Copy! I can take it from another site can’t I?

The challenges of creating content for your website are more complex than many think.

It continues to surprise me that companies who want to build a website, given the amount of information there is out there on original content, still balk at the idea of writing good copy themselves and turn to cheap low quality suppliers of content and article writing services or simply pinch it from a competitors site. What’s worse, trying to persuade some companies that they need original, well written text are seen as interfering and introducing unnecessary complications. “After all where in the world will I get the time or the money!”

However, those naysayers are absolutely right and their advice to take more time, invest more, and take pride in the unique written element of a website is soundly based on experience and a good understanding of what’s required for any company to promote itself on Google and other search engines as well as convert visitors to buyers. If you do not have the time or the budget then leave it until you do!

The most important rule is that content (or copy) simply has to be unique. If copy is taken from another website or plagiarized it can cause problems for search engine indexing, indeed probably having a negative impact on any ranking the website might already have. On top of that  visitors will just see the same old text and you are unlikely to stand out form the crowd.

Lets face it, the reason you have a website is to promote your business, thus nicking copy from another site or buying it from a supplier of copy over which you have little control is more likely to reduce your prominence on Google rather than enhance it as well as conversions.

For the sake of clarity, Google defines duplicate copy as blocks of the same content that are posted on different websites. For this purpose, such content can be an exact match or even (and for some; disappointingly) similar content.

Some developers or perhaps more commonly individuals who don’t understand, take copy and thinking they’re doing the right thing they credit the original website, whereas in truth they are probably damaging their own website and the site they are crediting because to the best of our knowledge, whilst it seems unfair it is difficult to ensure that Google deems yours to be the original.

So how do you ensure you don’t get penalised for duplicate copy? Well the simple answer is to write it yourself! Having said that, you may not be very good at writing or in truth, you have more important things to do, so you need to ensure the person who does write the content understands your business. has some creativity, knows the rules and sticks to them. Its not difficult checking by using one of the many online systems such as “Copyscape” or a simpler  more time consuming method is to take a block of text and placing it in “quotation marks”  search for the same copy on Google. If Google finds no results for your search then you’re ok.



avatar Name: Alex Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.” Visit Alex's G+ Profile. and Twitter
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