Why it’s important to check for plagiarism or duplicate content
Posted on 16th June 2021 at 10:36
When you are trying to build your brand and establish yourself as the go-to-expert in your industry, the last thing you want is for Google to find duplicate content on other website pages.
Whether your carefully crafted copy or original content has been posted unintentionally on multiple pages of your own website, or has been plagiarised and is on someone else’s website, duplicate content is a big “no-no” where search engine optimisation (SEO) is concerned.
It defeats the object of hiring copywriters to create content for you or spending your precious time writing original blogs, news items or fresh web pages in a bid to improve your SEO ranking
Duplicate content is a digital marketer’s nightmare, as Google robots or crawlers may get confused and not know which website page to attribute the original content to. If your content is found in more than one place on the worldwide web, Google may decide to give your page a lower ranking or it may even exclude your page from searches.
As an Internet user, the last thing you want when you are looking for help, or searching for advice from an authority, is to find exactly the same content published on several websites, which is why search engines penalise you if it happens.
Dedicated bloggers will be well-aware that there are unscrupulous people out there, known as content scrapers, who will copy your content and use it on their website without your permission or use robots or automated software to do it for them.
If you regularly check for duplicate content using premium plagiarism tools you can catch the content scrapers. Other useful tools are Google Alerts, Webmaster tools and trackbacks in Wordpress.
Top tips on checking for duplicate content on your website
Here are some tips on how to avoid duplication of your awesome content and what to do if you find your copy plagiarised.
It is a good idea to regularly check for duplication of content by simply copying one of your sentences and pasting it into the Google search. The website that first published the content will appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).
There are also various tools you can use to identify the culprits who may have unintentionally used your informative, well-written words, or duplicated them deliberately, in a bid to drive traffic to their own websites.
Copyscape www.copyscape.com is a great tool to use as it will not only checks quickly to see if content is copied elsewhere, but it also tells you what percentage matches previously published content.
Siteliner www.smallseotools.com is easy to use and will check your entire website by simply writing in the URL.
Duplichecker www.duplichecker.com identifies itself as a plagiarism checker and will check your content is completely original before you publish it on your website.
PlagSpotter www.plagspotter.com claims to “track down plagiarists who steal your content.” It permits you to do weekly checks of your URLs.
Smallseotools www.smallseotools.com has a vast array of tools to check for various issues from duplicate content, paraphrasing and a spell checker.
Premium plagiarism checkers, like Plagiarismcheck.org and Plagium www.plagium.com are also valuable tools that professional digital marketers use, as they employ advanced algorithms to examine who is the original author of a piece of copied content and they produce reports that can act as evidence that you own the copyright.
Grammarly www.grammarly.com is another useful premium tool as it not only checks for grammatical errors, typos, or poor construction of sentences, it also has a tool to check for duplicate content.
What to do when you find duplicate content
Once you have located your content copied on other websites, contact the owner of that site, and ask them to remove it or credit you as the original author plus add a link to your website. You could also offer to rewrite your work and charge them for it.
Alternatively, you could seek legal advice as plagiarism is against the UK’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You automatically own the copyright when you create an original piece of writing, music, art, or drama, which includes web content. The punishment for breaking the copyright law is a maximum fine of £50,000, or a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment, depending on the severity of the infringement.
We hope we’ve helped you understand the importance of avoiding duplicate content or plagiarism and have given you something to think about. If you need any help or advice, or someone to create your original content for you, don’t be afraid to get in touch.
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