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Non-Original content on relevant pages

Plagiarism is the deliberate and illegal use of an individual’s or legal entity’s intellectual property without written permission to do so. In terms of plagiarism in SEO, plagiarism of another’s intellectual property refers predominantly to the unauthorized use of images, content, and even fully cloning someone else’s entire site.

Note: Labrika’s plagiarism tool checks the uniqueness of your content compared to other content also found on the world wide web (www). As you can imagine, it is nearly impossible to check every single page on the www (there are 5.45 billion pages) for similarities to your content. The world’s biggest plagiarism checkers such as Copyscape are only able to cross-compare customers content with a small fraction of content on the www (predominantly scientific papers, publications, journals, and books).

The issue with most plagiarism checkers is that they flag up content as potentially plagiarized if it shows any similarity to other content on the www (in academia content duplication is judged much more harshly and referencing/accreditation is a must) which is just not how Google sees plagiarism. For Google to see content as duplicate/plagiarized, your content would have to have a large percentage of similarity with another page on the www, not just fractional similarity for it to be seen as plagiarized in the eyes of Google.

Google views plagiarism in a much gentler light due to the way the www works compared to academia. A piece of content may contain a quote or other “duplicate” content from another page, as long as this content is then supplemented and a larger portion of the page is unique when compared to the “duplicate” part. If Google were to take the stringent approach to plagiarism as academia does, then there would simply be no sites left in the SERP’s as there is a natural crossover of content on the www. As Labrika specializes in increasing your websites SEO, we use an algorithm similar to Google’s to identify what content on your site is likely to be seen as plagiarized/duplicate by Google, and will only show a warning for plagiarism on your landing pages if they show a large percentage of plagiarized/duplicate content already present on the www.

Labrika only checks your landing pages for plagiarism as these are the pages that you are ranking/trying to rank for specific keywords on Google, and thus, are the important pages on your site in the eyes of Google. We could expand our checker to check all of your pages but it would increase the cost of subscriptions substantially and add very little (if anything) in the way of search ranking benefits.

Please note: Labrika, just like the search engines, searches for plagiarism in the HTML not just the visibly rendered text on a page. Therefore, if you do not see where any plagiarism match indicated by Labrika is on your page, then please check the original HTML of the “offending” landing page as the text may be hidden.

How does plagiarism affect my SEO rankings?

The presence of plagiarized/duplicate content/pages on your site will negatively affect SEO rankings as Google will not promote plagiarized content to the top positions in SERP rankings. It will instead penalize such pages with duplicate plagiarized/duplicate content. Aside from the obvious legal issue that arises from using plagiarized content on your site, a page with plagiarized content is simply not unique and offers little to no value in the eyes of Google, as there is already a pre-existing page ranking in the SERP’s with the content that has been plagiarized, so why would Google index and promote a plagiarized page?

Google does treat plagiarism infringements on a page by page basis, however, if a large portion of your website contains plagiarized content then it is not uncommon for Google to remove such entire sites completely from their index.

Note: Google treats plagiarism of other sites content on your site in the same way that it treats your site duplicating its content and having multiple pages with a large portion of the same, duplicate content.

In what situations can I use content that could be construed as plagiarized/duplicate?

There are some scenarios whereby you can use non-unique content without search engine penalties:

  1. When using non-unique content and images for products on commercial sites. Certain manufacturers tightly regulate how their product is sold and thus lots of retailers/e-commerce sites will use identical product descriptions and photos that come directly from the manufacturers. The product is objectively the same so therefore Google will not punish sites with duplicate content in the above situation and sites will rank for these products based exclusively on normal searching ranking factors (excluding the plagiarism factor).

  2. When referencing certain works of art or when including famous peoples’ quotes in your content AND having additional unique information contained on your page.

While the above two scenarios allow you to use non-unique content without penalties, pages including additional unique content in the aforementioned situations will rank higher than those that don’t.

How can I use Labrika to check for plagiarism?

As you can imagine manually checking each of your landing pages with other sites content on the web for plagiarism is next to impossible especially if you have a large site.

The good news:

Labrika automatically checks all of your landing pages for plagiarized content whenever you start a site/page analysis.

You can see our plagiarism findings by following the steps below:

  1. Login to your Labrika dashboard and click on the site you wish to check for plagiarism in projects.

Table of contents for the plagiarism checker tool:

  1. Your page URL where non-unique content was found.

  2. URL of the page on the www (world wide web) that contains similar information as your page URL.

  3. The percentage of potentially plagiarized text between your page and the page found on the www. The higher the percentage of duplicate text, the more likely you will/are being penalized by search engines.

How to deal with potential plagiarism infringements found by Labrika?

Firstly, it is very normal for you to have inadvertently copied someone else's content and vice versa. This regularly occurs when outsourcing content creations.

Here’s what you can do if someone has copied your content or vice versa:

  1. If the text has been on your site for a long time and there is no time to deal with content theft AND you have not seen any rankings decrease on the page since it was copied, then it could be more cost-effective to rewrite the text partly or fully on your page. 100% uniqueness is not required - 80% is enough.
  2. Find legal recourse if the owner does not respond to reasonable requests for them to change their content. You can start by calling, emailing, and/or writing to the website owner who is responsible for the site that has a page plagiarizing your content. In most cases, this is enough for the site owner to remove the stolen content from his/her site. However, if the site owner does not respond positively then you can file a legal challenge and get lawyers involved in the process. This is costlier and can take several months but should be used if the site owner does not respond to legal requests.
  3. If you have found content on your site that has plagiarized someone else's content then you should obviously change such content and make sure to not employ the responsible copywriter in the future. Copyright legal cases can cost your company thousands of pounds so it is simply worth avoiding.
  4. If another page has copied your content, contact them asking them to either remove the offending content or to use a 'rel=canonical' to link back to your page, so you receive some of the link juice.