We all know the importance of SEO. Without proper SEO, your website will remain buried deep somewhere in the SERPs, without coming to the attention of users. However, maintaining and retaining your SEO position is just as important as establishing it in the first place. And to make sure that you keep your website afloat and fixed at the rank it has achieved in the SERPs, you need to understand just how harmful plagiarism can be.
There are two main ways in which your SEO efforts can be hampered (or even demolished) by plagiarism. Firstly, there is the effect it has on your integrity and credibility. When your readers figure out that the posts you are posting on your blog are being stolen from another source, what change do you think it will bring in your image and repute?
Yep, that’s right. Instead of appearing as a straight and honorable author, you will start looking like some two-bit plagiarist. That is the non-technical and…sentimental (I guess you can call it) damage that plagiarism will have on your popularity and SEO efforts. Since SEO rankings rely on user traffic, a decrease in the latter will mean a decrease in the former as well. Secondly, you can, as a result of plagiarism, get hit by a Google penalty. There are different degrees and intensities of Google penalties; the lowest of which is a reduction in ranking for a certain keyword and the highest of which is site-removal.
So, now that we have looked at the damage that plagiarism can have on your site’s SEO, let’s look at some methods using which you can make sure that there is none on yours.
Here are some steps that you can take to make sure that your content doesn’t fail in the plagiarism detection test.
Don’t Copy…Unintentionally and Intentionally
The raw and unadulterated form of plagiarism is the act of directly copying from a source, without effecting any sort of changes in the words or layout. This sort of plagiarism can happen only if the author intentionally and deliberately goes looking around the internet for content to steal. So, to avoid it…just stop doing it. If you have to quote something word-for-word in your writing, add a citation, or use quotation marks.
That is as far as intentional copying goes. However, there is also the problem of accidental copying that needs to be addressed. Unintentional copying can happen when you use one single source for obtaining all your information. When reading the same content multiple times for research purposes, you can, subconsciously, start to mimic the pattern. This can result in some matching bits of text in your work, which will be taken as malicious plagiarism by the search engine…and the viewers.
The solution to this problem is to spread out your research sources. Instead of taking the information from just one platform, take it from at least 5 – 6 different ones. That way, you won’t pick up similarities, and your content will come out untainted with plagiarism.
Moving on, the next thing that you should do to make sure that your content is original and unique is to use a plagiarism remover or checker. By using a dedicated tool for checking plagiarism, you will be able to remove any accidental matches that could have come in your content during writing. Most plagiarism checkers give you a sentence-wise breakdown of the test so that you can find and fix the exact sentence or phrase that matches with another source. Some tools that you can use for this purpose in 2022 include:
After checking the plagiarism. You can now move to make your content look unique and professional and there you may consider these free tools that help you to paraphrase your content.
Sometimes, it becomes necessary to directly quote a person or a paper in the content. And that is fine to do…as long as you accredit the original author. If you fail to do so, you could get flagged for plagiarism, even if your intention was clean. To avoid this, you need to make sure that you add citations and references indicating the actual source. If you are adding a saying or a quote, then putting them in quotation marks (“”) can suffice. On the other hand, if you are using the words or phrases from another source while making some changes, you need to add a short in-text citation and a detailed reference at the end. You can come up with citations and references using dedicated online tools.
Paraphrasing any content while retaining its size and layout is also a type of plagiarism. If, for example, we take the above sentence and paraphrase it incorrectly, we get:
Paraphrasing any material whilst keeping its dimensions and structure is also a sort of plagiarism.
Now, while the wording is changed and it is not identical to the original source, any unbiased person will be able to see that it is a poor copying job. So, when you want to paraphrase something, make sure you go through with it properly. An example of proper paraphrasing, using the same sentence, would be:
Plagiarism has different types. If you paraphrase something without changing its shape and structure, it will also be categorized as being improperly copied.
While this is also a type of paraphrasing, it will look more decent and thoroughly done to the reader.
Plagiarism can be very harmful to your website’s SEO progress. There are several steps that you can take to make sure that there is none in your content. Some of these include: running the text through plagiarism detection software, paraphrasing properly, and adding citations. In this post, we looked at all three of these steps in detail. Make sure you stick to them, or it could mean bad news for your website. For each of these processes, you can use online tools to help you along. There are many plagiarism checkers, paraphraser tools, and citations generators available online that you can use for free.