Since the Panda update in February of 2011, marketers everywhere are scared of duplicate content, and ensuring that their content is unique to prevent a possible Google penalty.

Google defines duplicate content as:

Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. > From Google Webmaster Tools Forum

The key element for all those who perform online marketing is the ‘substantive blocks of content’ part. If you have a boilerplate sentence at the bottom of every one of your product pages that contains your shipping policy, you need not worry about being hit by a duplicate content penalty.

However, Content Thieves are Among Us!!

What the Panda penalty did slap down was the ‘scrapers’ who would take large blocks of text of of various sites, add them to their own site and claim it as their own unique content. But in a world where anyone can link to anyone, and there are no formal restrictions for taking someone’s content and using it on your site, how are marketing professionals to keep up??

Copyscape to the rescue

Copyscape is a tool that allows you to enter your URL, and scan the internet for other sites that contain the same language. This tool in essence allows you to check the content on your site and ensure someone is not ripping it off word for word. Now while Copyscape is not a new tool. it is one that has continued relevance in a world of content marketing and continuous content generation.

This guide will show you how to use Copyscape to check your site and ensure that noone is ripping off your content.

How to Use Copyscape

Now this is a bit obvious, but you need to visit http://www.copyscape.com

Copyscape test of web talent blogOnce you are there, you can watch the intro video, but since this tool is so simple to use, it isn’t necessary to watch this video. Now to get started, enter a URL that you want to check into the search box. For the sake of this tutorial, I am going to use our /seo-blog/ page.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 12.10.34 AM

In a matter of seconds, Copyscape will scan the web for instances of your content, and if they find anything, you will find it at the top of the page. If your content is unique and nobody is ripping off the content you have worked hard to obtain, you should see a page that looks like this.

Copyscape Web Talent test results

If you see this, success, you can move onto another URL. If you have a result present, meaning someone is ripping off your content, you can visit that site, contact the site owner and request they remove the content.

Curious to see what it looks like if there is someone stealing your content?? Here is one of our development sites that is a mirror of our homepage. We opened it up for this experiment. Now lets hope you never see this page!

Copyscape web talent test results positive

That is it. Have fun using Copyscape.

If you are on the other side of the coin and are having trouble creating unique content, you can reach out to us at Web Talent where we have a team of copywriters who all employ varying voices, writing styles and writing complexity, to match your brand voice.