Ah, fluff. Wouldn’t it be nice to open a recipe post that just goes straight to the point? We don’t need to hear your life story before you decided to come up with this recipe Susan, that’s what Youtube is for. Still, Susan’s recipe with around 600 words of fluff before getting to the point still ranks high enough for me to click on it. Not for long, it seems.
Google’s John Mueller warned the community about fluff content just the other day on Twitter, saying duplicate content is something we should worry less about and instead work on creating solid content, not filled with fluff. He said that it’s harder for search engines to figure out what that content is trying to say. So, how come Google keeps rewarding fluff, then? Content length doesn’t mean the content is good – John himself said that a few years ago.
But that’s less about duplicate content, and more about fluff. If you make it hard for search engines to figure out what you’re trying to say, it’s no wonder they don’t recommend your pages for that. — 🐄 John 🐄 (@JohnMu) January 7, 2022
Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable wrote about this and mentioned last week’s interview with Google’s John Mueller. He was once again talking about fluff words and how that shouldn’t be a go-to method for adding more words to your content.
To be more specific, he mentioned copying Wikipedia articles and how most websites sound the same when it comes to product categories. John suggested focusing on creating something valuable to the user and offering additional information about the product, for example. “Just filling extra text on a page, I would not do that.” – he said.
When talking about duplicate content, however, some say it is less of an issue than we thought. Google won’t demote your content or penalize the website, it just wouldn’t be sure which page to show when a user asks a question and the answer for it is in more places at once:
There’s so much confusion about duplicate content and whether it can hurt in terms of SEO. Great answer here by John in the Dec 31 help hangout. Google doesn’t demote for duplicate content…but they may not show all of it to searchers.https://t.co/hhQl51MC0X#SEO pic.twitter.com/ujckO9iDwh — Dr. Marie Haynes🐧 (@Marie_Haynes) January 7, 2022
As Barry noticed, it could be that Google is finally catching on and is warning us about overdoing it with fluff. That would mean the pages that are currently ranking well might suffer a fall if they are filled with irrelevant information for the user.
*all Susans in this article are fictional
*no Susans were harmed during the writing of this article