With 500 hours of content being uploaded to YouTube every minute, there are more and more people that dream of making a living being a full time YouTuber.

You are watching: The video is a duplicate of a video you already uploaded.

And with such a staggering number of videos there are always some people that try to benefit from copying their content from others.

But the content that is flagged as being duplicate is not always made with bad intentions, which is the cause of a fair amount of confusion.

Seeing that YouTube can demonetize your channel if your content is flagged as being duplicated, it is worthwhile to delve deeper into the subject and make sure you stay in the safe zone.

We have answers to frequently asked questions that will help you do just that.


1What is duplicate content on YouTube?
2Examples of duplicate content on YouTube
3How does YouTube discover duplicate content?
4Can my YouTube description be flagged as duplicate content?
5Does duplicate content include video titles and thumbnails from a series of videos?
6Is YouTube duplicate content different from Google duplicate content?
7Does YouTube treat duplicate content the same as Google and does it influence rankings?
8How to avoid YouTube duplicate content penalty
9What happens if my YouTube video gets flagged as duplicate content?
10What do I do if someone copied my YouTube video one-to-one?
11What happens if you have the same video on two YouTube channels?
12What happens if my YouTube channel gets removed for duplicate content? What can I do about it?
13Can your own content be duplicate on YouTube?

What is duplicate content on YouTube?

Duplicated content is reused content or repetitious content that can basically be found somewhere else in its entirety or even just partially. According to YouTube it is content that does not add value to the original video, is not original or relevant.

YouTube takes duplicate content seriously and will remove a channel if it does not comply with its policies in this way.

But in the end, what matters most to YouTube is adding value. So, as long as you are contributing value (be it by commentary, educational value or high-quality editing) to the original video, your video will not be flagged as duplicate content and endanger your channel’s monetization.

Examples of duplicate content on YouTube

How does YouTube discover duplicate content?


YouTube discovers duplicate content in two ways. The first one is the users flagging a video as duplicate content and manually reporting a channel. The second is by using their own algorithm.

The algorithm uses a number of criteria for comparison including

the size of the video,the format the video was uploaded in,frame rate,audio waveform,type of encodingpixel distributionetc.

Each uploaded video gets a content ID based on these criteria and can then be used to determine if there is an audio or video match or even a partial match.

What you can do about it depends on the situation and how your video was flagged (or rather who flagged it). The algorithm usually flags content during upload. Then you can do some editing, add more audio comments, add more content, show your presence (on screen) or anything else to change the video’s digital signature. You can also provide more context about the video in the description or the video itself.

If you got a manual report, things get a bit more complicated and you need to do a bit of research why this happened. You can try and edit the video and add more content, but usually it will take more than that to get your video cleared.

Can my YouTube description be flagged as duplicate content?

Yes, if your YouTube video description is an exact copy from another video, it can be flagged as duplicate content. While the description itself is not the strongest factor for duplicate content, it is still possible that your video gets flagged. That is why it’s important to always have original content in your YouTube descriptions.

Does duplicate content include video titles and thumbnails from a series of videos?

If you have a series of videos with similar titles such as “Episode 1”, “Episode 2”, etc., where the thumbnails are somewhat similar, you will not be affected by a YouTube duplicate content penalty.

YouTube’s algorithm is smart enough to know that the actual contents of the video are different – such as the length of the video, what is shown and said in it, the topic of the video, the “keywords” you mention in your video, etc.

In fact, a series of videos can actually increase your engagement metrics and therefore your YouTube SEO rankings. By branding your content into series of episodes, you make it easy for the end user to consume your content – and you somehow incentivize them to watch the next video. In fact, a popular strategy with this type of video series is to group them into a playlist that makes it easier for the user to continue their watch session.

Is YouTube duplicate content different from Google duplicate content?

In essence no, duplicate content is content in any format (be it text, image, video…) that is copied/reused from one place to another without anything of value being added to it.

There are, however, three differences between duplicate content on YouTube and Google:

1. How the duplicate content is discovered

Google can, for most content, rely on its algorithm 100% as the code is easily comparable. This is why you rarely hear of people reporting duplicate website content to Google (it’s just not necessary). To learn more about how Google ranks websites here. On YouTube, however, things get a bit trickier. Since the algorithm still isn’t smart enough and isn’t able to actually see the visual content, different criteria need to be used for comparison. The algorithm has to compare the size, the format the video was uploaded in, frame rate, audio waveform, type of encoding etc. This is why YouTube relies more on users reporting channels and flagging the content as duplicate manually.

2. What are the consequences of being flagged for duplicate content

The second difference is in the consequences. Google takes duplicate content much more lightly than YouTube. Duplicate content on your website might affect your ranks, but harsh penalties are rare.

YouTube, on the other hand, will not think twice before demonetizing your channel, removing it from the YouTube Partner Program, and removing your channel’s Superchat.

3. Who owns the content

Duplicate content on Google can happen both on your own website and if you copy others’ content. On YouTube, that’s slightly different – here it’s generally you copying content from other channels that gets you penalized.

Does YouTube treat duplicate content the same as Google and does it influence rankings?

Yes, YouTube treats duplicate content similarly to Google and it will affect your video’s ranking as the video won’t be listed in the result pages anymore.

It’s important to mention, however, that while Google might shell out a penalty to your site because of duplicate content, the consequences will never be as severe as YouTube that removes the content and (on occasion) the channel entirely.

How to avoid YouTube duplicate content penalty


Duplicate content is any content that is copied over without any additional value being added. And YouTube and Google are all about the value.

Let’s be honest – YouTube is built on reaction videos and video commentaries. These videos largely borrow the visuals from other channels and sources – be it movie/TV show clips, gameplay footage, vlogs or other content. But as long as there is a narrative or commentary added to it, it will not be flagged as duplicate.

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Here are a few tips to avoid being flagged for duplicate content.

Or you could just make original content. Just saying