How to Avoid Plagiarism in Online Content?
Your content is plagiarised. No content writer or digital marketer would like to hear these lines while writing content for them. Plagiarism is a deliberate act representing another author’s work as your own.
Whether it is online or offline, plagiarism of content has been always a major problem many content writers face. The act of plagiarism can affect a brand as it can affect its reputation. While content written online includes blogs, website content, etc, many online content writers rewrite the content present online to ensure and post it on their website.
It is an easy trap to fall into as the content present online is used for research and it is common to be written again in a different language. It is one of the initial and crucial steps in the writing process to research unless a person is an expert in a specific topic. Since a niche can be vast and already have a lot of information present on it, there are parts of content that will be based or the same as other person’s content.
But the problem arises when the content is written in the same way as it was present on an existing website. It reduces the quality of content and duplicate in nature which is opposite of what Google looks for.
The search engine has the prime objective of providing the users with relevant, unique and quality content on the webpage which is why it updates its algorithms time to time to ensure that every ranking webpage on its SERP (search engine result page) is worthy of the page visit.
Google does not approve the plagiarised content and once it finds that the content is duplicate in nature it penalises the website and it becomes very difficult to redeem the website. The Google Panda Algorithm issues the “quality score” to web pages to avoid hazards like Duplicate, plagiarized or thin content, user-generated spam, and keyword stuffing.
Types of Plagiarism:
- Direct Plagiarism: It is an unethical act of copying the word to word transcription of a selection of someone else’s work without attribution or without quotation marks.
- Self Plagiarism: The self-plagiarism is when the content on one webpage of the website is similar to the content on another webpage of the same website.
- Mosaic Plagiarism: Mosaic plagiarism is when the content is written on a website without quoting the source.
- Accidental Plagiarism: Accidental Plagiarism occurs when the content writer neglects to cite the sources or misquotes or unintentionally paraphrases a source by using similar words.
How to Avoid Plagiarism?
While professional content writers tend to avoid plagiarism with their content writing skills and unique information, there are various techniques through which the content can be written without being plagiarised.
- Paraphrasing or Rewriting: Once the already present content online is found that suits the topic one is writing for, the content writer should first read the content and then ensure that the content is written in their own words, ensuring that one does not copy more than 2 words in each line. Paraphrasing allows the content to be presented in a unique form which the users would like to consume.
- Quoting: Quoting is one of the popular techniques and most essential one too when it comes to pasting the same content as it appeared on a website. Quoting content from a website needs to have a credit given to the website or people who have said or written the words. No one wants to be misquoted and hence quoting has to be exact.
- Citing Quotes: Citing is one of the common practices when it comes to avoiding plagiarism. The website content can be cited, stating the reference websites and webpage from where the content has been taken. Along with citing the paraphrased content, the quotes can also be cited usually by ensuring a certain paragraph number from the website content.
- Using Canonical Tags: In case you are working on a content which is similar on most of the pages of a website or same as your another website, you can use canonical tags to inform the search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Various e-commerce websites like Amazon having hundreds of pages with same content such as different colours of the same dress, and each of them has similar content but different URLs, in such a case the canonical tags are used to ensure that Google does not identify the website as a website with plagiarized content.
There are other ways to avoid plagiarism as well but these are the top ones that are usually used by the professionals and have been effective. The practice of plagiarism is not only unfair and unprofessional but also illegal. The plagiarised content is an easy escape from working on creating unique content but it leads to penalties as well. One should focus on offering quality information that readers cannot find elsewhere.