Negative Effects on Copying Website Content
While the true facts of how copied website material effects a website are unknown, it is generally thought that search engines like Google, will grade duplicate content negatively to some extent. This negative grading in turn will mean that the web page effected may not score as high as it should in regards to placement in an organic search. The problem is that no one knows for sure how the search engines work because companies like Google do not entirely disclose this information. The reasons for not disclosing are usually to keep Internet Spammers from playing the system to their advantage which in essence might allow a page to rise through the organic search ranks and find a comfortable number one position. That would be an unfair advantage over competing websites.
Search engines like Google try to pride themselves on the information returned to a user’s query having value. Consider the scenario where fifty web pages have identical content. Which one would be placed in the first position for the organic search? A search engine might find it difficult to choose. Therefore, crunching through other things like keyword density and back links to the page for example would all be all that is left for the search engine to grade the web page on. In the end the search engine might simply grade all of those duplicate pages with a lower value in turn causing them to sink in the organic search ranks.
This becomes a very important matter for Internet Marketers. Internet Marketers will develop content for the sole purpose of driving traffic to a web page where the page can be used for a specific purpose be it the sale of a product or the collection of information. As a content writer, you are almost always going to be working on content that is to be used for this very purpose.
Traditional Research vs. Content Research
Traditional research, whether it be for academic reasons or authoring other types of documents such as those requiring fact backed up by proof, would always require very specific formatting which includes the proper citation as needed. You would research a topic and then discuss it throughout the document, listing citations at the end. There are several acceptable methods of citing other author’s works including MLA, APA, MHRA and a few others. There are plenty of examples for formatting citations using any of these methods and all can be found on the Internet.
As mentioned earlier, the purpose of creating content for the Internet is not the same as creating documentation required for some academic purpose. For example, this document cites Wikipedia as a source of information, but the citation is for recognition purposes only and because the text used was used in whole or in part without modification. The problem with Wikipedia is that they do not tout themselves as an source of authority for any topic because the topics on their website pages are created by outside users. Therefore, the material may be inaccurate to some extent. To ensure that the information you are claiming within your text is accurate, you should cite a source that has displayed the material as proven fact and is a proven authority.
When researching content for the purpose of creating content for a website like a content writer does, the sources available may or may not be based on fact. This is because a lot of the material already on the Internet is composed of material that has been hashed and rehashed so many times that it is hard to tell where fact ends and fiction begins. So as a content writer you need to be vigilant with your writing and make sure that it does not contain odd unknown facts and that those facts the content does contain are well known facts.