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Duplicate content. The good and the bad.

April, 17 2013
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Jo Stephens
bad copy and original street signs

Duplicate content is usually depicted as a blemish on the face of writing. Its nasty reputation is often well-deserved. People who cannot create fresh content themselves, instead depending upon the talent of others, should not be trying to make money from the content. However, duplicate content is sometimes accidental. There are only so many words one can use to describe something, and once in a while, four words or more may match another article on another website. It is usually easy to tell if someone has just copied or pasted something onto their website. However, if you are having trouble deciding if duplicate content is intentional or accidental, read a few of our tips and keep yourself out of the dark.

Intentional Plagiarism:

There is no surefire method of determining whether or not a writer has plagiarized something intentionally. But, there are a few key giveaways. If an entire paragraph on a lawyer website can be found word-for-word on the Internet, the writer probably plagiarized intentionally. It’s not plausible for someone to write four sentences or more that match exactly to another article on the Internet. In this case, you should inform the writer that his or her article is partially or fully a duplicate. You should also refrain from paying the writer until the text is revised so it is no longer a duplicate.

Accidental Duplicates:

Not all writers who write duplicate content do it knowingly. If a writer has written five consecutive words regarding law firm design that match up with five consecutive words on another website, but the rest of the content is original, it is likely that the writer did not even consult the website to do work and that it was an honest mistake. If this is still a problem, the ideal solution would be to inform the writer in a professional manner and request that he or she rearrange the phrase that came up as a duplicate.

Hiring writers is often a risky business, but not all of them are blatant villains out to commit copyright infringement. Make sure that you treat them professionally, and they will usually extend that same courtesy to you.

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