Defining Unique Content for SEO: Why It Matters


When it comes to SEO, you’ve likely heard the term “unique content” thrown around. But what does it actually mean? Let’s break it down and explore why having truly unique content on your site is so crucial.

Understanding Unique vs Duplicate Content

We’re all familiar with duplicate content from those college days of trying to sneak rephrased paragraphs past the plagiarism checkers. Duplicate content is simply content copied verbatim from another source without any original material.
Unique content, on the other hand, refers to brand new, never-before-published content that cannot be found anywhere else on the web. It’s content created specifically for your website through your own words and writing.

The 60-70% Uniqueness Threshold

So how much does the content actually need to differ to be considered truly unique? As a general rule:

  • If 60-70% or more of the material is changed, it can be considered unique enough to avoid duplicate content issues.
  • Merely rearranging sentences or swapping out a few words is not enough to constitute unique content.

Those plagiarism checkers could easily detect anything above the 30-40% similarity range as potential copying. You’re essentially re-wording rather than rewriting from scratch.

The Importance of Fresh, Unique Content

Why go through the effort of producing 100% unique content? Because Google can absolutely tell when your site is filled with duplicated or rewritten material from other sources. This lands sites in hot water regarding:

  • Plagiarism Penalties – At best, you’ll be filtered out of top rankings. At worst, your site can become de-indexed completely.
  • Thin/Low-Quality Content – Even rewritten duplicate content winds up being viewed by Google as low-quality and lacking in-depth value.

Better Options than Rewriting

Rather than attempting to lightly reword and rephrase content from other sites, I recommend:

  • Using quality sources for research, outlining, and loose inspiration only
  • Having your content team write all website copy 100% from scratch based on those content outlines and briefs

It takes more effort, but creating 100% fresh, unique website content following SEO best practices positions you for better long-term results.

Key Takeaways:

  • Unique content means 100% new material that cannot be found anywhere else on the web
  • 60-70% rewriting of existing sources often still registers as duplicate
  • Prioritize creating all-new, valuable content to avoid plagiarism or thin content penalties

Consistently publishing unique, high-quality website content shows Google you’re an authoritative source worth ranking. So ditch those half-measures and commit to cultivating a library of fresh, unique content!

The Talk and Tea Series ☕️

This post has been adapted from the Zupo Talk and Tea Series filmed during the pandemic. If you prefer to watch a video instead of reading, you can watch below. 

Note that this series was created during quarantine, so please excuse at home level production and lack of haircuts 🤓

About the Author

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.

Follow me

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Are you ready to finally figure out

Search Engine Optimization?