Fighting online plagiarism has been an ongoing struggle since the dawn of the Internet. The problem people often run into is finding good content, and wanting to have something similar on their website. Some companies just straight out copy what is on a site, not realizing there are legal ramifications for doing so, not to mention the fact that Google WILL penalize your website for duplicate content. Building a credible reputation lies within the value of information you put on your website. Copyscape is one of the tools we use at Performance Driven Marketing to ensure our website, and our clients’ websites are filled with factual, credible, and original content.
What is Copyscape?
In July 2004, Copyscape was founded and began helping to fight back against plagiarism on the Internet. Copyscape is an online tool that you can use to determine if the content on your website has been stolen.
(Copyscape official video to describe what Copyscape is in a nutshell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MggxboD44aM)
How Does Copyscape Work?
When you use Copyscape Premium Search, you can copy and paste your content into a search box where the content is checked across all websites on the Internet. If your content is too similar, the results will show how many exact phrases, sentences, or overall words are similar as compared to other websites.
While the premier membership charges per word to scan copy, they do have a free Copyscape tool you can use to directly compare your content to the content on another website. The free tools are limited in their ability to provide multiple results to ensure your content is original.
Why We Use Copyscape
If you purchase content, you deserve to have that content be 100% original and unique to your business. Far too often we have seen other companies outsource writing services where the content comes back as duplicated from other websites, or it is so poorly written it cannot even be used.
Results from Copyscape
What happens if you place your information in the search box, and there are results that come back? Once Copyscape has completed the search, your results will appear in the following format:
As you can see from the test above, we scanned our own website copy and found that our content is 100% original and has not been copied by others on the Internet.
What happens when you do scan copy that has been duplicated? The results will appear as follows:
Protecting Your Website with Copyscape
One way to help others know that you regularly monitor your website content is by placing one of the free Copyscape banners on your website:
Checking Content Prior to Posting
One way to combat issues with writers is to scan the copy prior to having it posted on your website. If you are able to work with a credible team of writers, you will find that you rarely run into issues with duplicate content. As a website owner, you want to let people know that you will check their content for plagiarism. Making sure this standard is set right away will protect your company.
Responding to Plagiarists
So what do you do if you find problems with plagiarism? There are two types of intellectual property that you have to worry about including material stolen from your site and published elsewhere, and content taken from another site and sold to you as content for your website.
Stolen Website Content
If the content you find has been stolen from your website, you need to take action. When someone steals your content, it degrades your content. Pretty soon Google will see it, and they could end up penalizing you for duplicate content. You can file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice with Google, or you can start by contacting the other website owner to request this content to be removed. Letting Google know that you legally own the content by filing a DMCA notice and showing them evidence of your original blog post link, and the link to the stolen content is the best way to get started. Another thing you can do is contact their web hosting company and inform them of the DMCA violation. Most hosting companies will notify website owners of the violation, and they will even shut down their website until the content is removed.
Writers Steal Other Website Content
One issue we have dealt with for clients when we take over their accounts is scanning their websites, and finding that some content has been duplicated. What happens when the material on your website was stolen from another company? If someone steals content and sells it to you, it is vital to take action. When content is too similar, or directly copied, it will look like a spam site in the Google algorithm program, causing penalties to the site and the search engine rankings will drop.
How PDM Combats Duplicate Content
At Performance Driven Marketing, we have an internal team of writers that check each and every piece of content we post. Our writers work is edited prior to posting to ensure content doesn’t look, sound, or feel too similar to other articles, blogs, and websites. We have a strict internal policy related to plagiarism, and we simply do not allow it to happen within our agency. If someone is caught plagiarizing, they are let go from our writing team if there is not a valid reason for such an error occurring. A professional writer prides themselves in their hard work, and our team is no exception!
In addition to hiring writers in our Ogden office, we also focus on making sure each client has a copyright notice on their website. Copyright notices are designed to protect client websites from allowing others to reproduce or use your content.
Quality content takes time to create and high-quality writers. At Performance Driven Marketing, we firmly believe that each client deserves to have their website content rank for their industry. Ranking content comes from hard data gathering, research, and ethical writers working hard for your business!