Content duplication is an alarmingly common occurrence on the Work Wide Web. Often when content is copied from a site and reposted elsewhere it can be attributed to lazy webmasters who are trying to build their sites in the quickest and easiest way possible, but when the same content has been reposted dozens of times, all over the web, it often indicates a negative SEO attack.
The presence of quality (original) content can be a major contributing factor to a website’s success. Copied content does not possess the same value and the more content is copied and reposted the less value it has—even to the site it originated from—so content duplication can be a very effective negative SEO tactic. Fortunately there are several ways webmasters can check if their content has been copied and republished.
Three Ways to Check for Content Duplication
One of the quickest ways is to visit the Copyscape website and place the URLs that require checking into their search box. Alternatively the Copyscape system can be used to check entire blocks of text. Using Copyscape is an efficient way to check for content duplication, and advanced features are available for a small fee.
It is also possible to check for content duplication by copying the relevant content and pasting it into the plagiarism checker at DustBall.com.
It is also possible to use the Google search engine to check for content theft.
Simply copy a line of text from the webpage that requires checking and enter into Google’s search box, but ensure the text is enclosed in quotation marks “JUST LIKE THIS” to ensure the search engine only returns that exact combination of words required.
Example: the text below is taken from another page of this site. It is original content and should not appear elsewhere on the web:
“Unique content is good. Quality unique content is even better and sites that regularly publish quality unique content should have an”
Searching without quotes deliver these results.
But the quotes make all the difference and should deliver just one result.
*(NOTE: If the first part of each page is redistributed by RSS, the content of the feed is likely to appear all over the web, so it will be necessary to choose a portion of text that appears further down the page.)*
If Google has indexed the content elsewhere this will also be revealed and the webmaster can then ensure the duplicated content is removed from the other sites. How to do this will be explained in a future article, but before we look at the ways to combat negative SEO attacks we must look at another way monitor for them, so our next article will reveal how to check for signs of another popular negative SEO tactic: link removal.