Everyone who’s ever created anything online knows that plagiarizing content is like taking a rusty gun to your brand’s legs, pulling the trigger, and—best case scenario—crippling your e-Commerce business or—worst case scenario—killing your eCommerce business.
But not many eCommerce entrepreneurs have taken the time to dig in and explore why that’s the case. So today, that’s what we’d be looking at.
That said, let’s get right into it. But First: The Case for Creativity
Creators know that creativity is both a blessing and a curse. Blessing in the sense that it makes coming up with great ads, compelling emails, and fascinating articles very smooth and effortless.
And your creativity can quickly become a curse where you get stuck with a plethora of ideas but can’t seem to find the right way to express them in such little time. Not to mention the mood swings and depression most creators suffer from.
Now, it’s pretty clear that the internet has made instant, detailed, long-distance communication super easy.
And with how less than 40% of business practices are digitized and entrepreneurs are under tremendous pressure to enhance their products and services, it’s safe to say that most entrepreneurs shun the desire to embrace creativity and instead opt-in for a quick escape by plagiarizing content. How Plagiarism Began
Copying content is nothing new. In fact, far back in the first century, Marcus Valerius Martialis, a Roman poet, accused Fidentus—another poet—of kidnapping lines from his poems and reciting them without giving credit back to him.
We’ve met a lot of people who assume that every copied phrase or sentence is plagiarized content; however, plagiarism only happens when you use another creator’s words and ideas and pass them off as yours without acknowledging the original creator you got those ideas from.
And with over 600 million blogs live, almost three million blog posts published daily, and over 70 million blog posts released per month, it’s pretty easy for that content you’ve poured your heart and soul into creating to get flagged for matching another published content.
We once invested a lot of time into researching and creating a detailed article that got flagged for plagiarism. Trust us; it was pretty frustrating. And yes, it got us wondering, are there different types of plagiarism, and does Google, or any other search engine, treat them the same way?
Well, here’s what we found. Types of Plagiarism and How They Affect Your eCommerce Business
According to Grammarly, there are seven types of plagiarism. Here’s a quick run-down.
Complete Plagiarism: Claiming credit for someone else’s entire work. Remember Fidentus?
Direct Plagiarism: Adding specific paragraphs and segments from another author.
Paraphrasing Plagiarism: Using another writer’s work but altering a few words.
Self Plagiarism: Reusing old content you’ve written in the past without crediting yourself.
Patchwork Plagiarism: Carefully mixing clauses from other authors with yours.
Source-based Plagiarism: Citing the wrong source or even making up the sources you’re citing.
Accidental Plagiarism: This happens when you don’t know you have plagiarized another writer’s content.
Now, you must understand that your business will face the music if it’s found guilty of any type of plagiarism. And besides the fact that your business may receive a DMCA strike from the original content creator, Google may remove your page altogether, and no eCommerce entrepreneur wants that.
And speaking of consequences of plagiarism, your brand could face:
Keyword penalties: Affects your ranking for specific keywords.
URL penalties: Affects your URL’s rank.
Domain penalties: Lowers your site’s ranking
Not to mention that plagiarism also:
Crushes your site’s traffic
Make readers lose trust in your content
Kills your brand’s reputation
Cost more time and money to fix
Raises your site’s bounce rate
Reduces the backlinks you get
Attracts legal trouble
And take a deeper into how these consequences will affect your e-commerce brand.
- Dissuade Potential Customers From Patronizing Your Brand
Imagine visiting a new e-commerce store, only to discover that their product description is a complete rip-off of the product description on their older, well-established competitor’s store. In this situation, the new e-commerce store has simply erased the possibility of your purchase.
And seeing how dissatisfied customers tend to tell between 9 to 15 persons about their experiences, expect more people or even millions—if the unhappy customer has a substantial social media following—to hear about your plagiarism.
Your brand would instantly lose customer trust and may even be labeled as a fraudulent business. Such negative publicity can be very difficult for new e-commerce businesses to overcome.
So, don’t make the mistake of assuming that no one’s going to figure out that you’re plagiarising content because most customers will look at various stores before settling on the best deal.
- Cause Your e-Commerce Store to Rank Lower
As mentioned above, Google takes plagiarism very seriously, and the platform will not hesitate to de-rank or remove your site if it’s found guilty of plagiarising content.
Now, even though Google is the largest search engine in the world, its advanced algorithms aren’t perfect at distinguishing plagiarised content from original content. And if Google’s crawler identifies two similar pages, it automatically classifies both as plagiarised sites and de-ranks them in SERPs.
So, make it your ultimate priority to publish unique content. But don’t just stop there; ensure you monitor your content so you can spot when some other site has copied your content so you can issue them a DMCA warning.
- Cause You to Loose Investment
It doesn’t matter whether your business is targeting a small, local niche or an international one; it will need a steady and reliable supply of funding if it must achieve a solid position in the market.
But investors only invest in businesses they trust, and it’ll be impossible to convince your investors to give you their money if your e-commerce site is filled with plagiarized content. And this could jeopardize your business. How to Avoid Plagiarism
Now that we’ve understood what plagiarism is, the types of plagiarism, and how they all affect your e-Commerce brand, let’s take a look at two primary ways you can avoid getting flagged for plagiarism.
- Use a Reliable Plagiarism Checker Tool
Online tools like Copyscape, Grammarly Plagiarism checker, and Turnitin can help you check your site’s content and determine what portions are plagiarized. This would make it far easier to know how to polish up your writing.
- Remove Duplicate Pages From Your Site
Analyze every page on your e-commerce store and remove any content that seems to have been duplicated in different categories. Conclusion
Plagiarizing content from other creators isn’t easy. It can damage your brand’s performance on Google and give it a negative reputation. So make sure you remove every plagiarized content from your site. Clean up your headlines, product descriptions, and blog posts to ensure your site doesn’t get punished for plagiarism.