun 24, 2014 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


Are you adding any of your own content to the pages that feature these syndicated press releases? If you add some of your own content around the press releases on the page, so almost as if you are quoting it, some people argue this can sometimes navigate the issue - but you need to be really adding more of your own content to the page as compared to the original source, and possibly adding a link to credit it.

However, this is still not really ideal and no guarantee that your site won't get impacted because of duplicate content, and I would try to avoid using syndicated content at all, or blocking the pages from being counted as duplicate content.

You can do this in too ways:

You can use a cross-domain canonical tag on pages in question. This is where you define a canonical tag in the page's source code referencing the original source of the press release:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/original-source-of-press-release" />

This indicates to Google that you are aware the page contains duplicate content, so not to count it during indexing. However this will mean the page on your site will over time be removed from the search results.

The 2nd option is to noindex the page so that Google no longer indexes the page and won't count it as duplicate content. The best way to to this is add the following robots meta tag:


This means that Google can still freely crawl the page, but will no longer indexed it, meaning it will be removed from the search results.

  • Unfortunately I cannot use your first suggestion because as I wrote in the question, the press releases are sent via email. I am not taking the content from another site that is the first to have it. Moreover, we are indeed adding a bit of content in the press release (not much, mainly headings etc) so I am also a bit reluctant to NOINDEX the page
    – bmenekl
    Jun 25, 2014 at 9:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.