People today usually confuse plagiarism with duplicate content. Well, you need to understand the difference between these terms before we tell you how plagiarism affects your site’s ranking position and how you can avoid it. Plagiarism is stealing another person’s work and claiming it as your own without giving them any credit. Duplicate content is slightly different from plagiarism. This kind of content refers to the type of content which is published on more than one source but with proper credit to the original source. You must know that duplicate content can be damaging as plagiarism, but you can avoid losing your SEO ranking position by using canonical tags and other techniques. Plagiarism, on the other hand, is not forgiven by the search engine and would have serious consequences.
How Plagiarism Affects Your Ranking Position in The Search Results?
Let us first discuss how plagiarism affects your ranking position and SEO score.
Plagiarism Results in Penalties
According to recent policies announced by Google, it would penalize a website that has more than 10% plagiarized content on it. A penalty from the search engine can ruin your authority and can seriously damage your ranking position. Not only this, but in extreme cases of plagiarism, Google might also remove your site from its index. The four common penalties that you can face because of plagiarism include the following:
- Keyword level penalty
- URL level penalty
- Domain level penalty
- Permanent site removal
These penalties are quite serious and can have a long-term stigma on your site.
Plagiarism Reduces Organic Traffic
If you plagiarize content from another source, then it is going to reduce the flow of organic traffic on your site. Traffic coming to your site will only engage with you if you have unique and informative content. Plagiarism damages the interest of your target audience, and so it results in an increased bounce rate. If the bounce rate of the site increases, then it is going to result in a loss of ranking position. To increase organic traffic on your site, you need to have unique and high-quality content.
Plagiarism Confuses the Search Engine
One of the reasons why your site might lose its ranking position because of plagiarism is because plagiarized content confuses the ranking algorithms of the search engine. Google cannot rank two pages having the same content in the same place or one over the other. Seeing plagiarized content on multiple sites confuses the ranking bots, and as a result, it demotes all parties having copied content.
Plagiarized Content Doesn’t Get Backlinks
Backlinks are directory links that can boost the ranking position of a website. Guest posting is a common technique that is used to get good-quality backlinks from sites that are on the top SERPs. Well, you must know that you can only get backlinks if your site provides unique and quality content. In case you are plagiarizing guest posts, then they will not be published, and you will certainly not get good links.
Plagiarism Damages Your Site’s Reputation
Plagiarized content damages the reputation and credibility of your site or brand. You would be surprised to know that more than seventy million posts are uploaded on the web every month, which makes it hard for every website to create unique content. Still, you should understand that readers or traffic coming on the web is always interested in reading unique content. You can only build the reputation of your brand with unique content. Plagiarized content would be bad for your site, hence its ranking position.
How to Avoid Plagiarism? – Three Popular Practices!
There is a very small percentage of people who deliberately plagiarize content from other sites. Most people don’t do it intentionally; still, they can get their site’s content accused of plagiarism. Unintentional plagiarism is common as there is plenty of content indexed on the search engine. There is always a chance that your work can be similar to that of another writer working on the same topic. Here are some practices that would help you avoid plagiarism and its consequences:
1. Always Check Content for Duplication Before Posting
The best practice is to religiously check your content for plagiarism before you publish it on your site. You have an online plagiarism checker tool like Scribbr that can help you ensure that your work is free of plagiarism. You can use free plagiarism checkers and authenticate the originality of your work. Modern plagiarism checker tools cannot only scan and check the new text you have created, but they can also check already posted content on your site and find out if someone is stealing from you. When you are using a plagiarism checker, you have to make sure that your content doesn’t have more than 5% of plagiarism in it.
2. Use Paraphrasing Tool to Get Rid of Similar Content
In case you find plagiarism in your work while checking the content, you can use a reliable paraphrasing tool like rephraser.co! The main function of the rephraser tool is to rewrite duplicate content in a unique style and tone. You just have to enter the plagiarized content in the input box of the tool and press the ‘Paraphrase’ button. The tool would understand the context of the input text and would restate it in a unique way that would go undetected by any plagiarism checker and also the search engine.
Today you can use the online paraphrasing tool to remove intentional or unintentional traces of duplication from your website content, or you can also use it to create fresh content capital. You just need to borrow content from reference articles, and you can rewrite them in a unique way for your site!
1. Always Use Citations and Keep Track of References
When you are writing or rephrasing website content or a guest post, it is important that you keep track of all the sources you have used as references. You can note down all the references and important points in an online notepad; once you have finished writing or rephrasing the text, you need to add proper credits to the original sources. You can use an online citation generator or referencing tool to create formal attributions to the authors from whom you are taking ideas or inspiration. Credits are very important if you don’t want to be accused of plagiarism and lose your ranking position.
Plagiarism is a very common problem in the digital world. You can find plenty of content on the internet which is plagiarized from other sources. Now plagiarism might seem an easy way out to boost your position in the search results, but in reality, it is the exact opposite. Plagiarism can ruin your site’s authority and reduce its position in SERPs. Plagiarism is intolerable by the search engine, and so you must follow the three practices that we have discussed in this post. Unique content would bring value to your site and would help you achieve better rankings.