As you might know, Google Search doesn’t like duplicate content. Even though it will not get you banished, it will harm your ranking in a way that you can’t predict. Plus, your target audience is looking for fresh and original content, not something they have found before. So doing it won’t help you in anyway.
But, there are many types of plagiarism, and you might commit it without noticing it. Especially if you are pressured by the time, you might make unconscious mistakes such as “writing blind” – when you quote someone’s words as if they were yours unintentionally.
So to avoid it, you should try these seven ways to avoid plagiarism. They will make your website more Google-friendly and boost your SEO results.
1 – Do research one day, write another day
Sometimes, it is hard not to copy what you just read. It looks great as it is, so your brain will automatically consider the easy way out as the best one, and you won’t even notice that you are repeating someone else’s words.
So best thing here is to do research in one day and leave to write your content a few days later. It will give you time to process what you’ve learned and to come up with your own original ideas, which will lead to brand new content.
2 – When you finish it, re-write it
After you get to write your content, then you should re-write it. Yes, it sounds like extra work, but it will pay off. Just consider it as part of your editing process so that you won’t feel as bad. But the point here is that re-organising your ideas and perfecting your sentences will help you to make them even more unique.
You will be able, for example, to check a thesaurus and look for better words to say what you meant. You can add some idiomatic expressions or interesting collocations as well. In any case, it will be a reliable way to get your content to look not only more original but also more engaging.
3 – Go back to your phone and books
Once upon a time, we didn’t have the Internet. And we would do just fine without it. So you can always time-travel, go back to your phone and books, and still find reliable and original ideas to your website’s content.
The trick here is that it will force you to write things down and then re-write them into your CMS system. Especially if it is a long text, you will think is much easier to write it with own words and ideas then type everything again. And by doing it, you are less likely to plagiarise anything unintentionally.
4 – Find primary sources
Using primary sources, such as research papers, case studies, and thesis,as a starting point to create new content will help you to have a much broader understanding of what you are writing. Interviews are also a great source of fresh ideas, and they will provide you with unexpected points of view.
So you should make the most of theprimary sources as often as you can. Even if you think that they are too dense to your audience, they will be happy to get something well-researched in a format easier to consume.
5 – Use plagiarism-check tools
Still, you want to be on the safe side here. And to achieve it, you should use plagiarism-check tools to verify if something passed without being noticed. Thankfully, there are many reliable tools available, some of them ready to stop those that spend hours trickingTurnitin, one of the universities’ and Google’s favourites in this field.
But if you are looking exactly for the opposite, you can try some of the online tools available, such as Grammarly, Copyscape, PlagiarismSearch or Unplag. They are all paid services, butthey worth every cent of it, especially because plagiarism-check is just one of the features of most of them.
6 – Write your quotes down (immediately)
Another tip to avoid plagiarism is to keep an inventory of everything that you want to use on your website as soon as you come across it. You can create a spreadsheet, for example, and save there every single piece of content that you found valuable along with their author and link to the source.
This way, in the future, when you want to use it, it won’t be a vague idea in your mind. You will know for sure that is someone’s else idea and will be able to quote it accordingly.
7 – Create an outline
Last but not least, there is something that you should do before anything else. After doing your research, you should step back and create an outline of your content. And this is because it will not only save you time but also give you a chance to organise your ideas in your mind.
While you do it, you will automatically activate your critical thinking skills in your brain and come up with your own point of view in the end. And as a consequence, it will help you to discover original ideas and to prevent plagiarism.
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The bottom line
Avoiding plagiarism has a lot to do with giving yourself time enough to analyse what you are going to write and to perfect it. It is usually when you are in anautomatic mode that you end up copying someone’s words so you should ensure that it won’t happen.
So follow the tips above to prevent plagiarism from damaging your website’s results. As you notice, they are very simple to put into practice. Your SEO strategy will thank you for it.
About the Author:
Steven Mehler is an experienced writer, SEO specialist and social psychologist that works as an editor at a local newspaper and a freelance writer. Steven also runs his own content agency and is writing a book. He has a long-term experience in writing articles based on blogging, marketing, SEO and social psychology.