Does Duplicate Content From Terms & Conditions Affect Google Rankings?

Matt Cutts on Duplicate Content

Webmasters have long been told to never ever create duplicate content for a website if you want your website and pages to rank well in Google. Google automatically filters out to the content results, and can even lower rankings of sites that are primarily duplicate content.

But what about necessary duplicate content on websites, such as privacy policies, terms and conditions and other required legalese that websites are required to carry?

Good news for webmasters, this type of content you don't generally need to worry about. In a Google Webmaster Help video, Google's Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts tackled the issue and said unless you're doing something spammy like keyword stuffing within the legal verbiage, you really have nothing to worry about.

"We do understand a lot of different places across the web require various disclaimers, legal information, and terms and conditions, that sort of stuff, so it's the sort of thing where if we do not to rank that stuff well that would hurt our overall search quality," Cutts said. "So I wouldn't stress out about that."

And even if these types of pages are duplicated out of the search index, generally people don't want their terms and conditions pages necessarily indexed in Google anyway, they just need to have it on their website so that users can access it from a website.

About the author

Jennifer Slegg began as a freelance writer, and turned to search engine optimization and writing content for the web in 1998. She has created numerous content-rich sites in niche markets and works with many clients on content creation, strategy, and monetization. She writes about many search industry and social media topics on her blog, and is a frequent speaker at search industry conferences on SEO, content marketing and content monetization. Acknowledged as the leading expert on the Google AdSense contextual advertising program, she runs JenSense, a blog dealing exclusively with contextual advertising. She is also the founder and editor of The SEM Post. She is known by many as her handle Jenstar on various webmaster forums.