How to deal with plagiarism in the modern age

Monday, August 27, 2012

How to deal with plagiarism in the modern age

Though, plagiarism existed even in the 18th century A.D, and it was not even considered stealing then, because writers were expected to do so. But the internet boom in the modern age has paved for increasing plagiarism debate, as there are more likely chances of someone stealing the content with ease. Importantly, now, you cannot claim other’s creations as your own, and you cannot even use them, unless you give credit to. 

The entire functioning of search engines is based on fresh content. If content from other websites find its way to your site without linking back, then the credibility of your content will suffer. Search engines will find it extremely difficult to list search results from your web pages, with the result that you may even witness fall in your site’s rankings. Google has strict guidelines for plagiarized content, and your site might not just get penalized, but you may even lose traffic. 

With growing plagiarism, it has become more significant for webmasters to know ways to deal with it. Again, there’s a thin line between plagiarised content, and non-plagiarized content. And to know the line is the first step to start dealing with it.

When do you face plagiarism?

There’s one truth about plagiarism – it may be unethical but it is not a crime. The reason why it has not been labelled as a crime, even though, it may lead to cheat, is because, plagiarism is not just limited to online content, but it also happens in colleges. We do plagiarise at some point of time. If you are a college attendee, you might have to go through lectures and quotes from authors and scientists, and when you sit writing a research paper, you sometimes fail to give credit to the source from where you get information, and that is plagiarism. 

But the modern age has a different tale to tell. The debate has caught fire because online content has a commercial side linked to it. If someone earns out of duplication, advertising companies will never consider it fair. Imagine hundreds and thousands of webmasters who have toiled hard to work out uniqueness in their content, only for someone else to copy and paste it on his site is purely a commercial stab on the back.   

Why it leads to financial implications 

The growing extent of online advertisements has fuelled the plagiarism debate. To make it more clear, here is the illustration – if someone steals content from, then the search results will feature both, and the site with the stolen content. Now, it is likely that traffic may get divided between both the sites, with the result that even advertisement revenues split. Imagine the plight when a site with the original content had to lose advertisement earnings, and unfortunately had to share earnings with a site that has duplicate content.

That is why plagiarism is so threatening, not just to sites, but also to the very basis of online business. Google, in particular, runs its own adsense program, and is bent on protecting its advertising clients by punishing sites that indulge in copying content illegally. It is therefore, important, not to let plagiarism catch you by the scruff of the neck. 

Learn ways to avoid it

Though, on one hand plagiarism is immoral, but if you are ready to give credit to the source, then it is different. If you have a website, and you want to copy few pages from other sites, simply link back after copying. However, it is different when you are not ready to cite the sources. In that case, just changing words or sentences will not be enough you will have to write the whole content in your own words to escape plagiarism. 

Modern day college schedule is so hectic that students these days prefer the easier way out by copying notes straight out of the text, if you do that make sure you put everything in quotes. Again, an important aspect to remember while dealing with plagiarism is not to worry about common facts. For instance, “The sun rises in the east” will never be considered plagiarised, even though, you may copy it hundred times, but one should avoid copying lesser known facts. 

The best thing about dealing with plagiarism is that it is easier to deal with. A simple linking back not just makes your copied content authentic, but also helps the source in more than one ways. 

How does the source benefit

The source gets the credit, and if the source is a website then the share of benefits increases even more. Online linking back gets more visibility to the source. Importantly, Google’s page rank also comes into consideration, and that’s one reason why sites with original content might be willing to offer content for a back-link. 


Plagiarism will always be a threat, no matter how good you are dealing with it. Particularly, those who use guest posts on their sites should use plagiarism checker tools to detect and filter out duplicate content.

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