What is plagiarism?
Working in SEO, you will often come across the term Plagiarism. It is important to first understand what exactly plagiarism is. Plagiarism is the use of somebody else’s ideas as one’s own without the owner’s permission. It means that you may copy somebody’s ideas without providing any acknowledgement to the originator of those ideas. This is equivalent to theft.
The ownership of ideas is called intellectual property. You intellectual property is protected by the copyright laws. In case somebody tries to steal your ideas, you can take legal actions. This ‘stealing’ is not limited to just written content, but also videos, pictures and music.
But wait. If plagiarism is so bad, then why people plagiarize in SEO?
Plagiarism on websites is pretty common today. People would copy content from well-running sites and share it as their own. This helps them bring similar audience to the page and improve earning. However, that is not always the case. Google has strict methods for checking your website for plagiarism and once found guilty, your website can be seriously penalized.
How bad is plagiarism for your website’s SEO?
Plagiarism can affect your SEO in multiple ways. It negatively ranks your content on the search engine. When Google views two websites with same content, it does not know which one is original while ranking. Same goes for the visitor. Eventually, the visitor leaves both websites. This results in a drop in ranking. When you are copying content from another website, chances are you do that often. This means your website does not contain any original content. Original content is one of the most productive ways to attract audience on your website. But this is all nothing. It will become a hellhole for you if the owner of the content decides to take a legal action against your website. Especially if the website is owned by an established company, it can lead to strict penalizations depending on intellectual property laws in your state. Likewise, if you decide to remove the plagiarized content from your website, the ranking does not go up easily. It takes Google months to lift the penalty.
How can you fight plagiarism?
It is simple. Just don’t do plagiarism. In case some other website steals your content, look up on how to get them penalized because even if you are the one the content is being stolen from, you can still receive a lower ranking. Likewise, if you have a team of writers working for your website, always make sure to use plagiarism comparison tools. These are online tools where you can copy and paste the content you are about to share on your website. Plagiarism comparison tools carry out documents comparison. What this means is that the tool will try to locate that if the content that you just shared with the software can be found somewhere else on the internet too. If yes, then how many percent. This is a great way to check if your content is plagiarized before publishing it. Some of the free tools include Grammarly and CopyScape.