Will boilerplate text get my site penalised?

With the Panda updates of 2011 sending webmasters into a flurry to adjust their content to be ultra unique, there’s some questions being raised about legitimate instances where you have to repeat certain bits of text across all or some pages on your website. The use of boilerplate text is not uncommon and actually serves an important purpose so webmasters are naturally a bit jittery about duplicating content, no matter how valid their reasons.

A good example in this case would be disclaimer text (popular on finance, legal and medical websites). These sentences are necessary to protect the company/webmaster from legal action and sometimes need to be present on more than one page. Does this place your website at risk of a penalty?

Not quite, because Google considers this sort of text as ‘boilerplate’ text and as the days go by, is getting a lot smarter at identifying it as such. So when Google visits your website with boiler plate text, it disregards it and instead focuses on the other content on your site when determining rankings and relevancy.

We’ve noticed instances where webmasters have placed boilerplate text in images as a precautionary measure and whilst this is also safe, it’s also unnecessary as many Google employees have reiterated the fact that Google knows the difference between boilerplate text and regular text.

Jaaved Khatree is a well-rounded Web Generalist and Digital Marketer, with a keen interest in all things SEO and Web Design. He specialises in rock solid SEO and Internet Marketing campaigns for small to medium businesses all over the world. Jaaved first went online in 1996 and has been connected ever since.

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