Will having the same ingredients list for a product as another site cause a duplicate content issue?

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What can e-commerce sites do that sell products which have an ingredients list exactly like other e-commerce sites selling the same product to avoid Google as seeing it as duplicate content?
Daisy, Minneapolis, MN

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28 thoughts on “Will having the same ingredients list for a product as another site cause a duplicate content issue?”

  1. Add a little more than just what the manufacture might provide to re-sellers. Plus those who have a great deal of duplicate content, most customers are loyal to a online store.

    Example: Autozone car parts might have the same brake pads that Advanced Auto sells, same description, it comes down to the buyers preference of store. Musicians Friend versus Guitar Center.

    Each store run their own deals in conjunction to the wholesale products (added value). It's not dangerous, it's a free market.

  2. Thanks, for your obvious answer to "What can e-commerce sites do", but that's not the point, and iframes are a poor answer.

    The index date or article date, while useful, are unfortunately not reliable enough to determine what's original. Hence my questioning of such a possible unfair penalty to the original content.

    There is no simple answer here, and this is not a complaint. We are just asking hard questions as to the legitimacy and extend of such said penalty, and its long term implications.

  3. I don't think the technical specs are much to worry about if you have a unique product description. You could always iframe the tech specs in too so it's not on the same domain…

  4. I agree reviews are a great way to get unique content. However most of the people moaning only run small shops with a few hundred product, writing unique descriptions for these will help more and is easily do-able. You could out source the work and get it done in no time; even if you have a few thousand products. Unless your an aggregater website this isn't hard and is well worth it.

  5. They know by the index date.One way around this is by actually putting in some work and writing your own descriptions rather than being lazy and using the same as thousands of other websites.

    If the manufacturers is essential, you could host the descriptions on another domain and iframe them in, this way you cannot get penalised for duplicate content. I would say however that you should still have some unique text on the page regarding the product. Doing this can increase rankings.

  6. Your assumptions need to be re-evaluated. Consider bricks-and-mortar retailers. What distinguishes one retailer from the next are soft factors, like store environment, customer service, location, etc. Many carry the same brand of jeans, for example, with display materials (flyers, dispay cards, signage, etc) supplied by the manufacturer. Obviously no manufacturer can feasibly create unique displays for every single retailer, but essentially, this is what you're punishing online retailers for!

  7. If your not a large corporate business like best buy, amazon, target, walmart etc then Google wants the small business to use AdWords, go to my site and look for the blog i wrote on it called "Google Destroying Small Business"

  8. I agree that if you have thousands of products on your site that it is not feasible to handwrite each product description. User reviews seem like the easiest way to create unique content on the page. it is unlikely that your customers will write the same review on your competitors' sites.

  9. Pretty simple to all who are complaining… Add extra value!!
    On for your "place product" form, have a manditory "about us / company bio".
    List related items (amazon is the master at this, great also for upselling).
    List date product submitted, other items by this seller, numb of views, number of purchases, user reviews, user ratings, safety concerns, country of manufacture, etc.
    There are literally 100's of things you can do to give your product "more value" than the next guy, get creative!

  10. Matt, if we are doing national to local marketing for a manufacture and they have a product catalogue, it makes sense to have that nice searchable catalogue available on all the local sites. If the local dealer adds local content and specific information about their company, does that work? We would obviously tag the common content to associate it with the main site, not local.

  11. No not like a word spinner at all. Like someone writing it. E-Commerce sites with millions of products generally sell enough products to fund this being done properly.

  12. I think the key here is to ensure you don't rely on the 'duplicate' information. I run a number of car-related websites and many of them display the same core information i.e. Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi in X colour with Y miles and Z spec. None of the sites rely on this to make up their core content and they do just fine 🙂

  13. This problem has been bothering me, The website that I manage have the same repeated-problem, traffic from Google SEO crashed so much!!! tradezz.com who can give me some valuable suggestion????

  14. I sell books. Publishers provide marketing copy. I'm not rewriting book descriptions, nor are the bazillion other online book sellers. I also publish book reviews that are syndicated and may appear on other websites. I do provide videos, reviews, bestsellers lists, commentary, articles, photos and a lot of other info that is completely unique. But most importantly I curate the content, it is selected specifically for my niche. Does google factor this in?.

  15. Not having to heavily worry about it, or having simple ways to mitigate the issues, does not remove one's ability to address, discuss or emphasize a valid concern.

    In this case, questioning the search engine (in)ability to discern which is the original content in a fully reliable manner, is relevant to all types of "duplicate content" suffering a possible penalty.

    Disavowing links wasn't an issue until it became one. No one wants to start having to monitor ext. duplicates of his own content…

  16. "How can the search engine know for sure which is the original content?" … is a good question from Hexanet Communications.
    Also, and for quotes sites, dictionary sites, .. who is the original "owner" of it?

    Abraham Lincoln quote:
    " Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right. "

    Which site can claim the original content? How Google decide?

  17. My brain doesn't need a parrot re-saying the obvious.

    I'm not talking about added value. I'm addressing the theoretical argument made my Matt that: such things as duplicate ingredients or product specs "probably wouldn't get you to too much of an issue".

    I don't see a fair reason for the duplicate sections to be of an actual 'issue' (as small as it may be).

    There is no reliable way to identify the original, thus the original section could be devalued just like the duplicates which isn't good.

  18. A quick and easy solution is to hire someone to write unique descriptions or ingredient lists (just phrase them differently to the source content). Quick and cheap.

  19. Use your brain ffs.

    If you just list the same as everyone else then you're not adding value.

    However, if your page lists not only the product and what it contains but also how it is used, what is is used for, who should use it etc plus a video showcasing it and its uses then guess what? your page will be more interesting than your competitors, gain more clicks, likes and shares therefore Google will see it as better content than everyone elses.

    It's not rocket science …. just harder work

  20. Not unless those articles and tutorials are inside of the product that you are trying to sell. What he is saying is fairly simple. Either add your own content or get punished. The same product fine, the same feed okay, but add some sort of content. Tutorials your experiences ect. ect.

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