Plagiarizing on your blog is not only wrong in an ethical sense, but it’s also most often illegal, with plagiarists facing copyright infringement lawsuits, Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices and more. But that’s not even all. Plagiarism also hurts their reputation as bloggers as well as career.
But for the sake of this blog post, let’s just say that you think it’s still worth trying, given the rewards you think you are getting when plagiarizing your blog content, whatever they may be. Let’s say that you are right and that you can run your blog like this without anyone noticing for a certain period of time. Yes, you are beating the system and cheating death! Right. You’ve built a blog using someone else’s work without attribution or consequence.
But that’s not how it works. Even if no one has caught you (yet!) plagiarism still damages you and your blog setting you back in so many ways. Here are three:
#1 The Search Engines Will Still Find Out
It may be possible for people to never find out about your blog’s plagiarized content, but it’s almost impossible to hide your deeds from the search engines and their spiders crawling your pages.
It’s very simple. Google only wants quality and relevant links for their users searching their data. This doesn’t only include finding the web pages that provide the best and most applicable information for the used words and phrases, but also deciding what will be listed on the results’ first page, so searchers won’t end up looking at exactly the same content just coming from different websites.
To make the selection Google compares the content from various sites, and if they are very much alike selects the page that was published first and pushes all others down in the search results.
The system is not ideal, and sometimes it does happen for a stolen content to appear in the top results without deserving the position at all. But still, in most cases Google catches these blogs and websites, and they get bumped down facing severe consequences even if they change the plagiarized pages.
Google and other search engines are strictly against plagiarism, and they don’t want to see lots of similar content in their search results. So if you want to get your blog to the top, the only way to do it is by creating and publishing only original and high quality blog posts that deserve the high ranking and are unique enough to earn that slot.
#2 You Are Missing Out on Networking
Looking from another point of view on the subject of plagiarism, all those bloggers you’ve stolen content from could have been potential networking shots for you and your blog. Fellow bloggers are among the best people to reach out to for support while building your traffic and online reputation. They can introduce new visitors to your site, provide inbound links and help your blog’s success in so many ways.
But when you steal and plagiarize content from other bloggers you must hide and avoid them, living in fear that they might discover you and take action. If you have credited them correctly you could invite them to your blog and possibly start a project and collaborate together.
If you weren’t plagiarizing fellow bloggers could link to your posts or share them on social sites, add their comments or even become your regular readers. By plagiarizing you’ve shut them and their audience out of your blog.
#3 You Can’t Improve and Grow as a Blogger
Writing and blogging are skills that you need to nurture if you want to improve. Like with any other skill, if you don’t challenge yourself every day, they will diminish, you won’t get better as blogger, and your blog won’t grow further. Lots of people have problems writing because they lack the confidence that they have something to say and that they say it good enough. But the truth is that they can only get better and gain the confidence by practicing and doing the actual writing. If instead they decide to plagiarize other people’s work they deprive themselves of this chance.
When plagiarizing you skip many phases of writing and creating great content, including generating ideas, honing your voice, writing from scratch, etc. If some day, for whatever reason (and the Internet is getting smarter each day), you can’t plagiarize anymore and you only depend to your skills as a writer and blogger, if you can’t meet the challenge you and your blog will surely suffer.
Put in short, plagiarism may be a quick way to a good blog, but is far from the experience and knowledge you need to become a good blogger.
What’s your opinion on online plagiarism? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.