Content is one of the crucial aspects of a website. Whether it is a blog or a web page, there is good probability that the content is being plagiarised because of the worldwide access to the Internet. Expansion of the Internet has led to the easy availability of web pages across the globe. Plagiarism and plagiarised content As a regular Internet user, you might have encountered a situation, wherein, you find more or less the same content in two or more different websites. Unless the author is same, or the websites are related, this kind of unofficial usage of the website material like the content, artwork or the product images, without mentioning any information about the original author comes under plagiarism. The dictionary meaning of ‘plagiarism’ explains it as the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. If anyone steals the ideas or content from a book or a website and publishes it in print or online with their name, it also comes under plagiarism and the text which is copied from the original author, becomes the plagiarised or duplicate content. Who will copy content? Plagiarism or using the content from other sites is a common practice. Many business owners may also get tempted to copy another firm’s work due to the ease in copying and pasting the content. If someone commits plagiarism due to ignorance, few others do it intentionally. Whatever the reason may be, they are ignoring the fact that plagiarism is against law. Replicating material for commercial use not only results in infringing the basic law but also breaches copyright laws. To protect the interest of all the authors, readers and others, international copy right laws have been framed and enacted. Copyright laws Copyright is a legal concept which reserves the rights of an author, writer or a creator of an original artistic work such as books, music, sculptures, write-ups, etc., giving exclusive rights to it, for limited time. The term ‘copyright’ infers that the act of making copies of any work should be made only by the author or with his authorization. That is, all others who try to copy and use the work created by another author without his permission or authorization are subjected to copyright laws. Under the US Copy Right law, any original information, book and whatsoever created after 01 March 1989 is subject to Copyright law. The laws shall be applicable to any creation, invention, write-up, etc., that came into being after that day. Effect of plagiarised content on your website Posting duplicate content on your website is not useful. Following are some effects of using duplicate content on your website. â€˘ Low page rank: Copying and using content from another website is an intellectual fraud. Moreover, you are also violating copyright laws. These acts to trick search engines donâ€™t work. It is relatively easy for search engines to identify pages that are copied from somewhere else. Hence, the use of duplicate content negatively affects the page rank. Page rank is an indicator of the quality and credibility of the page. â€˘ SEs may not index webpage containing plagiarised content: Not every web page is indexed by the search engines. Low quality pages are typically not indexed. Popular search engines like Google, Yahoo are against plagiarism. In Google Webmaster guidelines, they have clearly mentioned guidelines against plagiarism and also warn the website owners to avoid using replicas and duplicate content. They clearly state that a website with substantially duplicate content will be penalized. â€˘ Decrease in credibility of your website: As search engines give importance to quality and unique content, the websites involved in plagiarism lose credibility with search engines. Even in case someone has a good first impression on the content; once, they realize it as plagiarised, all the credibility evaporates into the air. Focus on developing high quality content The only way to avoid all the above mentioned consequences is to concentrate on creating and developing a website with high quality content. Here are few more guidelines to help you improve your website’s rankings. â€˘ Remove low quality content: Poor quality content in the pages of a website may affect its rankings. Focus on removing low quality content or improving content in the problematic pages. â€˘ Avoid duplicate, overlapping or redundant content: It is clearly evident from the first part of the article that using duplicate content is not a good idea. It is important to regularly review the web page for removing overlapping or redundant articles. â€˘ Generate relevant and useful content: Try to have a bigger picture before generating content. Understand how users are interacting with your site, what is important to them. Depending on that create content which is relevant to their queries and their needs. Also, make sure that content is useful to them. Plagiarism has a substantial negative effect to the search engine ranking and credibility of your website. If you need an increase in business traffic to your website and the respect of your target audience, see to it that there is high quality content on your site.