Plagiarism: The Best Way To Undermine Your Own SEO Efforts
Plagiarism, like larceny, burglary and robbery, is one of those dirty words that can leave its victims in a panic and its perpetrators in hot water. Most writers recognize the legal, ethical and moral repercussions of stealing intellectual property, but they may not realize that some of their writing practices actually fall under the umbrella of plagiarism. This is particularly the case with SEO content writing.
When engaging in SEO article writing, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to fool algorithms instead of writing content that actual human beings want to read. When you lean too far to this side, it’s easy to accidentally get caught up in SEO plagiarism. If no one is going to actually read it, then why try and make it good, right?
Wrong. The best SEO content is both optimized for algorithms while providing valuable, in-depth and original content to readers.
Best Ways To Avoid SEO Plagiarism
Since original SEO content both performs better as well as keeps you out of the courtroom, it’s important to learn how to check for SEO plagiarism and avoid it in your writing. Here are some of the best ways to avoid content plagiarism.
1. Paraphrase Correctly
SEO content writers quickly become experts in doing Internet research so that they can write a general article on any given topic. In the interest of saving time, they sometimes adopt questionable habits that hinder the effectiveness of their SEO efforts. For example, Google’s algorithms detect duplicate text. If two articles have a string of 5-7 words in common, the article that was written first will appear first in the search results.
When paraphrasing, it is always best to use a completely different set of words. Rather than simply moving words around so that the sentence doesn’t look the same, the safest method to avoid SEO plagiarism is to start a sentence from scratch. One common strategy is to completely close out of the source document so that its wording isn’t available for reference during the writing process.
2. Avoid Duplicating Structure
Duplicating wording isn’t the only type of SEO plagiarism that can trip writers up. Even duplicating the structure of an article can be considered illegal in many cases. When writer’s block strikes right before an impending deadline, it can be very tempting to borrow heavily from the ideas of a source article. Using that article as an outline for a new one is still considered plagiarism, even if a writer isn’t actually copying anything word for word.
When participating in SEO content writing, originality is absolutely crucial, not only in order to avoid being penalized by search engines, but also in order to maintain a site’s integrity and appeal to its target audience.
3. Check For SEO Plagiarism
Thankfully, there are a number of sources online that allow writers to check their own work for plagiarism. Websites such as Copyscape not only determine the percentage of duplicate content, if there is any, but they also provide links to articles, highlighting the lines that were duplicated. One of the best ways to avoid plagiarism is to use one of these sources to check every article before turning it in to the client.
Even though it may not be flagged for duplicate content initially, it is equally important to avoid self-plagiarism. When writing multiple articles on the same topic, the best writers resist the temptation to copy sentences or structure from their own previous article. Further down the line, any self-duplication is surely going to be caught by a search engine.
4. Showcase Original Ideas
Originality is one of the most important aspects of effective content marketing. Interesting, original articles help websites attract traffic, and more importantly, they establish a rapport that entices readers to return to that site again and again as a loyal customer.
SEO plagiarism is one of the best ways to undermine a company’s SEO efforts. Not only can it lower the website’s ranking in a Google search, it is frequently boring and unattractive to potential customers.
How Do You Check for SEO Plagiarism?
When you write SEO articles, what do you do to keep a fresh perspective and avoid drawing too heavily from your source texts? What is the best way to avoid SEO plagiarism that you’ve found? Let us know in the comments below!