Archive | Plagiarism
For an original content writer, nothing can be more heart-breaking than seeing his original work in a plagiarist’s site with higher ranking. One thinks, where is the justice in that? Where indeed?
The truth is, there is nothing that can be done at this time to prevent such from happening. As long as the ranking is automated, there is no way to prevent plagiarists from benefitting from their copying activities. The more ideal option which is manual assessment of sites is not practical either due to the large number of sites involved.
Plagiarists are usually adept as well in optimizing their sites that is why they are able to achieve high ranking even if they have nothing to offer but copied content. It seems that the one option which original content writers can do is to request the plagiarist to take down the copied content. Whether this request is heeded is another thing altogether. Sending a report to Google is also an option in the hope that its crawlers will stop indexing the plagiarists’ blog so that traffic will be directed to the blog of the original writer. Google usually responds to issues like this by giving a low rank to the plagiarist’s blog or completely de-indexing it.
Writers of original content should and must protect their work from being used for other’s selfish reasons of making money out of somebody else’s work. Preventing the furtherance of plagiarism is necessary if an original content writer wishes to avoid being bypassed in favor of the plagiarist. Google puts much emphasis on originality and quality but it needs some assistance from legitimate content owners themselves.
Legitimate content owners have long been battling with content thieves over the defense of their stolen content. Many have found it a useless exercise believing that nothing can be done about it. Fortunately, something can still be done and all need not be surrendered to these heartless offending parties.
Since it is impossible for anyone to detect whether an original article or excerpts of it have been copied due to the sheer number of sites online, site owners can use an online tool such as Copyscape to check for possible online plagiarism by identifying sites that have similar content including those that quote your site for the content they publish in theirs. This tool does not make any judgment as to which is original but merely provides the results of the search conducted based on the submitted material.
Most blogs display a plagiarism warning banner on the pages of their blog. Although it is not a fool-proof way of preventing online plagiarism ,it sends a message that you are vigilant and active in ensuring that your contents are not copied. This may serve to discourage potential plagiarists from pursuing their intentions. Additional protection can be obtained by signing up with a reliable site that automatically monitors the web for copy of the site materials and alerts the owner through email as soon as they are detected.
It is necessary to take immediate action once plagiarism of one’s work is known. The main action to be taken is to seek taking down of the copy/ies made of the material. The first step is to send a message to the offending site to ask for the same. In lieu of contact details of the offending site, the message can be sent to the web hosting company. These information are usually obtained by conducting a Whois search. The Internet archive can provide ample proof to settle the issue of where the material appeared first. For unproductive requests, a notice of copyright infringement can be sent to search engines for the possible removal of the offending site from their search results.
Duplicate content is generally seen as a malicious intent to manipulate search engine rankings and attract more traffic. There are of course exceptions such as those found in discussion forums or the printer-only versions of certain web pages. Otherwise, the substantive similarity of content gives rise to a poor search experience since there is a big possibility that online searchers will only be given the same set of contents for a particular query.
Search engines like Google exert efforts to make sure that sites offering duplicate contents are not rewarded for trying to or actually deceiving searchers. There are appropriate adjustments made on indexing and ranking of sites that practice this. At the very least, ranking of these sites are adversely affected. The worst penalty is the removal of the site from the search engine index.
Because of the possible negative consequences for a site caught providing duplicate content, it would be wise for web masters to concentrate on producing relevant variations of a particular content. Relevant variations may mean using a related topic or new information on the same topic. It requires more effort than simply duplicating one article across domains but the result is much more beneficial to legitimate sites.
Deceptive practices such as duplicating content gives an air of illegitimacy for an otherwise legitimate site. Sites who accept article contributions from external sources can easily check for content duplication through the use of duplicate content checker tools. Some of these are the Duplichecker, Plagiarisma, Copyscape, and Duplicate-Content. Original content is a major factor in obtaining positive web pages status. Plagiarizing the work of others is a serious issue and it is not less so in the online world.
Not a few people are scared off by the prospects of being accused of copying other people’s work thus the hesitancy to write articles for their site. Content originality is often presumed to mean original topics but this is not always so. In the areas of general interests, there are only so many topics we can come up with. Originality is rather associated in the treatment of the topics.
Let’s start with the very obvious. If you lift your contents from another site without express permission from the author and present it as your own, then you are guilty of plagiarism through “copy and paste”. Some people knock-off the idea instead of the whole content. This is sometimes difficult to prove especially when an entirely different article is produced using the same idea.
In topics that are a matter of fact, not one person can claim ownership to them. What will determine whether plagiarism was actually committed is the pattern of similar words that appear in succession plus the over-all tone of the finished product. It is the manner of attack on a topic that usually spells the difference since this is a very personal feature of content writing.
However, in topics that are evidently new and previously unheard of, questions of copying may arise especially if the second author cannot qualify himself as capable of deriving for himself the idea that he is offering. It all boils down to laying the basis for the proposition. It is incumbent upon the writers to present only what is theirs and be able to defend themselves when challenged.
Original content therefore is a person’s take on a particular subject. The writer may benefit from researching other people’s work but should present his work based on his derived conclusion after collating different information. Lifting a number of sentences from different articles and putting them together is still copying.
Imagine seeing your legitimate and well-thought of articles in a site that has absolutely no connection to your niche and worse tends to put you and your own site in a bad light. Think pornographic sites or sites dealing with drug paraphernalia and regulated drugs. The act of splogging does not only effectively steal content; it also compromises all the hard work that goes into building a good reputation and a reliable brand.
There is no question that being linked, albeit unknowingly and without consent to sites of ill-repute, casts a shadow of doubt in the minds of readers. It is admittedly difficult to reconcile reliability with bad association especially to readers who may not be very familiar with your site to know any better than to take the link at face value. This is why spam blogs or splogs hurt legitimate sites and bloggers the most due to the possibility of negating whatever has been attained by the site.
Sploggers can steal an article in whole or in part and would often include the name of the original author to provide an air of legitimacy. Their only purpose is to get the attention of your readers so they can promote whatever product or service which they have in mind. Obviously, the need to take cover in a legitimate site does not speak much of their offering.
The crux of the matter for most bloggers and writers is the likelihood of being used to serve the deceitful purposes of others. It gets much worse when you and your work are used for purposes that you are particularly averted to. When readers, especially friends and family members come looking for your post, you wouldn’t want them to find a splice of your post surrounded by pornographic ads, would you? So take some time to report the offense even if it appears that it wouldn’t make much difference. No one knows the value of your work better than you do.
Don’t you just hate it when you spend hours on a blog post only to see the exact same content in another site? It takes you a long time to come up with a particular topic or idea, a little bit more to put the bits and pieces together, and then some more to actually write out the post. And, just like that, someone thinks he/she can take your content – live off your hard work!
It is thus no surprise that various sectors – and individuals as well – have made it their mission to help bring down splogs (including us). This endeavor also means taking certain steps on your part to ensure that your blog content is protected to a certain degree. After all, if sploggers were to have a harder time stealing content, they just might give it up.
What can you do to make it hard for sploggers to steal your content?
There are many plugins that you can utilize to make it harder for sploggers to steal your content. They work in various ways, the end goal being the same: to protect your content. Some plug ins work by disabling functions that will allow the text to be manually copied. Others work by feeding bots fake content when they try to steal the content. Take a look around and see what you can use to protect your posts.
You may not think about it, but your web hosting company might play a role in the security of your data. After all, the information that you post in your blog will be stored in the data center used by your web host. If they have security issues, sploggers may be the least of your worries. What can you do? Make sure that you choose the right web hosting company – one that will ensure the security of your data.
For the longest time, the issue of plagiarism was seen as only occurring within the province of the academia. Copying and stealing another person’s work is only a problem in colleges and universities, and of course the occasional seedy journalist. The internet was pure and pristine. No one would dare steal someone’s work and then pass it off as their own. Of course, we all know that the internet is now the primary battleground for plagiarists and the hard-working people who actually write original content. More and more people are seeing plagiarism as a growing problem but, unfortunately, many also think that there’s nothing anyone can do to combat this crime.
But there are actually many things that a person can do to help combat plagiarism. There are many kinds of recourse they can take in order to curb this intellectual theft of original content that is being used for splogs and other dubious endeavors online. The first thing that should be done is to become vigilant. As holders of original content, a person must always be aware about the threat of plagiarism.
I’ve written before about how feeds are being used by people who make splogs. They are using RSS feeds as well as the power of search engines to look for specific content that can be used to popular the blog. The usual form this content takes are link lists or excerpts of the article or content along with links that usually point to other content that often have just enough correct keywords to lead search engines to it.
In a link splog links that number from a single one to a dozen that are related to the articles are posted everyday. The attempt is to make it look like it’s a “links of the day list” but a deeper investigation into the lists will show that the links don’t add up. Some of the links will usually point to non-related content, this indicates that the link list was chosen without rhyme or reason — usually automated by a piece of software.
The advent and rise of the splogs has triggered a debate between bloggers, the online ads industry and the Fair Syndication Consortium that debates the situation whether ad companies should remunerate web sites that use stolen content. The opposing parties has people on both sides raising their own points, on the side of the bloggers content should be guarded and deemed as personal property, on the side of the consortium they say that they are fighting for the said right, getting these splog sites to get their claimed earnings from ads but steering some of the profits down the line to the bloggers who were responsible for the blog posts.
Very much a blurred line exists between the grounds by which they stand, and being sponsored by many big businesses and other major players the consortium is indeed raising a very real fact, splogs are here and there is no sure way to combat them or prevent them from plagiarizing content from other sites, kinda goes to the tune of “If you can;t beat them, Join them!”. The bloggers and several thousand writers are still trying to obtain ways of shutting down these splogging sites but as mentioned, there are ways by which you can indeed profit from these sites but the line is thin and you can end up losing more that you hope to gain. The debate is detailed in the following post from TechCrunch where more details are brought to light.
The scourge of the Splogs and their Splogging creators are truly nagging each and every blogger on the planet yet there is a specific fact that bloggers have pointed out, why there is not much in terms of tools or utilities/plugins that can stop these bots? That is a question we’d have to press and keeping silence is like telling these guys that they can get away with what they’re doing. Spamming plugins like Akismet abound yet there are not much available for controlling the stealing actions of these programs. (more…)