How to Avoid Plagiarism and Why You Should

Analiese Kovisto
April 13, 2022 

Creating unique and original content for your website is one of the ways you achieve higher search rankings. However, it can also be time-consuming, and it takes consistent planning and effort each month.

While it may seem easier to copy or borrow ideas from other websites, this can fall under plagiarism. However, the lines of plagiarism are sometimes blurred, so let’s look at what it actually is, why you should avoid it, and the easiest ways to prevent it from happening on your website.

What Is Plagiarism?

Defined by the dictionary, plagiarism is: “An act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own.”

The critical point here is representing someone else’s work as your own. This happens in many different ways, and it’s easy to do on the internet. So, let’s break it down further.

Full Plagiarism

We could categorize this type of plagiarism as “cutting and pasting.” Complete plagiarism is blatantly copying content from another website and posting it to your own. When someone takes your content and posts it on their website, you encounter plagiarism from the other side.

Partial Plagiarism

This instance of plagiarism is when you take a few sentences or phrases and intermix them with your own. This is still considered duplicate content, even if it’s interspersed with your own content.

Accidental Plagiarism

This is when you inadvertently use the same words or phrases as someone else’s work. This tends to happen a lot on the internet and especially when writers use it and other sources for research.

Why You Should Avoid Plagiarism

There are several reasons why avoiding plagiarism is the right thing to do:

  • Brand Building: When you’re looking to build your brand and establish a relationship with potential new patients, the way you do that is to establish yourself as the expert they need for their dental care. You can’t build trust and loyalty when you present someone else’s content.
  • User Experience: Your potential patients want to get to know you. Your content helps them decide if your dental practice is the right fit for them or not. You must be honest about what you can offer them, so your website provides a seamless experience, and when they choose to visit your dental office, it’s everything they expected and wanted it to be.
  • Search Rankings: Google notices duplicate content and avoids recommending or ranking these websites higher when potential patients search for them. Having duplicate content on your website could prevent future new patients from quickly finding and connecting with you.

Does Google Penalize Websites With Duplicate Content?

The answer to that question is no - Google doesn’t necessarily penalize websites with duplicate content. However, it’s harder for them to properly rank websites with the same content as they can’t discern the original creator.

Google tends to give preference or higher rankings to websites it trusts and considers relevant, with unique and original content being one of its factors for ranking.

How to Avoid Plagiarized Content

So, how can you make sure that the content you’re putting out on your website is truly your own? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Do your research. Make sure that your research comes from multiple sources, so you’re not just conforming to one source of information.
  • Rewrite and paraphrase. Be sure that you’re using your research to inform you, but you’re paraphrasing and rewriting that information in your words to make the content uniquely your own.
  • Cite or link to sources. Keep track of your sources, and be sure to cite, quote, or link to anything you decide to quote directly.
  • Use a content checking tool. Tools like Grammarly or Copyscape help check for duplicate content. It’s always a good idea to run your content through a copy checker before publishing it.

GDW Can Help You Produce Original Content

If you struggle with time constraints or other issues that keep you from adding unique content to your website, GDW can help!

We offer monthly SEO-focused packages that will help your website stay relevant and drive traffic to your website and new patients to your dental office.

Analiese Kovisto
Analiese grew up in Los Angeles and is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. She made the jump from non-profits to digital marketing several years ago and specializes in medical and legal clients. In her free time, she volunteers with Court Appointed Special Advocates, and enjoys reading, working on her house, and traveling. Her wanderlust has so far led her to five continents, but Colorado (and her dog, Loxie, and horse Winsday) always calls her home.

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