Knowing what plagiarism is might seem obvious at first—it's about copying, verbatim, someone else's work, right? Well, there's more to it than that. Something is considered plagiarised when anything is taken from another person without their permission and without attribution. This can even include intangible things like ideas.
There's been a saying in the digital marketing world for a long time, and that is, 'Content is king'. But we might argue that the adage should instead be 'original content is king'. Above almost all else, Google values original, unique and high-quality content. No matter the search queries, the user intent is the most important thing to focus on for your SEO. People want answers that are accurate and unique. After all, no one wants to read the same thing over and over on the internet—we all want fresh content.
On a more philosophical level, taking someone's else work without their permission is stealing, which is just plain wrong. Just as universities don't allow their students to get away with plagiarism, neither do search engines permit it.
Avoiding plagiarism in your digital marketing is absolutely vital if you want to improve your SEO results. When you create your own original content, there's a much greater chance that you'll be heading up the rankings and getting more organic traffic than ever before. We think understanding the different types of plagiarism is one of the best ways to avoid doing it in the future, so here they are.
If you're trying to keep up with all the content you need to produce in order to rank high organically, it can be tempting to simply copy someone else's work. This is intentional plagiarism and is the kind that's heavily frowned upon by society. If you find an idea for an article and you copy it word for word, as soon as your content is indexed, Google will pick up that you've copied that work, and your rankings will nosedive.
So How do You Avoid Intentional Plagiarising?
It's important to create content that no one else has ever created. With all that's available online, though, you might think that's an impossible task. But you can get inspiration from someone else without plagiarising their work.
If you're writing for your own business, you likely know more than most people do about your product or service—use that experience to produce something totally unique and of high quality. If you're writing on behalf of someone else, remember that you can use multiple other sources. Just find a new way to talk about a topic—use a new angle. That is more than enough to avoid search engines flagging you.
This is when you copy from various sources, thinking that if you don't take everything from a single source, Google won't flag you. However, Google will find out. You can't hide anything from your friendly neighbourhood search engines.
Unintentional plagiarism is much more difficult to avoid. When you're writing using natural language but still need to use relevant keywords, it can be easy to accidentally write something that's been created before. That's why, in addition to making sure you don't intentionally copy another's work, you use a program that checks for plagiarism. There are numerous paid and free resources out there to help you check. Some of these include:
Paid Plagiarism Checkers
Free Plagiarism Checkers
- Grammarly. One of the world's most popular writing tools.
- Copyscape. Here you can only check content that's already online. To check unpublished work, you'll need the paid version.
- Plagiarism Checker X. This has a limit to the number of words you can search per day. You can upgrade your licence to get unlimited checks.
We understand that you might find yourself coming up short when you try to think of the topic for your next blog post. But there are ways to find inspiration without copying anyone. Some of our tips include thinking of lists, such as 'the top five rules for industry x' or '10 of the best benefits about service ABC'. You can also look for the latest news in your industry and give your own professional take on what's happening.
If you want to improve your SEO, we recommend leaving it the pros. At P.tch, we use multiple tools and programs to check the quality of every piece of content we publish on behalf of our clients. That's because we specialise in search engine optimisation and know how to do it right. Contact us today.