Recently in the Google Webmaster Forums a user asked: “How does duplicate copy that’s legally required (ie Terms & Conditions across multiple offers) affect performance in search?”

Google’s head of SPAM Matt Cutt’s responded casually, “I wouldn’t stress about it.”   He went on to say how Google would pick up on this, and that the algorithm would sort it out.

He also said that worse case scenario, it “wouldn’t be counted” towards your overall SEO.

Here is some content that might fall into this category:

  • terms and conditions
  • privacy policies
  • membership agreements
  • shipping agreements
  • disclaimers
  • other legal agreements

Most webmasters and SEO’s have been aware of this scenario for a very long time.

If you are still worried about duplicate content

Noindex, nofollow and canonicalize them.  That will send Google the message that you clearly are not trying to use these properties to rank.

Even though this question came up recently in the Google user forums, the same question was asked 3 years ago in the same forum.

If you think you might have a page or post that doesn’t fit into one of the categories above, send us an email and we will take a look at it.