You are currently viewing Content Plagiarism – Does It Affect Your SEO and How to Avoid It?

It normally takes about a few months to improve the rankings of a business website in a search engine such as Google and the smaller ones. Even though it required time, most digital marketers consider search engine optimization (abbreviated as SEO) to be the most effective method of helping a business website to rank in the search engines. When a business website ranks on the first page of major search engines like Google and the rest, it would inevitably get a large volume of search traffic. By virtue of their search query and landing on your site, they come with a genuine interest in your brand, products our services.

So, what are the major considerations or factors used by search engines to determine the ranking of a website? They would be the form of your website, attributable backlinks and the quality of your web contents.

Specific to this discussion is the matter of content. In what way does content affect your search ranking?

Search engines like Google place a strong emphasis on the quality of a website’s content. Your contents would help Google to determine its relevance specific to a search query or search keyword phrase. SEO practitioners devote a lot of effort to develop contents that are relevant to products or services contained in your website. From there pertinent keywords are selected and optimised accordingly. In many cases, additional contents are required to bolster the overall content strength of the website. But content creation is a time consuming and often expensive exercise. Good content or copywriters are not cheap. It is therefore not uncommon to see webmasters or even some SEO agencies resort to plagiarism meaning lifting contents from other websites and assorted sources. Given the sophisticated algorithms of the search engines, these plagiarised contents are quickly detected and correspondingly rankings of websites containing plagiarised contents would be demoted.

Preventing plagiarism

Businesses, especially those with deeper pockets, do invest substantially in content creation for their website. They should however be guarded against their contents being plagiarised by other websites. There have been instances of these  websites going on to rank better over the websites in which they copied the contents from. Hence it is prudent to do periodic checks on whether your contents have been copied or plagiarised. Legal notices should be sent to webmasters, web hosting company or domain registrar of websites that had committed these infractions to take down the plagiarised contents immediately.

Whenever content is being created, whether by in-house writers or outsourced ones, care must be taken that the finished articles are original in nature. Copyscape or other similar plagiarism checking tool can be used to detect incidences of plagiarism. While it is true that creating original content is time consuming and costly, the resulting rankings that are attained as a result of it is well worth it. Shortcuts like plagiarising other people’s contents is not only unethical, it is frowned upon by the search engines.