You may remember writing assignment when you were in school. I was a naughty kid back then and I copied one of my assignments from the library books and the teacher gave me no credit for that assignment. Because she realized it was just copied. It was plagiarized!
Google is no different from a teacher and Google understands when the text on a website has been copied from somewhere else. Let's check a simple ways to find plagiarism.
We can go and search for anything to sites like Wikipedia.
I went to Wikipedia and searched for "Blockchain". I highlighted the first line, right-clicked in the mouse, and selected "Search Google for."
And this comes up. You can see the highlighted text in the search bar. First thing you'll see the website "Wikipedia" which makes sense as you copied their text. And now check out the second website in the search result. Right here Google shows us in a bold text the exact same text that we searched for. What does this mean?
This means that this site has the same exact sentence as Wikipedia! So it is plagiarized.
This is something you can do to test for your own site and articles. Go to your article, grab a couple of sentences, highlight them, right-click, and then see what comes up in the search result. And if you see there're a lot of sites that have the same sentence or sentences than you got the problem. These contents are plagiarised contents that are going to hurt your SEO. This is a simple way to test text plagiarism.
You can go to your website and check if any of your images are plagiarized. Let see how this is done. I am going to show you the actual real-world example of image plagiarism.
This is a website which talks about blockchain. Here's the image and I'm going to save it to my computer. Then I went to https://www.google.com/imghp to do the image search. You can easily search image from here by uploading. We go to this search box so that we can let Google check for us if that image is duplicate or not.
After search we'll see tons of websites have this exact same image. This is a really good example of plagiarism and bad use of images. Don't be surprised if your page isn't going to rank well because you've an image that is not unique. It's better to use unique images.
Read Also - Top 7 websites for copyright-free images
Citation is the formal reference of published content or woks. If I copy a paragraph from someone's written content and provide a reference link or number means I am showing to my readers that this paragraph has been taken from another article. I am not representing that paragraph as my own work by giving reference. I this way, citation helps content creators to reduce or avoid plagiarism.
Consequences of Plagiarism
When someone accidentally or knowingly tries to pass of unoriginal work as their own they're plagiarizing. Maybe this happened they didn't know how to complete the work or they failed to complete the assignment on time or they simply forgot to provide attribution, citation, or source.
None of these are valid excuses in terms of SEO and your site could lose the point in domain and page authority, and you may never find your site or article in Google search.
That's why understanding and avoiding plagiarism is so important. In this section, I will try to discuss two ways to avoid plagiarism.
Including relevant, properly formatted and cited quotation is a great way to support your article's argument. Quotes need to be properly attributed to the original author, otherwise, that will be considered as plagiarized. The majority of your work should be your original thoughts and words, not just quotes.
Taking a quote out of the context or quoting a reference in a manner that misrepresents it is a form of dishonesty. Don't make stuff up and pass it off as a source. And make sure the source you're pulling from is reputable.
When skillfully done, Paraphrasing is an excellent way to integrate source material into your work and demonstrate your understanding of its content. However, if you paraphrase any content too closely you might fall into plagiarism.
When you paraphrase you need to do more than swap synonyms, otherwise you paraphrase will be incompetent.
Here's a method to help you properly paraphrase -
- Take a few minutes to read and know the passage you're using.
- Put the passage away.
- Note down the main points it communicates.
- Write down a passage of your own. This will be your paraphrase.
- Finally, add a proper citation to your paraphrase.
No matter how well your paraphrase a source you always need to attribute ideas to the original author with proper citations.
Example of poor paraphrasing -
Example of good paraphrasing -
Cite Images from another source
Google can easily identify if an image is copyrighted, or we may say, copied or not. It is a good practice to provide a source if you use any copied image in your article. In the case of Creative Common CC images give proper credit to the author of the source.
How to Check Plagiarism with tool?
There are many tools to check the plagiarism of any content. The best and most popular tool is the CopyScape. However, it is a premium tool, which means you have to buy credit with money (dollars) to use. Since I am only talking about free tools in this article, I will not say anything about CopyScape.
Here I will talk about my favorite plagiarism checker tools named Dupli checker.
This is one of my favorite free tools. Although its interface is nothing ahem, its plagiarism detection algorithm is excellent.
- It's completely free. You do not have to pay anything to use.
- Easy to use. The interface is suitable for beginners.
- You can check the article by direct copy-pasting or by uploading a doc file.
- Registered users will be able to check 50 times per day.
- If you have not registered, you can only check once a day. It's not really a problem, it doesn't take you more than 5 minutes to register, and it's completely free.
I already talked about all plagiarism checker tools in another article. You should check it now - How to Check Plagiarism? 5 Free Tools
plagiarism can be an intimidating subject but if you follow the rules and act ethically you can easily avoid it. And yeah, we need original works to make Hive blog stronger.
You can find all my SEO related posts under the tag #hiveseo. If you want to talk about SEO ping me on Discord.
My discord: pitboy#4591