What is Plagiarism and Duplication of Content – An in-depth Study.

Nowadays, Webmasters try to achieve search engine ranking and optimization through devious methods. Web plagiarism is one such method. Though search engines have taken steps to safeguard against such occurrences but they are not found to be effective enough to stop such illegal practices. Since Webmasters do not have the content filter tool to detect duplication of content, Google bans the duplicating sites automatically by sending them to “Sandbox”. Search engines penalize the Webmasters and ban such websites who adopt spam strategy for duplicating the content. Duplication of content suggests re-publishing of information that is already present on-line.


Plagiarism is defined as the practice of claiming or implying original authorship of someone else’s creative work, partly or fully, into one’s content without acknowledging the original author. Internet has made this process extremely easy by the simple act of copying and pasting text from one page to another. Plagiarism is contextually different from copyright infringement, though both terms may apply to a particular act but their aspects of transgression are different. Copyright infringement violates the right of the copyright holder while plagiarism is concerned with unauthorized usage of content. On-line plagiarism is growing phenomenally and is also called “content scraping” and affecting both established sites and blogs. Hub pages penalize duplication but not plagiarism if the hub page contains snippets from other sites and has sourced links.


Adding fresh relevant content forestalls plagiarism. Authors who re-publish the same content on different sites would notice a drop in their scores while the number of duplicates would reach a certain thresh hold before duplication penalty is assigned. It is to the best interest of authors to ensure that others do not start stealing “search traffic”. In the event of such happenings, it is best to contact the website owner and inform them to remove the copy since it was duplicated without permission. There is flagging mechanism that informs whenever duplicate content or plagiarism is suspected. To avoid search engine ban for duplicate content or plagiarism, certain guidelines need to be followed :

01)      Commercial product dealing – In such websites, similar language and content are used for describing products and manufacturing details. This refers to content duplication and such practices should be avoided.

02)      Websites with similar pages are considered identical and termed as “spam”. Affiliate sites with the same appealing look and identical content are especially vulnerable to duplicate content filter. Another classic example is a website with “door-way” pages. These are copied version of landing pages and are identical with other landing pages.

03)      The modified content is often written by content writers where scraps of content are collected from similar articles on identical themes and after certain modifications are uploaded on the website. Such articles might be different in context of vocabulary but semantically has the same approach. Such contents also create problems for search engines.


Replication of content affects a website’s ranking. It has, therefore, been strongly recommended to adhere to original and accurate content in websites in order to acquire search engine ranking.

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