Left your sophomore days of copying assignments far behind, but still finding it hard to break your old habits? It’s time to change your ways before they get you in trouble. It’s already creating mega-headaches for those who’ve ripped-off the contents of other websites to create their own.
Google has been penalizing websites with copied content at the drop of a hat and believe us it’s not nearly as indulgent as your school or college teachers.
Google is not the only search engine that’s been harping on originality, others like Bing and Ask.com are also encouraging websites to have original content.
Put differently, it’s so long to the days of copying content from different sources a.k.a Content Stitching.
The dark art of content stitching
Back in the day, to seize 1st page rankings people use to promote their content on as many different places as they could and in months or so they could get the desired results. As the content quality wasn’t much of a focus webmasters used to copy content from numerous sources and present it as their own. In its purest form it is a blatant theft of intellectual property, but the situation became alarming when some stitched content started ranking better than the original content. That’s when search engines started taking some stringent measures to desist it.
Google’s latest updates are a proof of search engine’s crusades against content copyright infringement. But that’s not all, here are few other reasons why content stitching is not such a good idea-:
1) Penalization by Search enginesThe biggest disadvantage of content stitching is penalization by search engines. Since Google’s last updates, namely Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird, thousands of websites which were ranking on the first pages of search results have started ranking in 200 or 500 search result positions. In a way it is quite fair. People surfing the net are looking for original content and if they find stitched content on the first few pages of search results, they’ll be pretty miffed with the search engines. This was the main reason why Yahoo search was not able to compete with Google and why Bing and Google spend billions of dollars on organic search algorithms.
The head of Google's Webspam team‘Matt Cutts’ clearly disapproves the practice of combining content from various websites.
2) High bounce rateAs said in the previous point every web surfer is looking for original content. They want to know something new or some new viewpoint or idea from somewhere new. NEW is the buzzword here. So whenever they find mix and match content they shun the website in search of a better quality. Since the start of tabbed browsing and high speed internet, bounce rate on every website has increased significantly. So in this competitive environment original and interesting content is the only way to get your visitors spend time on your webpage.
With a low bounce rate, a lot many things can be monitored and improved.
3) Low social media reachSocial media circulation of your content is now a very important and effective way to promote your website. In social marketing also original content is the key. Stitched content can get 100 or 200 shares depending upon your follower base. But for a content to become truly viral, which is the ultimate aim to promote on social media, you need originality.
4) Risk of legal actions by ownersLastly, copying content is actually punishable by law under the numerous, and global, copyright and intellectual property rights laws. Using Google’s webmaster tools and plagiarism checking tools like Copyscape, authors can easily check if their content is getting copied or not. Technology and international laws are so advanced now that no matter where you are the author can find you and sue you for copyright infringements. It’s already happening. And make no mistake some of these infringement penalties can be dreadful.
Wrapping UpOriginal content is difficult to produce, but once created it is much easier to market and promote. If your content is authentic and new, you would automatically garner a genuine audience. In the long run this audience will bring business to you.
If on some occasion you want to find out whether your original content has been ripped off by someone, you can check it easily using Google Alert services and Copyscape. You can take action against them through Google itself. All you have to do is report your case on Google’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act infringement page and you can create a lot of pain for the robbing party. Or if you want to get to the bottom of it, hire a lawyer.
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