5

I have a city guide website covering bars, restaurants and clubs. Each of these venues have their own subpage on my website like: example.com/steersons-steak-house-darling-harbour-sydney/

For all venues I have copied the description from the venues' own website and mixed it in with my own content. Typically I've grabbed 200-300 words covering the basic description.

Since only parts of the page is a duplicate (roughly 50%) would I use the canonical tag?And what happens when the website I'm pointing to changes their content? Then it is no longer a duplicate.

3

For extracted content from a source, use this HTML:

<blockquote cite="http://venue-website/venue-description-page" title="Published title, author, date">
Your extracted content
</blockquote>

The cite attribute for blockquote content was designed specifically for this use case in the DOM. Google wouldn't be doing their job properly if they didn't respect the intent of W3C.

Of course the use of other content and ranking a page with borrowed content is very subjective and will be discussed hours on end within SEO circles.

See this question: Does the 'blockquote' element harm or help SEO?

The decision of using a canonical url depends on you wanting example.com/target-page to attract search engine traffic (and what kind of traffic).

There are many pages on the internet that use almost exlusively borrowed content (think resources pages) that rank well because they serve the search intent.

  • Excellent answer!! Very interesting and valuable take on the question. I like it and will have to apply this to a page I am working on that uses blockquotes extensively. BTW- blockquotes are definitely beneficial. There does not seem to any additional weight assigned to the terms within the blockquote, however, I have noticed that Google is taking them more seriously these days and will match a search intent to a blockquote as readily any description meta-tag. It all follows the semantic citation link analysis / link graph and trust network schema that I am unraveling that Google uses. – closetnoc Feb 5 '15 at 2:57
  • It means if we want to use other site content then we can put it in "blockquote" and google will not consider it as copy , is that correct? – Helping Hands Feb 5 '15 at 4:13
  • This is such a good reply - thank you so much. I will implement exactly that. – ChrisRich Feb 5 '15 at 4:59
  • Would the cite url reference need to be exactly the subpage of where the text is copied from or is the TLD sufficient? – ChrisRich Feb 5 '15 at 5:04

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