Weighting Content Syndication and Plagiarism

Written by

Vikas Bhatt

Weighing Content Syndication and Plagiarism

Just as I was browsing LinkedIn today, I stumbled on a post complaining about how someone stole their content and re-posted it without giving any credit.  A colleague and I got into a conversation around this and we realized a lot of business owners and brands believe that there is a connection between content syndication and plagiarism or duplication. 

However, utilizing content syndication tools responsibly ensures proper attribution and copyright protection. These tools can help you find high-quality websites for syndication, often with established processes for crediting the original source.

In this post, we will discuss how content syndication is different from content plagiarism but how content scraping can be termed as content plagiarism. Lets begin with some statistics According to a research conducted by Raven tools on 200 million page crawls, 29% of the pages had duplicate content issues. WOAH!  So you take all the efforts (sometimes a lot of time!)

  • to research your markets, audience and subject
  • to write content which is actionable and helpful to your audience
  • to rank higher on Google and attract more visitors
  • to generate demand or leads for your company.  

No kidding. According to a report by Content Marketing Institute, creating engaging content is the biggest challenge in front of B2B marketers But, what do content scrapers do? CCP (Cut-Copy-Paste) it! In one word, STEAL it.  Content scrapers are only about plagiarized content.

They do it without taking your permission or giving any credit. While it can be done easily with simply copying (Ctrl + C) it, content scrapers make use of technology and bot to automate it. Here are a few tips to deal with content scrapers.

While free content syndication options exist, it’s crucial to carefully vet any platform before using it. Reputable syndication tools and services prioritize ethical practices and proper attribution, protecting your content from unauthorized scraping.

But, why do you want to plagiarize content or scrape content from someone elses website?

Simple. We know that creating new content is a difficult task. However, the gains are immense in terms of traffic, leads (Yes, content syndication is great idea for b2b lead generation), demand generation etc. Content scraperswants to take advantage of this. By plagiarizing content, they can direct a huge chunk of your traffic to their website and rank high for particular keywords.

Yes, the copied version may rank higher than your original version but the chances of that happening are tiny.

This is an example provided by Adexpresso, in one their blog where they talk about how repurposed content and original content can rank on the same page. Similarly, content scrapers webpage can rank. Are you wondering what is Googles policy on penalizing such websites?

First off, even Google admits that 30% of the content is duplicate. But, they do not penalize duplicate content.

According to them Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.

If your site suffers from duplicate content issues, and you don’t follow the advice listed above, we do a good job of choosing a version of the content to show in our search results. 

Matt Cutts, former head of web spam team at Google,  explains how duplicate content is handled and when it is treated as spam  If you watched the video, it gets us to the next point.

What about syndicated content which basically is duplicating content on third party sites?

Dont worry. As discussed before, content syndication and plagiarism are completely different. In content syndication processes, publishers and creators grant their permission to publish on other sites with an aim to expand the brands or authors exposure and have several benefits.

There are many authoritative websites who do this and many bloggers/marketers who make use of this to gain a wider audience.

Here is an example of syndicated content. This is an article on GDPR which was originally published on GDPR.report but syndicated on compliancebriefing.com.

At the end of the article on Compliance Briefing, it has this – This is one of the most important contents syndication etiquettes. Referring to original website is a safe way of staying away from the spam-book of Google.

This instance will never be treated as scraping or plagiarized content. However, content duplication gets complicated when we deal with excerpts.

If you scroll up, we had cited a survey from Content Marketing Institute along with inserting a snippet from their report but we duly acknowledged them in the text as well as the image. Similarly, we linked to the original source (Adexpresso) when referring to repurpose content and ranking.

This is the right way of using someone else’s content. You can get more information on how to provide source credit with these tips from the Washington Post. Now, we are clear that content syndication is not unethical, duplicated content or plagiarized content.

Click here to read about content syndication myths. There is another striking difference between content syndication and plagiarism.

Did you know while content syndication is completely legal, content scraping and plagiarism can be punished under the Copyright laws?

Keep that in mind. Next time, someone talks of content syndication do not raise eyebrows or give a dirty look. Content syndication and plagiarism are poles apart.

It is a completely legit strategy. Email marketing summary: A lot of business owners and brands believe that content syndication is plagiarism or duplication. This is totally off the mark. Learn more here.”

Read More: 6 Content Syndication Networks that will Drive Traffic


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