Don’t copy content

Let’s say you are describing a product or service you intend to list for sale on your website. It makes sense to see what your competitors say about similar offerings, right?

So far, so good. There is nothing wrong with seeking inspiration and no law against assessing the competition.

So you see an especially appealing description that you feel really rings bells with potential customers. You think something like that would work well on your own website or listing platform.

Here’s where the next step is crucial.

If you simply copy and paste into your own page, you are not only guilty of plagiarism but you could see your page, and even your entire website, dropped from search results pages.

Why? You have created duplicate content – a huge no-no in Google’s eyes.

no more content stealing

Why duplicate content is a common SEO problem and how to avoid or fix it

Not only might the owners of the original content send you a legal Cease And Desist letter once they detect your plagiarism, Google will certainly take action too. The most likely outcome is that your page may either lose its ranking in SERPs. Google simply filters out duplicate content pages and never shows them at all.

Google’s USP for its search engine is to deliver the very best outcome for its users. It wants searchers to be delighted with the websites that Google serves up to searchers. Anything that diminishes that user satisfaction must be ruthlessly rooted out. Google’s AI algorithms quickly identify plagiarised content and rate it as poor quality. Too much poor quality may see Google ignoring your site completely.

Tools to identify copied content

Content toolboxCopyscape and Turnitin are probably the best know and longest-established tools for checking plagiarised content.

However, there are many other services available, bot free and pay-for, that provide a whole range of checks.

How to avoid damaging your SEO rankings with copied content

Given that simple copy and paste is a definite no-no, what can you do to create content based on knowledge contained elsewhere without being penalised?

Rewrite the content – This is the best option. There are several approaches. The most effective one is to study the source content so that the main points are committed to memory. Then write your own content from your thoughts, using your own words. An alternative approach is to take the original text sentence by sentence and paraphrase it (use different words) with the help of a thesaurus and by rearranging the order of lists and the flow.

However, not everybody finds writing comes naturally, and so there are other options.

Hire a copywriter – You may not have the time or inclination to rewrite content, which takes just as long as writing fresh copy. You can hire a copywriter to rewrite your content or create you something brand new. We have a team of trusted copywriters who to take care of everything for you. An approach that works well is to select perhaps three links that contain good information about your topic and ask the writer to combine the best aspects of them into a brand new, original and unique article.

Article spinners – Not a recommended option, these services regurgitate content in some semblance of English. The flow may not be natural or highly readable, however. Using such output may well result in a high bounce rate for your web page as users give up on it and seek their answers elsewhere. As google uses bounce rate as one of the user behaviour signals when ranking web pages, poor quality content from spinners may eventually bite you on the bum.

The bottom line – protect your website’s SEO and do not copy content

Google values quality content that will satisfy its users. That should be your objective. Avoiding the temptation to simply copy content that you encounter while surfing should become second nature to you. Bookmark interesting stuff and use it as the source for building your own great and unique content.

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