If I quote another source, will I be penalized for duplicate content?

As you all know, Google is pretty hard-up about duplicate content, now more than ever, because an awful lot of blogs and websites have started making money by blatantly copying material from other sources. This not only is unfair to the original source, it also jeopardizes the integrity of search results returned by Google. Hence the stringent TOS (Terms of Service). But what about adding quotations, or sentences/paragraphs quoted from other websites? It does classify as content copied directly from another website. So how does Google treat such content  and is it safe to include it on your website? Well, Google just released a video explaining how Google treats such content.

The issue was addressed by a video from Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team. In that video, he talks about the different practices applied by bloggers and webmasters online, and which of them is good and which isn't. You can see the video embedded below.

The ideal case

In an ideal world, people would only copy quotations, or things said by others that they like. For example, quoting a sentence from an author or public figure, quoting someone from their live speech somewhere (chances are, that speech will be copied by someone else too), an announcement, quoting from another blogger whom you find insightful etc. That is how quotes are supposed to work.

If that's the case, and you want to add such content on your site, then you can do it without fear, so long as you link to the original source. Credit should be given where credit is due. Just make sure you put the quotation in a block-quote tag, and everything will be fine.

People often ask, How will Google know whether it's just a quotation, or copied content that could get them penalized? Well, Google has some smart algorithms that will detect whether it's a quote or copied content. Besides, Google might check out your site manually. So don't worry if you've kept your end of the deal, and added a link to the original source and put the content in a block-quote.

When things go bad

Like much else, people are bound to exploit loopholes. Which is why Google is working on leaving as few as possible. It allows you to quote another site. But if you think you're gonna get away with copying an entire article as a 'quote', and then adding a link to the source, then think again. This practice will get you penalized.

Some bloggers also tend to excessively quote in their articles, adding little of value of their own. This will also result in your fall from grace in Google's eyes. So it's best to avoid such practices, and start creating valuable content. As long as you provide useful insights of your own, and quote reasonably with link to the actual source, there's nothing to worry about. Goo luck :)

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  1. Nice Post and the way you explain the things that's awesome every one will understand what you are trying to say.

    Any way thanks for a great post

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  2. You have explained in a unique way. I appreciate the penalties from Google because some bloggers have no manners of giving credits to originals sources. Blogger Tricks and Tips

  3. Nice Post, You've explained it properly.
    I just want to ask, how will I know if my blog is penalize by google? What software or tools should I use to get update if my blogs get penalize?


    More Blog Tools

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Very informative and useful. I was thinking about the same yesterday before writing articles of latest news....You have cleared my mind mohammad......Thanks

    I blog @ www.getaheadindia.in

  6. Honestly, I do copy some words from other website that i wanted to emphasize to my readers, especially when they explained it the good way but - i always leave the credit for them alone and i add two backlinks to their website and authors profile. So i hope am doing this the right way.

  7. You know the answer to every question in my mind :D
    GREAT ARTICLE< i really like it,

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  8. Awesome Post......... Nice explanation too.....

    Tech Ravers

  9. bro nice share, as i know this already but i had doubt that i am posting codes for widgets etc. in my blog and i want know how it will be consider by google.

    Then i used copyscape to find any contents copied as illegal while i am using syntax highlighter for posting codes but using highlighter will reduce blog speed so i back to my quote methode.Then again i try with copyscape it shows all source codes as copied content.

    can anyone explain how syntax or source codes will be consider by google while using quote method.


  10. Nice post, I deal with this type of things everyday, I take my time to look for this information and than write it my own, and than editors from big websites whow have more visitors, copy my content without giving the credit I desrve, amd then they take credit like if they wrote it, it really s%cks.

    I hope Google really does something about it.

  11. nice post, I think Now copiers and Scrappers will be dying now, as they have a habit of Coping, so it will be very difficult for them to write a Quality post:...
    TricksMe.in- technology Blolg

  12. really useful information for all blogger. thanks for sharing this video with good information :)

    Rahul Kashyap
    Blog: SDMMovies.com | Movies4u.us

  13. thank you for this useful post>
    what about translating content form language to another?
    if i possess the copyright of the a content can i publish it on more than one sit e.g. my site, article archives etc

  14. Highly informative!
    There have been times when I have quoted from other sources. If I do so, I make sure to name the sources whom I am quoting. I do not know if I was ever penalized by Google for that. but the content did not get through Copyscape.
    Should that be a cause of concern?

  15. I have a question for you.
    My blog is getting indexed but in the search results page the title of blog comes first and then post title. Like Below........
    "Blog Title-Post Title"
    Please Help Me for this.Is it harmful for SEO.
    Hope you ll Help.

  16. Is using PLR articles on ones blog or using it as main content also got penelized?
    As most bloggers now depend on plr articles to update their content and when you ask them why? they'll be complaining of contents scarcity or lack of knowledge to do the keyword research for both topic and the main contents

  17. Great post actually. There are many things that helps us to understand about duplicate content. Many blogger and ordinary people who used to write blogs will surely like your article because it speaks about their safety to avoid plagiarism.

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