Duplicate content on multiple TLDs

My client wishes to roll out their existing website to several new TLDs. They already own .com and .com.au with basically the same content, but they now wish to continue onto .co.za, .ca, .co.uk, co.de, .asia and so forth.

I have a few questions:

  1. If the content is translated - say into German for the German site - is Google intelligent enough to know this is essentially duplicate?

  2. How similar is duplicated content exactly? For example, if we changed the spelling of words such as “centre” (UK) to “center” (US), is this enough?

  3. Do things like images on the site count towards de-duplication if they are different on the different sites?

Many thanks for your help.

Translating the content should avoid the issue. It’s a text based analysis, so images and any html markup or css are irrelevant.

Google is smart enough to understand that the same domain name with different TLDs, with essentially the same content (but in different languages as appropriate) is just multiple localised variants of the same site, so should be smart enough to only rank the appropriate country for where the searcher is from.

Thank you for the responses, much appreciated.

websites with translated content on different tld would be considered duplicate IMO.

probably you could use one single domain and use on-the-fly translation choice. that might solve your duplication problem.

Client unfotunately does not want to use a single domain - they want country specific domains and sites hosted in those relevant countries.

Matt Cutts of Google answered a similar question just a couple of weeks ago. He said that it should not be a problem.
YouTube - ‪Is the same content posted under different TLDs a problem?‬‏

Nothing need to bother about duplicate issue under different TLDs. Google states that they have no problem with that.

Don’t split up your reputation! Use canonical url’s. Duplicate content will make the crawl inefficient and as they have only a crawl budget it well get you important pages not crawled. A lot of people think that you need to have a .co.uk TLD to rank high in the UK SERPS. Well this is no longer the case – Google is now smart enough to detect what content will best suite different global markets.