One of the biggest rules of writing your own web content is to make sure it’s plagiarism-free.
When a piece of content is plagiarism-free, it means it’s almost entirely unique, and doesn’t contain the exact written copy that already exists on the internet.
You might be wondering why it should matter that your web copy is entirely unique. Is it really a problem if some of your content is similar to what’s on another website? And how similar is similar? We’ll be discussing these questions and more in this quick guide.
What Actually Is Plagiarism?
The simplest definition of plagiarism is “copying”, though you can produce plagiarized content without having directly copied someone else’s work.
In fact, most content on the internet is a copy of something else. It’s almost impossible to be entirely unique nowadays.
Think about a blog post about how to thread a needle, for example. There are probably lots of words and phrases in this article that are similar to the copy in other articles out there. However, if the order of the sentences is different, it’s not technically classed as plagiarism. It’s the same idea, but retold from a unique perspective.
In short, plagiarism is linked to the words you’re writing, and the order in which you’re writing. If you’re copying direct sentences from other websites, you’ll get flagged up on plagiarism checkers like Copyscape.
You can get away with just over 2% of your article being a direct copy of something that already exists online. Anything more, and it’s classed as plagiarism.
Will Plagiarism Hurt My SEO?
If you’re trying to rank on the SERPs, don’t plagiarise. Plagiarized copy can hurt your SEO, and your website will be penalized by Google for using duplicate content. Ultimately, this means you won’t be able to rank.
It’s essential to avoid plagiarism if you want to be perceived as credible, by both Google and your online audience.
How to Avoid Plagiarism
The simple way to avoid plagiarism is to write your own unique content. Even if you’re using sources for reference, you should rewrite important facts and information in your own words. Plagiarism-free writing may discuss the same idea, but it’ll be retold from a unique perspective.
We use Copyscape to check for plagiarism before returning written copy to our clients. Unintentionally plagiarizing is worryingly easy, which is why it’s important to double-check for duplicate content before publishing anything online.
If you’re looking to outsource your copy and save the hassle of avoiding plagiarism, you can learn more about our tailored content services here.