Why You Should Not Copy Content from websites

The impact of duplicate content on websites

Duplicate content is when someone copies another person’s work and publishes it online or prints it without any credit or request to publish. This can be anything from ideas/ thoughts to a whole website or information. Duplicate content appears on the internet in different locations, meaning the same information is on many websites.

Since the content is duplicated, finding the legitimate version and hurting the web page ranking can be likely.


Search Engines and SEO

Search engines are programs that scan websites, web pages, content and index them based on their relevancy. Some small businesses or scammers may do this out of jeopardizing their competition or not knowing the effect. SEO is the abbreviation for search engine optimization, which is “optimizing” online content so that websites and web pages are ranked high. The critical rule of thumb used by professional SEO experts is to create original quality content. The result is that it stands a higher chance of getting ranked high.

Duplicate Content

It is not only important to search engines, but it is essential to website owners. Duplicate content is the downfall when it comes to website experience and loss of traffic. This may not seem as bad to some, but it significantly impacts those who own websites.

Why Duplicate Content is Bad

How much content is duplicated on the web?

According to a study by Matt Cutts back in 2013, the amount of content duplicated on the web was less than 50%.

Copied content up to that year ranged from 25–30%.

Though this number might not be so large compared to how much content and websites are active, this means that approximately 300,000,000 of the websites have duplicated content!

What causes duplicate content?

Most of the time, the answer to this question is technical issues. As well as people not being aware and realizing similar things might be on the web already. The technical issues can include web page URLs.

Session IDs can also be a cause for duplicate content. Many websites use sessions to store information about what users do. This information is most commonly stored as cookies. Since the search engines do not keep them, systems fall back to using Session IDs in the URL. This means that every internal link on the website gets that Session ID added to its URL and creates a new URL, and therefore duplicate content is generated.

Lastly, Scrappers can also be a massive thing of why duplicate content happens. There are times where other websites may use some of your content without consent. This can result in the copied content being ranked higher and beating the original web page or website.

When is Duplicate Content Non-harmful?

Many people think that duplicate content is terrible, but some believe it might not be so. Though it’s not right to give credit to plagiarism, the same content doesn’t always hurt your domain. Duplicate content can be good to an extent. Frequently there is going to be similar information about a topic. As long as it’s not exact, it does not affect the ranking.

When is Duplicate Content harmful?

There are many reasons why duplicate content can be harmful is that people are left without answers. When a search engine is indexing, the first thing it will do is look for match information. Still, when the match information is the same on multiple URLs, it cannot be apparent to find the original version.

Another reason why duplicate content is terrible can be when people do it on purpose. This is called search spam, and people need to be aware of this.

Lastly, a reason why it is terrible is that it can lower your ranking. Having multiple pages with the same information will cause their ranking to be lower. Since some will be clicked more, they will be more relevant, making them more credible.

Consequences of duplicate content

Now there is not a set answer to this topic. It depends on the magnitude of the issue. Consequences can start at warning and possibly escalate and end with penalties. Even though it is rare, content creators have that option when their content is stolen. Most of the time, Google has ways to allow creators to feel safer by removing stuff that violates their rights. But, even if then, it can be a long and slow process.

Ways to stop plagiarism

There are different strategies people can use to prevent content from being duplicated. As of right now, many apps allow users to double-check their work and see if the content has been plagiarized. Though it can be hard to detect by eye, plagiarism checkers make it easier to detect copied material. Another step people can follow to stop plagiarizing is by Paraphrasing or quoting sources they are using on their site. By doing this, they are giving credit to the owner and respecting their ideas.

Understanding plagiarism/ duplicate content allows people to be alert and know it not the right thing to copy.

Additionally, it is recommended for people to add self-referential rel=canonical links to their existing pages. By doing this, content creators can add extra protection to their content.

What top SEO experts recommend about duplicate content.

While many SEO experts have different ideas and thoughts about this topic of duplicate content, they mostly all fall into one side. Many of them agree and think that it is not as harmful to have your content be duplicated as of right now. The reason behind this idea, according to many, is that it can push search engines to bring your website to rank higher.

Benefits of unique content

When creating new unique content, people can have great benefits. This can vary from gaining credibility to increasing your search ranking.

Though it can be scary to create content that has yet made it to the web, it is a big step toward making a business visible. There is not a right or wrong way to do this. However, since you are the expert, you more than anyone should know what is correct and what is not.

When starting, it is essential to make it engaging. Remember, content is crucial for online exposure, and putting yourself in the viewers’ shoes is what you should be aiming for.

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