Plagiarism will cause a lot of harm to bloggers in 2022. So, how exactly does that happen? If you’re a blogger, you know how important it is to produce original content. But what happens when you accidentally plagiarize? Here are the effects of plagiarism in SEO blogging.
Plagiarism is a plague and a harmful technique for creating content. In today’s world, it’s acceptable and easily caught. That’s one of the main reasons it has no place in blogging or any other literary form.
Now, this increasing unethical adventure is the ease of information. According to data experts, 54% of students use the internet to plagiarize their content. Now, academies have severe penalties for plagiarism.
Unlike blogs or websites, there isn’t an official way of checking for plagiarism. That is until the original author finds their content plagiarized and files a complaint about a website. And, if nothing else, it causes the content to be removed from Google.
So, today, we’ll address a few important things in this article, such as:
- Define plagiarism and its roots.
- Types of plagiarism to see out for.
- How plagiarism affects SEO & Blogging.
- What causes plagiarism?
- And how you should avoid it.
With this article, we hope to lay it out on the table and help you understand plagiarism’s negative (there are no positive effects) effects. So, let’s get started.
Defining Plagiarism & Its Unethical Nature
The simple definition of plagiarism is taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. On top of that, the funny part about plagiarism’s origin is that it tells you how severe and unethical it can be.
Since the word plagiarism comes from the Latin plagiarius, meaning “kidnapper” or “thief,” It is an ethical issue that most academics are concerned about. However, it’s affecting blogs and websites nowadays just as much.
Some even claim that over 29% or 1.5 billion pages on the internet solely have plagiarized content in them. Considering today’s state of things, that number will only increase soon. That’s why it can also be a legal issue in some cases.
If someone plagiarizes, violating copyright law and breaking the ethical code of academia, try SEO Norfolk. Also, There are many ways to avoid plagiarism, like
- Paraphrasing free content.
- Quoting with citations.
- Using a citation generator.
Though plagiarism is copying someone else’s work and passing it off as one’s own. That means plagiarism can still come back and haunt a website or blog, even with all these. That’s why it is a serious academic offense and can lead to expulsion from school.
And in the online world, it’s the cause of the downfall of many websites. Granted, plagiarism isn’t always intentional, and we’ll discuss its type later. However, plagiarism is highly unethical regardless of the writer’s intention.
A chart depicts plagiarism’s occurrence on websites from different countries.
But why is it considered so bad? Here are a few reasons:
- Plagiarism denies the original author the right to credit.
- It affects the credibility of both the plagiarizer and the original author.
- Any blog with plagiarized content is looked down upon.
- Plagiarism has been considered a bad practice from early on in academia.
- Plagiarized content is the corrupted form of the original.
- It’s theft and unethical, in the simplest words.
- The plagiarizers cause more harm than good for themselves.
That’s why no explanation or clarification could justify a writer plagiarizing content for their blogs. And, since the online market is filled with original, optimized content, plagiarism is the last thing any website needs.
Therefore, today, there’s no excuse for plagiarism. In the past, students or bloggers could get away with such things because of a lack of metadata (original content’s publish date) and proper tools to check them.
In the past, plagiarism has been hard to detect. But today, with the help of technology, plagiarism can be easily identified by searching for specific words or phrases on Google or other search engines. But AI plagiarism checkers make the task even easier.
Let’s Talk About Plagiarism Types & How They Happen
For many people, plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty in which the work or ideas of one person are passed off as those of another. Many students are not aware that plagiarism is a punishable offense. However, in blogging, the effects of plagiarism are much more lasting.
Many bloggers may think they can get away with it because they are not writing school papers, and all their work is for themselves. However, this is not true. Plagiarism will be punished, intentionally or accidentally, and the consequences can be severe.
But, to understand plagiarism’s harms, it’s essential to understand its types. In this section, we’ll talk about the few most unethical and common types of plagiarism. Here they are:
1. Mosaic Plagiarism – The Most Unethical
Mosaic plagiarism is the most unethical type of duplicity, as content creators increasingly rely on the internet for their content ideas. This is a problem because it is not always clear where one can find the source of information.
Mosaic plagiarism is an unethical type of plagiarism and denies any author from creating original content. It usually happens when a particular piece of content is copied from another source, and then a few changes are made to avoid plagiarism.
So, how does it happen? Here are five steps:
- It begins when a writer finds something according to their requirement (topic).
- Then the writer rewrites enough in their own words without altering the context.
- The writer passes it along and finds another similar source.
- The writer does the same and passes it along as the original.
- It skips most plagiarism checkers as the content seemingly has enough originality.
Now, that’s one of the main reasons it’s considered highly unethical. It’s also called patchwork plagiarism because the content features patches and bits of originality, while the idea and source are duplicated.
Not only does the writer take from multiple sources, but they also do so without giving them the due credit. This causes many problems for both Google and a plagiarism checker.
But, most plagiarism checkers today are more than capable of checking for such duplicity. So, it’s futile even to try and get away with content like this. However, that doesn’t make it any less problematic. If anything, it gives you all the more reason to avoid it.
2. Complete Plagiarism – Unacceptable
Copying the entire text from other sources and presenting it as your work is plagiarism. This is not an uncommon practice in writing, but it’s unethical. In this section, we are talking about complete plagiarism and why it’s completely and utterly unacceptable.
As mentioned before, plagiarism is copying or stealing someone else’s words or ideas and presenting them as your work. It can be intentional or unintentional, but it’s never okay.
The consequences of plagiarism in the online world are removal from Google’s index or being handed the “blacklisted” label. Complete plagiarism doesn’t necessarily mean that a writer copies the entire content (blog or article). It can simply be a section of another blog.
But here are the most common reasons behind complete plagiarism occurring:
- Plagiarizing from a single source & taking multiple sections.
- Paraphrasing similarly and without giving credit
- Copying from multiple sources but not giving credit to all of them.
- Copying from multiple sources and changing some words so the plagiarized work looks different than the original work and then presenting it as one’s work without crediting any sources.
- Presenting someone else’s ideas as one’s while claiming they are “common knowledge.”
An example of point #5 is the definition of any word. How would you describe the word “Impossible” in your own words? Something like this:
“Improbably or unlikely outcome, or occurrence“
But let’s see what happens if a writer blatantly copies this definition from Merriam-Webster:
If a writer does copy the entire thing, it’ll be plain and simple plagiarism of the original definition.
3. Accidental Plagiarism – Somewhat Forgivable But Still Unacceptable
Accidental plagiarism is when a writer unintentionally copies another writer’s work. This can be due to many factors, such as not correctly reading the material they are writing about or not understanding the topic they are writing about.
Accidental plagiarism is unintentional plagiarism that can occur when an author does not know that the text they are using is not their own. This can happen if they copy and paste content from another website or resource without checking the source. Now, what makes it forgivable?
Simply the fact that it’s fixable and not intentional. However, the only way to fix this is before posting or publishing an article or blog. That’s why posting your content without checking it first is not an option. Because whether you intend it or not, you might have accidentally written something similar.
So, why does this happen?
- Similarity of topics
- Two writers using the same research source
- Writing the same topic
- Accidentally plagiarizing your work
Another important thing to understand is that accidental plagiarism isn’t necessarily from an external source. Many writers rewrite their content without knowing or realizing it. This causes them to plagiarize their work.
That’s why it’s also called unintentional or incidental plagiarism. The writer doesn’t intend to copy anyone’s work but ends up doing so simply because of the above reasons.
To avoid accidental plagiarism, authors must know what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. They should also be sure to cite all sources of information that they use in their work.
4. Source-Based Plagiarism – Falsified Citation
Source-based plagiarism is a type of plagiarism that involves the use of false or non-existent sources. The sources are typically cited in a footnote or bibliography. Many people think that source-based plagiarism is often seen as an acceptable form of plagiarism.
Because it does not involve the actual copying and pasting of text from other sources. But is it acceptable in blogs? It’s not, and any writer should never practice it. So, how exactly does source-based plagiarism happen? Here are a few scenarios:
- When a writer quotes/cites a misleading source.
- Or places a source that doesn’t exist.
- Makes up a fact or statistic that isn’t there.
- Places a falsified backlink to avoid any plagiarism claims.
As you can see, each point sounds more wrong than the other. That’s why it’s also called a falsified citation. Some might think that citing your work in a blog might also fall into this category. However, it doesn’t, and citing yourself as a source in blogs improves you’re interlinking.
On the other hand, source-based plagiarism is simply putting a bad or wrong source. But broken links or links to PDF files don’t count as long as the information you cited is correct. And, as long as the original author gets the due credit from you.
So, it’s essential to understand that citing the right source isn’t precisely source-based plagiarism when they have removed the page.
7 Unavoidable Effects of Plagiarism in SEO Blogging?
The effects of plagiarism on any SEO blog may not be immediate, but they’re definite. In other words, if you post plagiarized content on your blog, you may not feel the problems it can create for weeks or months.
But should you only worry until someone checks for plagiarism or if the original author happens to find your article? That’s not the case at all. That’s why this article aims to explore the many ways plagiarism has unavoidable effects on SEO blogging.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about seven such effects:
1. Plagiarized Content Is Runt of the Litter
The runt of the litter is usually a term used for the weakest member of any animal litter. However, in blogging, content that’s not original tends to take that label. It’s nothing official, but there is rarely any better way to describe it.
So, why exactly does plagiarized content qualify as bad or lackluster? Here are a few reasons:
- Plagiarized content appears shaky and uneven.
- The quality of sentences is below par since it’s deviated from the original.
- Plagiarism in the text can appear patchy or contradictory.
- Plagiarized content tends to be broken, scattered, and uneven.
As we’ve discussed throughout this article, plagiarism comes in many shapes and sizes. So, if an avid reader ends up on a blog with plagiarized content, they could sense it. Another example of it would be seeing something like this on Google:
Now, this search is in no way implying that all these pages are plagiarized from one another. However, the resemblance between them is uncanny. Suppose you’re going to use statistics, something as familiar as this. In that case, you need to use it correctly and without making it plagiarized.
That’s the mistake that all of the above-seen blogs are making. Not only do they appear as weak and similar, but also there is nothing unique about them. This type of content brings it down to which one is the runt of the litter.
Not only does this content indicate that one or more of these blogs happen to feature original content, but the higher-up results must have better information. So, what was difficult to understand in terms of duplicity, is evident and apparent here.
- Plagiarizing doesn’t only make a writer commit an unethical act, but it also ends up ruining the content.
- Plagiarizing also ruins anything that might be good about an article or a blog.
- Plagiarizing demeans other, original content within a website or blog.
So, it’s essential to understand that any blog in the image above can feature great original content. Or, they could be chockfull of information. However, their one mistake of plagiarism or bad paraphrasing causes them to look all the same.
Or, it downright makes them look plagiarized or duplicated. And that, dear reader, is how your content becomes run-of-the-mill and nothing outstanding. Therefore, it garners no rank or attraction on Google or your target audience.
2. Google Crawlers Avoid Duplicate/Plagiarized Content
Google efficiently finds the right pages for its audiences and knows how to look for them. If there’s one thing that Google constantly does, it’s changing its algorithms and techniques to find the best possible results.
That’s why experts believe Google crawlers are intelligent enough to sniff out plagiarized content. And, as mentioned before, if something goes unnoticed, then Google provides enough means for the users to complain about it. This allows Google to sniff out plagiarized content more efficiently.
But, if a website is found to have plagiarism, then Google won’t even steer past it. So, a blog with plagiarism can say goodbye to any chances of being ranked higher in SERP in the future. But why is that?
- Once Google finds plagiarism in a website, the crawlers trust it less.
- Then even with the right searches, Google doesn’t index its pages.
- As a result, the spam score and domain authority plummet.
- This makes it even more unlikely for the pages/domain to be listed in SERP.
So, it’s essential to understand that Google crawlers avoid plagiarism and have enough means to detect flagged websites. Granted, they do not act as plagiarism checkers, but they will effectively avoid any website identified earlier.
Thus, if your website has any plagiarism and hasn’t seen the effects yet, it might soon face those troubles. A blog needs original content, written from scratch and with original ideas. Therefore, if it is plagiarized, then Google’s crawlers won’t come near it.
3. Worst Case Scenario – Google’s Penalty on Your Blog
Google’s penalty is something every website needs to avoid. While there are various sorts of penalties, the one related to plagiarism will surely get your website blacklisted. As said before, a blogger needs to put out original content.
So, there’s no chance Google will ever rank any stolen or plagiarized content. But what happens if you accidentally post content like that? Well, we addressed that earlier too. The intention doesn’t matter in plagiarism.
As long as the content is duplicated, there’s no excuse for it. So, if you post plagiarized content on your blog, the worst-case scenario is Google’s penalty. Google calls this penalty the Panda Penalty. It usually has to do with the following:
- Poorly formulated content with no context or meaning;
- Content plagiarized from another source or topic taken directly from a competitor;
- Thin content that doesn’t have enough SEO elements;
- Direct duplicity or uneven content-to-ad ratio.
The common thing throughout this article is how plagiarism can improve your content quality. The panda penalty by Google only tells us further how plagiarism isn’t only a problem; it’s something necessary to avoid.
For your content to continue ranking on Google, it needs to be:
Chances are, plagiarized content hardly ever has one or more qualities. Simply because plagiarism can be snuffed out easily nowadays. So, to avoid the worst-case scenario of getting penalized by Google, it’s important to avoid plagiarism at all costs.
4. Lost Audience Credibility
Let’s talk about the impact of plagiarism outside of Google and other technicalities. The one thing that drives traffic and brings more visitors to your blog is the credibility of your audience. That’s something bloggers build by weeks or months of original content posting.
However, one plagiarized blog post or article can change that. It’s nothing dramatic that might cause you trouble right away. But, throughout this article, we’ve talked about how plagiarism can slow-burn your process.
That’s something you don’t want or need in your blog. If someone accidentally finds plagiarism or complains about it to Google, your credibility will be lost. And once again, you don’t want your blog/website to appear like this against your competition:
Now, it’s essential to understand that none of the pages mentioned in this image are plagiarized from one another. But are they original? Not. If a Google user might view this similarity as plagiarism, imagine the impact of actual plagiarism.
You can say goodbye to any credibility you might have built. It could be a single line, subheading, heading, or even a bullet point that might be plagiarized in your content. But that’ll be like one sinkhole in a boat that drowns the entire thing.
Once again, having a plagiarism checker every time you post content would be best. But we’ll talk about that later on. For now, it’s essential to understand that you need to establish credibility with your audience. And for that, you’ll have to post with confidence by checking your text beforehand.
5. Bad Paraphrasing Ruins Originality
Plagiarism is in various shapes, and we talked about the types earlier. However, it’s essential to understand that bad paraphrasing is still plagiarism unless you cite the original author. But, even then, your content can get the wrong end of the stick.
How is that? As the header suggests, bad paraphrasing ruins originality. One of the things you’ll find in capable plagiarism is that they’ll detect slightly paraphrased content as plagiarized. It’s simply because the content doesn’t uphold the quality to be deemed original.
So, imagine you post that sort of content on your blog or website. It won’t only cause your ranks in Google to plummet, but it’ll also cause many other issues like readability, contradictory information, etc. And, if paraphrasing is terrible, it might even be considered patchwork/mosaic plagiarism.
But what qualifies as bad paraphrasing? Here are a few cases
- Not enough words changed
- Content using the same terms & phrases
- Content does not deviate from the original
- A writer not describing the idea in original words
It’s important to understand that paraphrasing isn’t just about changing the words to make them appear original. Here’s an example:
“The boy carried the sack of potatoes to the farm.”
Here’s an example of bad paraphrasing of this sentence:
“The sack of potatoes was carried by the boy to the farm.”
What’s wrong with it? It’s confusing, difficult to read, and it’s plagiarized. So, what would be a plausible way of paraphrasing?
“As the source said, “The boy carries a sack of potatoes to the farm every day,” so we believe it.”
In an ideal scenario, the part where “source said” would be backlinked to the original article/blog. This will not only avoid bad paraphrasing but also remove any plagiarism claims.
6. Blogs Don’t Guest Post On Yours—or Allow You to Guest Post on Theirs
Plagiarism ruins credibility and doesn’t need to be said more than we’ve already said in this article. However, besides the technicalities, another drawback of plagiarism is lost peer respect. To garner dependable backlinks, you need to build partnerships.
These partnerships require you to guest post on other blogs and allow other bloggers to post on yours. The primary benefit of this is that both parties earn valuable backlinks. As a result, their domain authorities increase, and they stand out in their respective niches or industries.
But, you enter plagiarism in this scenario, and seldom would any other blogger want to do anything with yours. So, why exactly does plagiarized content push any guest bloggers away? Because:
- It tarnishes their reputations.
- Given your ruined credibility, it doesn’t give them enough reason to guest post on your blog.
- Your website doesn’t count as a valuable backlink anymore.
- Your content isn’t precisely Backlinkable since it’s plagiarized.
- It’s not ideal to allow you to guest post on their blogs, as the fear of plagiarized content looms.
The thing to understand here is that regardless of how credible you think you make your content, once plagiarism is caught in any of your blogs, it won’t make a difference. In SEO blogging, backlinking is one of the easiest, quickest, and most convenient ways to stand out in SERPs.
It increases your domain authority, as a backlink is a vote of confidence from other domains. So, when there’s plagiarism in your content, all this is out of the window. And, since you cannot guest post on other domains, you cannot garner valuable backlinks either.
As a result of this major drawback, your reputation as a credible blog goes down the drain. Therefore, no other credible blog should allow you to post on theirs or would want to have their name mentioned on your blog.
7. Lack of Backlinks Shove Your Blog Towards Bottom of SERP
The major drawback of plagiarism is the lack of backlinks. But losing your guest-posting partners isn’t the only thing that’ll cause the leak of backlinks on your website. First off, let’s talk about plagiarism’s definition once again.
How does it happen? When a writer uses another writer’s ideas or words to describe anything without giving them credit. The emphasis is on “without” because it gives the original author no credit. Simply put, you are not backlinking/hyperlinking the original author/blog/website or giving them credit.
So, it’s plagiarizing another writer’s content and losing you a potentially valuable backlink. When you write content by researching a lot, you gather lots of backlinks to back up your claims to stats, facts, etc.
But, when you plagiarize, you present it without giving the credit where it’s due. So, losing a valuable backlink like this shoves your blog to the bottom of the SERP funnel. In other words, your page doesn’t seem as helpful or informative as others would.
However, when researching content to use, you need to check for backlinks with higher authority. This will help you cite something that stands out as a viable backlink. Just use Moz’s domain authority checker or any other DA checker.
And finally, make sure you avoid plagiarism by putting this backlink in the citation.
How Can Avoiding Plagiarism Benefit Your Blog?
Let’s turn things positive from negative. So far, we’ve talked about how plagiarism can ruin your blog or cause many issues. So now, let’s talk about the benefits of avoiding plagiarism and how it can elevate your blog. Here are a few reasons to do so:
1. Better Chances of Higher Ranks
Plagiarism can corrupt your chances of standing out in SERP; we’ve already established that. However, avoiding plagiarism ensures that your content is unique, integral, and original. As mentioned before, search engines look for a few things:
- Informative value
- User-friendliness (Readability or actionable content)
If your content has all three, then it’ll have a positive impact on your overall rankings. And it’ll increase the chances of being noticed by search engine crawlers as a high authority website with quality content.
2. Better Credibility with the Audience
Credibility is one of the necessities for online success. It would be best to eliminate plagiarism to make your blog a hub of quality SEO content. And it’s not just about the content you publish, but the content you have already posted.
You need a plagiarism checker which allows you to scan URLs/pages. That way, you can guarantee that you’re checking for plagiarism and removing it. Once done, you can rest assured that your content will garner much more credibility.
As a result, your audience will find your content much more trustable. And they’d even prefer to read your text over other similar names in your niche.
3. Much More Backlinkable Content
When you increase your website’s domain authority, it improves your chances of Backlinkable content. Now, it’s essential to go back to what we discussed earlier. Plagiarism can ruin your chances of backlinks, so it must be avoided.
So, removing plagiarism and posting original content make backlinking much more suitable. As an immediate result, it also renders your domain much more eligible for guest posting. Thus, when guest posting resumes, so do the chances of quality backlinks.
But how exactly does that happen? The following are a couple of reasons:
- Backlinkable content needs to be plagiarism-free.
- Other guest posters would only post on blogs with original content.
- Your content must be plagiarism-free to be posted on other blogs (As a guest post).
- Citation provides a viable backlink in its way.
So, you need to remove plagiarism from your content. And thus, your content isn’t just more respectable; it’s also much more suitable for backlinking, interlinking, etc.
4. Peer Respect & Guest Blogging Flow
Respect and a line to guest post on your blog are the reverse effects of originality on plagiarism. When your blog is in the right domain with original content and a possible chance of backlinks, other guest posters will line up to post on your domain.
This sort of peer respect is only possible by creating content that’s not only original but also entirely original. That’s why removing plagiarism before posting your content has the same effect. So, plagiarism must be removed to increase the chances of guest blogging and earn peer respect.
5. Brand & Website Authority
Brand and website authority aren’t precisely the same but simultaneous. For instance, if you churn out great original content, your website will garner more traffic. As a result, your website’s authority will increase.
This also proves the importance of removing plagiarism from your content, as it can ensure the chances of your content standing out against your peers, competitors, and overall niche or industry.
On top of that, viable backlinks reduce the spam index of any website. And it helps improves the authority of your website in SERP.
How Should You Avoid Plagiarism?
Before we sign off, let’s discuss the course of action you need to take. To garner all the benefits of original content and avoid the negative effect of plagiarism in SEO blogging, you need to avoid it.
So, how exactly do you do it? First off, you need a feasible plagiarism checker. Then, you need to scan your content and rewrite the plagiarized content. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Use a Plagiarism Checker Tool
The first thing you need is a free plagiarism checker tool. To remove plagiarism from content you’ve posted or are about to post, you need a viable scanner that thoroughly looks for duplicity. So, how should you find one? Here’s how:
- Find something that offers at least 1000-words;
- Allows you to scan URLs;
- Scans the internet and other academic databases;
- Various languages (optional)
We’re using this one from Check-plagiarism.com. It has all the key things that we mentioned before. So, all we have to do is scan our content now.
2. Check Plagiarism Percentage
A capable plagiarism checker will show you the percentage of duplicated content in your text. So, it would be best if you analyzed it after finding it, which will look a little like this:
So, why is checking plagiarism percentage important? Because it allows you to understand just how much of your text you need to rewrite.
3. Note down The Source of the Original Text
When you’re done scanning your content and analyzing the percentage, you’ll have to switch to this tab:
This will allow you to locate the source of the plagiarism. So, once you’ve noted down the source, it’ll help you backlink/cite it later. So, make sure you follow this vital step.
4. Rewrite the Plagiarized Section/Text & Cite the Source
This step requires you to rewrite the plagiarized text in your content. It could be a whole section or a few lines. You need to paraphrase or rewrite this section regardless of length.
You’ll have to use the right paraphrasing techniques to remove plagiarism. This will allow you to avoid plagiarism’s negative effects on SEO effectively. Once done, move on to the next step.
The final step is to cite the source and avoid plagiarism entirely. This will require you to backlink the content or cite it in an academic style, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago.
These are the effects of plagiarism on SEO blogging and content in general. We talked about the depths of plagiarism and its various types. We also discussed its negative effects and how you can avoid them.
Plus, we discussed the important benefits of original content and the process of removing plagiarism. So, hopefully, this article helped you understand the drawbacks of plagiarism and why you need to avoid it.