What is plagiarized content and why it affects negatively in SEO?

What is plagiarized content and why it affects negatively in SEO?

If you are an online writer and have been working for a while now, it is impossible that the term “plagiarism” hasn’t passed from your sight.

The quality of the content is one of the key factors that decide a website’s ranking. If there is something wrong with content for example originality then the search engine should take it into serious consideration.

It is common knowledge that plagiarizing content is a bad practice. It has adverse effects on a page’s SEO and marketing strategies.

This article focuses on the definition of plagiarism and the negative effect it can have on fruitful Search Engine Optimization practices.

What is SEO?

SEO or search engine optimization means strategies or practices adopted by a website or blog to increase its ranking.


Since everyone wants their web pages to be on the top of the Google index, they stay away from things that might affect their ranking. Plagiarized content is one of such problems.

What is plagiarized content?

Plagiarizing in simple words means duplicating. A little more elaborate definition would be:

Copying content from other sources and using it under your own name.

It does not matter if it is you who is copying or someone else is stealing from your site, either way, it is going to have a bad impact on the site’s SEO.

They are basically four types of plagiarism:

  • Direct
  • Self
  • Mosaic
  • Accidental

Let’s see what all of these types mean and how they can affect search engine optimization.

Direct plagiarism:

Direct plagiarism means copying the whole text or content without changing anything except the name of the publisher.

It is the most dangerous form of plagiarism. It is mostly deliberate.


It can confuse Search engines and the original owner’s site may rank so low that most of the users may not even come across it.

But if it is you who is rehashing then the consequences can be more severe. The right owner, if finds out about this unethical infringement, can strike the accused website with copyright violation.


The plagiarizing website can be banned for good.

Direct plagiarism


It is the type of plagiarism that does not harm anyone but the person who commits it.

Technically, it is not wrong. But it will affect the SEO of the website negatively.


People copy their own work very often and they often justify it by saying they are not violating any law. As mentioned earlier, it will not affect anyone but the person who is plagiarizing.

The readers will eventually understand what is actually happening. When they will find the same content over and over again and nothing new, they will cease coming to your blog or website.


When the traffic is low, the ranking of the page will also suffer.

Mosaic plagiarism:

Mosaic plagiarism or patchwriting is the type in which the offender copies some bits and pieces from others. It can be from the same or different sources.

The accountable person may not even bother to change it assuming that they will never get caught.


Since by committing mosaic plagiarism, one is breaching copyright laws, it can turn very serious.

The consequences are pretty much the same for every type of plagiarism. If you are a website owner, make sure that the hired writers or content makers are working with honesty.


Otherwise, be prepared to compromise your Google ranking and index on SERPs.

Accidental plagiarism:

It is the only type of plagiarism in which the responsible person is innocent. Since it is unintentional, it can be very stressful.

Since the internet is flooding with information, accidental plagiarism is very common.


The Internet is a machine software so it is no surprise if someone gets penalized for accidental plagiarism. It cannot understand your true intentions.

You might not even know about your accidental plagiarism and your ranking will already be suffering.


Other effects:

There are some other ways in which plagiarism can be deteriorating for search engine optimization.

Google penalty:

Since being a hundred percent plagiarism-free all the time is impossible and google knows it. That’s why according to Google, plagiarism of 10 percent or below is acceptable.

But if you violate this rule and don’t care even 30 percent of plagiarism, Google will surely take strict action.

Confused Search engines:

As written above, the internet is not a human brain. It cannot weigh which content is original or authentic. So what happens when it finds dozens of pages with the same content?

It gets confusing. It does not know which one is right or relevant to the query. The result is, it starts looking for something else and gives irrelevant results. This disturbs both the writer and the user.



A bad reputation may not affect your positive SEO techniques directly but will in some way. Usually, cheap websites are responsible for plagiarism.

If your users found out about your copying they will surely hold your credibility in question. Most of the time, they stir away and look for an original website. And the owner is left with constantly decreasing traffic.

Waste of money:

Websites invest money in buying writers to bring their pages to good ranking. But when the writers are not loyal and write duplicated content, the money which was invested is going to waste.

How to avoid plagiarism?

If you were intentionally copying previously from others, there is still time to stop it. But what about accidental plagiarism?

There are many ways to avoid accidental plagiarism. Many websites have tools that also help writers to remove any such chance.

  • The first way is to hire loyal writers who are well aware of plagiarism and the bad effects it has on SEO and marketing. This way not only you are saving your investment but also taking a good step towards SEO.
  • Use a plagiarism checker online to detect any accidental plagiarism. You will know on time and will be able to remove it.
  • Writers can also use a paraphrase generator to rephrase the matches found through the plagiarism checker tool. This way if the plagiarism was accidental the writer will not have to worry. It will also save time.


To wrap this all up, you should understand how bad of a practice copying is. Once you realize you will avoid it automatically.

Everyone should consider themselves at the place of the right owner. They will feel how depressing and stressful it can be when someone steals from you.

Also be on lookout for scrappers. When they copy your content they are also stealing your traffic. This mostly happens when a good ranked website is the thief.

People might not feel bad copying from you. But for the sake of your ranking you have to check every now and then if your work is in the right place only.

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