Is your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) at risk due to plagiarism? Do you have questions about how plagiarism affects your ranking on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page)? How does blog writing relate to plagiarism?
If you have these questions, this article is for you. Being a professional writer, you need to consider writing plagiarism-free writing because not only Google but other search engines hate copied content.
So, avoiding plagiarism is necessary for SEO, and it is an essential aspect of writing content that you should consider at all times. This can be achieved by first understanding what plagiarism is. It is illegal to copy other people’s work, whether it is a blog post or other content.
Here, I’ll explain why avoiding plagiarism is necessary for SEO. Let’s take a bird’s eye view of what plagiarism is.
What is plagiarism?
Copying content from a website or publication and claiming it as your own without proper attribution to the original author is plagiarism.
The definition of plagiarism by Wikipedia states:
“Plagiarism is the representation of another author’s language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as one’s original work”
In some cases, unknowingly written content could duplicate previous content. The act of plagiarizing refers to appropriating the intellectual property and passing it off as the writer’s own. In addition to written content, you can also find plagiarism in images. Plagiarism typically violates copyright that serves to protect the creations of individuals.
Plagiarism and SEO
An SEO strategy or practice is designed to improve a website’s search engine ranking. All web pages want to be on top of the Google index, so they stay clear of things that might hurt their rankings. One example of such bad factors is plagiarism.
The negative impact of a plagiarism penalty on your SEO efforts doesn’t stop there. Slander can legitimize your work for someone else to plagiarize, which may result in your punishment.
It’s true; thieves can take advantage of you and then outrank you for it. In this way, plagiarized content will confuse search engines. Plagiarism usually occurs on cheap websites. Your users will surely doubt your credibility if they discover that you’re copying.
In most cases, they search for an original site and move on if it’s copied – this results in constantly decreasing traffic for the owner. Accordingly, plagiarism has severe bad impacts on SEO techniques and ranking scores.
Importance of avoiding plagiarism for SEO
The act of plagiarism cheats both your viewers and search engines bots. Copying content from another site and publishing it on your site is trying to fool your visitors into thinking you created the content.
This is the reason Google may penalize your site in SERPs because it always prioritizes high-quality content that includes original writing.
Below, I mention the 5 reasons why avoiding plagiarism is important for SEO.
5 Reasons to avoid plagiarism for SEO
Firstly, plagiarism decreases the worth of your website. Plagiarized content will always go against your SEO and this may lead to a penalty from Google.
Here are some reasons that will reveal the importance of plagiarism to protect the SEO of your site.
1. Avoid copyright strikes
Plagiarism occurs when an idea is copied, but a copyright violation occurs when a fixed expression is copied (for example, a sequence of words or an image).
It is plagiarism when you use someone else’s work without their permission. It is likely copyright infringement when you reproduce and distribute copies (two rights granted to rights holders) of protected works without permission. So, plagiarism will cause copyright issues.
How is copyright related to plagiarism?
A piece of work is plagiarized when it is used without acknowledgment. An ethical issue arises when one claims credit for work one did not create. There is no difference between plagiarizing another person’s work regardless of the copyright status.
The act of copying an article or book, the copyright of which has expired, is nevertheless plagiarism. In addition, it is plagiarism to use data from an unacknowledged source. Material like data can be infringed upon, even if it is accurate. However, plagiarism is easily avoided with proper citations to the source.
An infringement of copyright occurs when another’s work is unauthorized. Having acknowledged the source will not solve excessive or unauthorized copies of a protected work. To avoid the risk of an infringement charge, you must seek permission from the copyright holder before publishing. These two terms are quite different but similar to one another.
2. Protect against search engine penalties
If your site has been penalized, your ranked pages in SERPs may have disappeared, or your ranking may have dropped dramatically for your targeted keywords. In the event of a penalty from Google, your target audience will not be able to find you.
Google can easily find plagiarized content on your site and the result is the same as a penalty: a loss of rankings for your website. Plagiarized content will degrade your SEO ranking for many reasons. Google penalties result in your website not ranking.
In addition to consuming Google’s crawl budget, plagiarized content also prevents previously indexed pages from appearing in SERPs. Plagiarized content on Google is not appreciated.
In other words, when crawlers find plagiarized content on your website, they immediately look for the most relevant page. A website’s visibility will be diluted when only one page is indexed and shown on SERPs instead of five pages being indexed and shown.
Plagiarized content does not technically lead to a penalty but may still negatively impact search engine rankings. Search engines can struggle to determine which version of the content, as Google refers to them as “appreciably similar” on the Internet, is more relevant for a search query when there are multiple contents on the same topic. So, to solve this SEO ranking issue, avoiding plagiarism is necessary.
Look at the screenshot below to see the guidelines about duplicate content by Google.
3. Save SEO effort
You can never win the race of ranking higher with plagiarized content despite having a high authority website with better keywords.
There’s no doubt that writing original content is a time-consuming process with extra effort but in actuality, it is very important.
Within this, there are some other steps that SEO experts take to make an article SEO-friendly:
- Start your abstract with the two most important keywords and findings.
- 3-6 repetitions of your keywords.
- Keywords should be included in the title (1-2), abstract (2-2), and keyword fields (5-7) and include keywords in headings as well.
- Keyword tools for Google Adwords and Google Trends are used to find specific keywords.
- Let keywords flow naturally and contextually.
- Maintain consistency.
- Build links in articles using social media, networking sites, and institutional websites.
All these steps take time, energy, and consistency that is collectively called SEO effort. The best SEO efforts will be in vain if your content is plagiarized, even if you follow search engine optimization guidelines. So, to save SEO effort, you should avoid plagiarism, one way to avoid plagiarism is paraphrasing.
If you still want to save your time by not writing everything original then a paraphrasing tool can be helpful to at least change the words of the original content. But remember, this tool will not completely make your content unique.
4. Gain traffic
Publishing high-quality, unique, and fresh content gains more and more organic traffic. As plagiarized content lacks relevance, readability, and coherence throughout the content, all of this will cause a low SEO ranking score.
Websites have to avoid issues with plagiarism to succeed. Learn what constitutes plagiarism and what you can do if your website is scraped via the Internet. It is very risky for your SEO if you use the words of others without permission.
Remember, Google can detect plagiarism easily and it is recommended to check your content with a plagiarism checker before publishing content on your site.
In addition to using proper keyword density within a page’s copy, creating title tags with relevant keywords and updating a website with fresh and relevant content regularly can decrease the negative effect. You will become the first source for a search engine if you post content first, and it will engage organic traffic to your site.
Your content will be considered good by search engines, especially Google. You will enhance branding in the long run by using original content-focused SEO strategies. On the search engine results pages (SERPs), your content may appear high on the list. As a result, your website will have a greater chance of generating organic traffic that is highly relevant.
5. Maintain your brand’s reputation
Plagiarized content will damage your brand’s reputation. There are 70 million pieces of content uploaded on the Internet every month, making it extremely difficult to gain a reputation in the online world for any small or large business website.
As a brand strives to build its reputation online, it focuses on offering genuine products and services, creating original content, and considering the benefits of its website. Uniqueness is a requirement for this process. A website’s reputation can be permanently damaged by plagiarism, and it can permanently damage a website’s SEO.
Google loves unique content and it will bring rewards for you in terms of a better ranking. Plagiarized content is a disgrace to your website.
Just think that users come to your site to read something new and unique but they find content that is already published somewhere else.
Of course, they are not going to come back again and will probably have bad thoughts about your website.
For SEO, it’s better to publish a single unique article rather than hundreds of plagiarized content.
Guest author: Asad Shehzad writes SEO articles for online business marketers and SEO tools users to make their Google rankings surge. His articles have appeared in a number of websites i.e., eLearning Industry, seoblog, and Inside Tech Box.