Plagiarism is a huge problem in the blogging world. Many people don't understand what it is and end up plagiarizing unintentionally. Other bloggers just do it because it is easier. Indeed, it can be tempting to copy someone else's work and call it your own, but this can have serious consequences for your website.
In this article, we will discuss what plagiarism is, what you risk by doing it, and how to protect yourself from plagiarists. We will also discuss how to avoid copying others yourself when writing a blog post. Follow these tips and you will be safe from plagiarism!
In blogging, plagiarism is the act of copying someone else's work and claiming it as your own. Bloggers who plagiarize others' content often do so because it's easier than coming up with their own ideas and writing them out in a way that makes sense to readers. In some cases, plagiarism isn't even intentional, but that doesn't make it any less serious.
For example, if you found an interesting article on the internet and ¨borrow¨ some content but didn't credit the original author or ask for permission, then that would be plagiarism. If you copied someone's words word-for-word without the use of quotation marks and without giving credit to the author, that would also be plagiarism.
Note that we are not only talking about texts here, but also images, videos, and any other type of content that would be stolen from its rightful creator or owner.
The short answer to this question is no. However, it is a bit more complex than that...
It all depends on how much content is considered ¨plagiarized¨. To measure the level of plagiarism, checkers use various online detection tools such as Turnitin, Grammarly plagiarism checker, and Copyscape.
Generally speaking, if you plagiarize less than 10% of the text, it won't matter much as long as you give attribution. There is nothing wrong with quoting someone more knowledgeable than you in your article if you make it clear who is the original source of the quote and you get permission. In fact, the author might be grateful to you if you add a link to his/her own website. I mean, who would refuse a good backlink?
Moreover, you can't expect anyone to create 100% unique content when writing a blog. People sometimes have the same ideas and opinions and you might unintentionally write a sentence very similar to one already used in another blog about the same topic.
In other words, there is some margin of error. Plagiarizing one sentence from an article that has 100 sentences in it isn't plagiarism unless that single sentence is copied word-for-word. That being said, I would strongly discourage you from plagiarizing someone else's work voluntarily. Not only is it illegal, but it can also have serious consequences.
In the worst-case scenario, the original creator could sue you and ask for monetary compensation. But this is quite rare as most people won't want to waste their money and efforts to pursue those cases.
Another risk would be to lose your website altogether. If the plagiarized content was from a website that does not allow people to copy parts of their pages without permission (for example a government site or news organization), then there are other dear consequences that you could face such as a DMCA takedown.
DMCA takedown is when someone plagiarizes your work and you send a request to the website owner to remove all stolen content. If that person doesn't respond or can not prove he/she is the original creator of the content, then all plagiarized pages will be removed from Google search results and his/her website will be taken down.
If you are plagiarizing other bloggers' content, there is a chance that they will eventually find out. When they do, they may take legal action against you. This could result in your website being shut down or fined, as I mentioned earlier.
And even if no legal action is taken against you, plagiarism is not good for your website's reputation... What do I mean by that? Well, plagiarism is a form of cheating, and people don't usually like cheaters.
Google especially will check your website and lower your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking if it suspects you of plagiarism. To be more precise, Google will scan all the pages of your website and see if the same content can be found in other pages published earlier than yours.
Actually, even if you use your own content, publishing the same content twice on different websites or in two different blogs of the same website will be considered as duplicate content by Google which will also cost you a lower ranking in search results. In a sense, duplicate content means you are plagiarizing yourself...
For example, let's imagine you are selling Japanese matcha green tea and you want to write various blogs about the topic to promote your products on your website. Even if it is tempting to use the same word-for-word definition of what is matcha in all your blogs, doing so will create duplicate content that will just destabilize search engines.
Google likes it when your wording is unique, no matter if you are writing about the same topic or not.
I think the easiest way to know if someone is stealing your content is through advanced plagiarism detection tools. FreeSeoTools provides you with a Plagiarism Checker Pro which will analyze your content and tell you exactly which percentage of it is unique and which is not.
In case of potential plagiarism, it will also give you the source so you can check for yourself if your content has indeed been copied. The tool will automatically delete the scanned content to protect your work and privacy. so Just copy and paste your text in the provided space or enter your website URL directly.
Other reliable plagiarism detection tools include Grammarly and Copyscape. However, even if those tools are getting smarter and smarter, they're not perfect. Sometimes, the results returned by them can be incomplete.
Here are a few easy tips to further your research :
There is no sure-fire way of completely protecting your content from plagiarists. You may want to consider one or more of the following approaches:
Indeed, the first impulse of a blogger when starting a new article will be to look at other websites in the same field and read what they have to say about it. The problem occurs when you begin copying parts of their text word-for-word or just paraphrase it a bit without giving them any credit.
You will find below 7 easy tips to avoid plagiarizing people's work accidentally:
You can also compile a list of sources that you will be quoting or paraphrasing from. This way, you can avoid plagiarizing anyone's work inadvertently.
You can also give examples from your personal experience or explain in detail how things work if you feel like there is more information the reader needs. Remember, you are not just a copying robot and your blog should reflect that.
As Malcolm X said, ¨The future belongs to those who prepare for it today¨.
When borrowing pictures, make sure to use images that you have the legal rights to publish. Always ask for authorization from photographers and give credit by including a link back to their website.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand what plagiarism is and why it's so bad for your website. If you are writing a blog post, it's important to be mindful of the risks and consequences that come with plagiarizing others. You should always make sure to give credit where credit is due for any information or ideas that you borrow from someone else.
Also, try to protect your original content from plagiarists and avoid stealing from others yourself by using our various tips mentioned above. If you found this article helpful, please share the post with your friends and leave a comment below to let us know what you think!