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Does Google Support Copycats? | Volume 11

Free Content

Have you ever read the same statement on multiple websites? 

Ever wondered if Google tracks copy ownership across the web? 

Will your content be harmed by using copied content? 

We’ve got the answers and all you have to do is scroll down. 

Before we get into that here’s a peek at what’s to come:  

  • Twitter was slow with setting up their stories feature, but they aren’t going to be late to the next party.
  • A new entrance to the streaming wars is bringing advertisers with them.
  • Would you trust a Robotaxi? Because they’re here. 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Content 

Plagiarism is never the play.Let’s get that squared away to start. 

Google as an institution doesn’t condone it either, as indicated with their plagiarism checking platform within Google Classrooms. 

But as a search engine, Google has no way to prove who owns the original content. 

John Mueller, a senior webmaster at Google, partook in Google Search Central’s – SEO Office Hours and had some insights into how they handle, or rather can’t handle, copied content. 

(With regard to the) author or owner of that content, I don’t think we go and make any judgement because that’s really tricky like… we can’t determine who is the owner.”

If you can’t determine who is the true owner of the content is how can you determine who has copied it? 

And for Google, their algorithm is not programmed to promote the first answer provided to a user’s query – it is programmed to promote the best answer

And sometimes the person who wrote it first is not the one for example that is the most relevant.

Mueller expanded by saying that users can take content from other sources and expand on it, providing a deeper explanation and building on what the original source said. Or perhaps a user is looking for a different angle on a particular topic, which is provided through a blog expanding on content taken from an alternative site. 

Google has even fallen prey to copied content beating them on SERP pages, but they lose at the will of their creation. 

“We see this a lot of times for example with our own blog posts where we will write a blog post and we’ll put the information we want to share on our blog post and someone will copy that content and they will add a lot of extra information around it. So, just because something is original doesn’t mean that it’s the one that is the most relevant when someone is looking for that information.”

It’s that simple really; just because Google is sharing the facts, users may be looking for more meat by looking for someone to expand on and add more depth to what is shared. 

This “copied” content may not be plagiarised, it could simply be the reuse of quotations, as included in this document; it could be a statement of facts that is widely used; or it could be boilerplate content that is typically the same across all sites.  

At the end of the day, getting your content to rank high on SERP is a competition. A new tactic could be to reframe, expand on, or tailor existing external content to your audience – while giving credit when credit is due. 

Key Takeaways

  • Using copied content won’t harm your SERP ranking 
  • Expanding on existing content can outrank the source
  • Google has no control over or insight into copied content and rightful ownership of it

Stories, Fleets, Tweets, Spaces and Rooms

It looks like Twitter has taken the whole “ok, we were late to copying Stories, we won’t be late copying the next innovation” seriously. 

As the last social media site to roll out their take on Snapchat’s Stories, they are making sure to be one of the first in the space with Spaces. 

But what are they stealing this time? 

First off let me tell you what Spaces will entail. It is a chatroom that users can join and chat in real time. The creator of a “space” will be the moderator with the ability to control and determine who can join and then participate. 

Basically, it’s Twitter’s version of Clubhouse.

If you don’t know what Clubhouse is, it is an app for chatrooms that users can join and chat in real time. 

Clubhouse users create chat “rooms” that are open for anyone to hop in and out of as audience members; to speak in a room you must raise your hand and be invited in by the current speakers. 

Clubhouse is a voice-only platform – no camera compatibility – and both platforms are undergoing testing intending to create a safe chat environment for all users. 

At the moment Clubhouse is in private beta mode and is being tested within a small group to help figure out all the last few bugs and features. 

Spaces is also trialling their platform but on a more public scale. 

Although neither are currently live, Clubhouse has been in private beta testing since July 10, 2020, and Spaces made its entrance to Twitter – albeit to a small test group – on December 16.  

Looks like Spaces is winning the race this time and won’t be the last to the party. However, that doesn’t mean they will be the belle of the ball. 

Twitter has learned to get ahead of the pack this time as they are banking on voice-based chat rooms being the next best thing that will rival and provide an alternative to stories and fleets. 

Key Takeaway

  • Public trials can create a claim to a product that isn’t always an original invention
  • Twitter won’t be the last this time to provide the next best thing in social media features 
  • Watching competitors within your industry will allow you to uncover new trends before it’s too late

Discovery Enters a Crowded Market with a Plan To Overcome Crowded Ad Space

Discovery Inc. has announced they are entering the streaming world with Discovery+. Set to launch in the U.S. in January of 2021, it has already started its global rollout in the UK, Ireland, and India. 

What is interesting about Discovery+ is their tiered pricing structure. 

Unlike Netflix, Crave, and Prime Video with subscription prices closer to $10 every month, Discovery+ is going to enter with two different subscription fees charging an amount on either side of $5. 

They will be offering Discovery+ Ad-Lite at $4.99 per month and an ad-free subscription for $6.99. For the rollout in the states, they are partnering with Verizon to offer up to a year of free subscription depending on the user’s Verizon plan.  

This partnership allows for Verizon’s users to trial the subscription before signing up, which allows them to fall in love with the new and classic shows being provided exclusively through the service. 

What’s unique about Discovery+ is their ad-lite subscription. 

At half the price of the big three streaming subscription fees, Discovery+ is very enticing and, with the promise of only five minutes of ad time per hour streamed, viewers will have just enough time to enjoy the ad break by grabbing a glass of water in between binges. 

For the launch, Discovery+ is boasting a pretty hefty portfolio of advertising partners, including Boston Beer Company, Kraft Heinz, Lowe’s and Toyota. Eventually, as viewership grows advertisers on the platform will have access to data-driven addressable targeting through the platform as well. 

On top of targeted advertising, the limited amount of ad time prevents viewer fatigue as they aren’t overwhelmed by content. 

As we are exposed to an average of 5,000 ads a day, our retention of advertising messages is weakened by the overload. Offering minimal ad time is not only appreciated by viewers but is also attractive to advertisers who want more quality air time rather than the jammed 14 to 17 minutes of advertising per hour on Cable TV and the thousands of ads appearing on digital media. 

Key Takeaways

  • Streaming services are moving to accept advertising 
  • Ad-lite services are not only attractive to viewers but also to advertisers 
  • Free trials are a great way to entice prospective customers and tier pricing will attract a larger pool of users


💰 Consumer demand post-launch has helped to step up Step’s Series B funding, landing the financial services company $50 million. 

🌨 Cloud-computing giant Snowflake saw an earnings surge that helped them hit a $100 billion in market value at the start of December. 

🏦 Sweden’s open banking platform Tink has raised $103 million and has grown to 3,400 banks with 250 million customers.  


The streets of Shenzhen are the first in the world to experience truly driverless cars.

AutoX has rolled out 25 unmanned vehicles in the downtown core, becoming the first autonomous driving cars to be tested on public roads without remote operators or safety drives. 

These cars will eventually be used as Robotaxis but they are not yet open to the public. Five months prior to this testing, AutoX received a permit from California to start their driverless tests. 

Soon services like Uber will become fully robotized, from order to ride. 


Building a Community by Amanda Goetz


Merry Christmas by Mariah Carrey (Best Track: All I Want for Christmas is You

Originally Sent Out Thursday, December 24, 2020. Stay up to date with all of our latest findings by subscribing to our newsletter today. Signing up also gives you early access to Ross’ Tuesday essay full of exclusive industry insights.

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