If you have a website – any type of website – it’s critical that your content is unique.
If it isn’t, you will get heavily penalized through Google.
This can actually damage your entire site.
This means you have to take steps to check plagiarism online and make sure your content really is unique.
Most people assume that if they write a piece of content, then it must be unique.
After all, you didn’t steal it from anyone else.
However, sometimes you find that someone actually takes one of your posts and replicates it on their site.
Sometimes this is malicious, other times it’s just because they think it’s a good post. Regardless of why they do it, the harm can be major.
If you have a person writing for you, or if you are buying content, this approach becomes even more important.
Sometimes you’ll find that content you buy isn’t actually unique at all.
I’ve also heard of content writers copy and pasting some information from other sites while writing the rest of it themselves.
The trick to getting around this is to use tools like Copyscape to actively look for plagiarism.
There are actually a few different sites like Copyscape out there, some are free while others aren’t.
Copyscape offers a free and a paid version, and both versions have their uses.
The free version lets you plug in a website address and it will search whether the content of that page is duplicated anywhere online.
This does mean it only works for content that you have already put online, but the service is still useful if you think that someone has stolen something from you.
Another part of the Copyscape’s free service is the ability to compare two pieces of text or two web pages to one another.
This is particularly useful if you think your content is too similar to something you wrote before or something you saw online.
Again, the tool is pretty situational, but it does have its uses.
The premium version of Copyscape is more powerful and more relevant to many people.
In particular, this version allows you to search whether content is duplicate before you post it.
This is absolutely critical if you are purchasing content.
At 5c per search, the price isn’t too bad and it’s also possible to search your entire website in one go using the batch search option (however, I suspect that costs more than 5c).
Perhaps the most interesting, and useful, part of Copyscape is Copysentry.
This is an automatic service that searches the web for duplicates of your content once a week or once a month depending on the version you have.
This probably isn’t something that small sites have to worry about too much. However, if you have a popular site, there is a very real risk that people will try to steal your content.
Using something like Copysentry can help you to act on the issue quickly.
However, the pricing structure of the service means that it can get expensive fast, particularly if you have a large number of pages you want to be checked.
There are other services out there that allow you to check plagiarism online. For example, Small SEO Tools offers a plagiarism checker.
The check only does up to 1,500 words and uses content that you pasted in. So, it’s not useful for all content, but it is a free way of checking whether an article you have been given is unique.
Another site is Paper Rater. This particular site is actually designed for academic papers (many plagiarism checkers are), but it is still effective for checking content.
Personally, I suspect that Copyscape does a better job of finding plagiarism than the free sites out there, but that’s just because Copyscape is so big.
Regardless of whether you want to keep an eye on whether your own content is stolen, it’s absolutely critical to check you don’t post something that is plagiarized.
It should become routine to check content that was written for you, regardless of how much you trust its author.
However, I do recommend checking the terms and conditions of the service you use, because you don’t want to use something that is going to hold onto the content you feed into it.
Plagiarism is an important area, especially if you are outsourcing any content creation.
It is also an area that becomes more relevant over time, as your site starts to become more popular and more noticed.
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Wealthy Affiliate is a great site for learning more about building websites and it has an extensive range of training. That training caters for all levels of experience, so it is a great option for beginners and for everyone else.