Plagiarism is Plagiarism, Whether It’s on the Your Website or in a School Paper

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines plagiarism as “the act of stealing or passing off (the ideas or writing of another) as one’s own, without crediting the source.” In other words, plagiarism is committing literary theft.

And did you see what we did there? We said where the information came from, and we put the specifics in quotes. We credited the source, and did not pass off that first part of the definition as our own work. Then we rephrased it in our own words “In other words, plagiarism is committing literary theft.”

You may have thought you left plagiarism behind in high school or college, when plagiarism on a school paper was punishable by a failing grade, suspension or expulsion. Why does plagiarism matter to you as the owner of a small business website? Because plagiarism is wrong, no matter where it happens.

You’d be surprised how many websites we’ve seen where the website owner has literally copied and pasted material from another website onto their own website. We won’t name names, but we recently redesigned a website for a client, and in the process of updating their text for SEO, our content writer determined that much of their web content had been lifted from other industry websites.

Plagiarizing another website, or several websites is not only morally wrong. You could be sued by the original writer. You also damage your SEO efforts.

Plagiarizing is also lazy. For Pete’s sake, even if you’re not the best writer in the world, at least you could say “According to XYZ, …” and put something in quotes. Or put the idea into your own words. If you’re not a writer, hire one. It’s worth the effort to do things the right way.

If you’re in the market for a new website or a website redesign, call Coastal Web Services today at 410-420-9390. We have an experienced web content writer on staff. She’s a former award-winning journalist with more than 30 years of experience writing in various capacities. You can rest assured your web content will be original and informative, and if you choose to purchase an SEO package (and we highly suggest you do), your web content will be optimized for SEO.

Your website really is your best chance to make a good first impression with prospective clients. For more information on Maryland web design and SEO services, call Coastal Web Services today at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form and someone will get back to you shortly. We offer a free, no obligation consultation, complete with a written estimate. We serve small business clients in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina and Alabama.