What is Plagiarism?

The act of plagiarism is bad for your audience, brand, and the Internet.

Plagiarism occurs when you publish material from another content creator/owner without permission and pass it off as your own material. However, it’s more than just copying and pasting someone else’s articles. For example, rewriting articles without permission is still technically copyright theft – even if you turn them into “unique content.” That’s because you are still stealing from another creator’s original thought. Furthermore, if you get caught by Google for publishing non-original material, your website can face severe SEO penalties – and even a permanent search engine ban. Plus, your brand’s reputation and value will suffer as well.

The Act of Plagiarism

The act of plagiarizing occurs when you attempt to pass off another creator’s content and ideas as your own. Therefore, it isn’t just copying someone else’s writing. It’s using their ideas without giving proper credit to them. Here are some examples of plagiarism:

  • A college student copy’s another student’s term paper.
  • A student doesn’t properly cite their sources (where they found their information) in their research paper.
  • Copying another blogger’s post and re-publishing it on your blog – or sharing the article with your audience through any medium (even offline) without permission.
  • Copying material from an eBook.
  • Rewriting articles or blog posts into your own words to make the content “unique.”

The main purpose of copyright laws is to protect the original thought used to create the content. The words are just how the creator shared their ideas. Therefore, you are still committing the act of plagiarism by rephrasing someone else’s content into your own words. (I really want to drive home that point – because many internet users don’t fully understand it).

Types of Plagiarism

As mentioned, copyright theft is using another content creator’s words and ideas without permission or proper citation. Here are some of the most common types of plagiarism on the Internet:

  • Complete Plagiarism – The most severe form of copyright theft is copying an entire article and and attempting to pass it off as your own content. (Basically, it would be like taking this blog post and putting your name on it as the author).
  • Direct Plagiarism – Happens when you quote a section of text from another content owner without using any quotation marks or properly citing the source. (It would be like copying something you found on a blog without attributing it to the blogger).
  • Paraphrasing – One of (if not) the most common types of plagiarism on the Internet is when you use paraphrasing to rewrite published content using your own words. As mentioned, even if the original words are different, you are still using the original idea – which makes you guilty of intellectual property theft.
  • Accidental Plagiarism – Sometimes internet users don’t intend to commit copyright theft. However, they might do something like accidentally use a quote that they read on another website or blog. College students are often guilty of inadvertently using information that they have heard somewhere in their research papers without citing it.

Consequences of Plagiarism

There are many bad consequences of plagiarism whether you get caught or not. If you do get caught publishing non-original content, expect severe SEO penalties – including the possibility that your site might get permanently banned by Google and other major search engines. Google’s algorithm is very and good at detecting plagiarized content. If your audience finds out, it will cause serious damage to your brand’s credibility, reputation, and value. SEO penalties mean that you will likely see a significant drop in traffic – which means fewer leads and sales for your business. Furthermore, the original content owner can take legal action against you for copyright infringement.

Even if you don’t get caught, publishing plagiarized content doesn’t create value for your audience, brand, or the Internet as a whole. You aren’t contributing anything new or valuable to the body of knowledge online.

In short, every content creator should have a good plagiarism checker to ensure that they are only publishing original material.

However, it can be hard to think of topics and main points for articles completely on your own. I offer high-quality rebrandable articles that you can buy with the usage rights that allow you to rewrite and reuse them online with my legal permission.

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