Content Plagiarism: The SEO Redflag (5 Types of Plagiarism Explained)

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content plagiarism

Did you know that a whopping 29% of websites, according to research by Raven Tools, contain duplicate content? ¹ This prevalence of duplicate content is a big problem for website owners, and one major reason for this is content plagiarism. 


This isn’t just ethically wrong, it can also cripple your website’s ranking in search results. So, what are the effects of plagiarism? 


Keep reading to learn about SEO plagiarism, explore its various forms, and most importantly, equip yourself with powerful strategies to avoid it.

What Is Plagiarism?

It is an act of copying and pasting words, ideas, or concepts into your article without referencing or crediting the original source. If you take credit for another author’s work, be prepared to face ethical and legal consequences. 


It is not limited to copying; it can also include uncredited translations or the use of someone else’s ideas without attribution. 


In a nutshell, plagiarism equals theft, and stealing is wrong, and thus plagiarism is unethical. 

What Is Original Or Unique Content?

In digital marketing, the word “original content” simply refers to content that is unique in the sense that it has never before been published online in exactly that fashion. It can take numerous forms, including videos and written content such as articles or blog posts. It may present a whole new concept, product, or point of view, but it may also revisit an old one.

To be considered original, a piece of online information must pass a plagiarism check and have no duplicates anywhere on the internet.

Why Original Content Matters?

It is not enough for you or your firm to merely build a collage of ideas that are already prevalent in their sector; the creation of unique, smart copy is what propels a brand forward.

Original content showcases your unique thinking and contributions to the world’s knowledge base.

Key Characteristics of Authentic Content

content plagiarism

Fresh content is an essential component of any successful digital marketing effort. It improves your search engine rankings and internet presence. Having them improves your online reputation and brand image by establishing you as a reliable source of knowledge in your sector. 

  1. Originality thrives on imagination. It’s about using your creativity to craft unique and captivating content.
  2. When you develop your ideas, free from imitation, you flourish. Your brand voice gets heard, not an echo of others.
  3. Authenticity is key. Original content reflects your genuine thoughts, perspectives, and efforts.

Types Of SEO Plagiarism

Content plagiarism

 “Google has many algorithms to go after such behaviors and demote site scraping content from other sites.” Duy Nguyen, member of the Google Search Quality Team.²

No one starts any writing online to plagiarize others. However, with the absence of an in-depth understanding of the subject and easy access to online sources, you might resort to harmless borrowing of ideas. But these can have serious consequences. The most common types of SEO Plagiarism are

Accidental Palagiarism

It occurs when a writer mistakenly reuses already published content in a new text. This is primarily due to neglect, missing quotation marks, bad citation, or unsuitable rephrasing. Despite being unintentional, it is a serious act. 

Duplicating other’s writing is particularly common in academic settings, as students must gather relevant knowledge about their assigned themes and apply it to compose research papers and academic assignments. However, many of them mistakenly use identical phrases or lines without properly citing the source, resulting in plagiarism.

Scenarios involving accidental plagiarism seen in papers, essays, and articles:

  • Not citing a source appropriately.
  • Misattribution of an idea from a source.
  • Reusing a sentence structure with only a few changes
  • Using a quote or thinking without reference.
  • Not putting quotation marks around quotes
  • Paraphrasing an idea without reference.


The majority of them are easily avoidable—with adequate note-taking and citation.


It is a kind of plagiarism because it includes reworking text from another website. The readers see no new or unique value in the content. This type of plagiarism SEO is popular among authors, mainly anonymous ones who work for a low fee. When a writer is proficient in paraphrasing, the text will pass plagiarism checks. 

Nonetheless, it remains unethical or unlawful. It is terrible for SEO because there is no good content added, and if Google deems your content to be lacking in uniqueness, it will rank it poorly or, worse, omit it from ranking.

Are Patch-Writing And Paraphrasing The Same?

Not really, Patchwriting simply rearranges an author’s previous thoughts. Paraphrasing, on the other hand, requires you to express what was already expressed in the original text using your own words.


Let’s understand this with an example

Honeybees play a vital role in the ecosystem, pollinating plants and contributing to food production.

  • Patchwriting: Honeybees are very important in the ecosystem because they pollinate plants which helps with food production.

This example keeps the same sentence structure and uses simpler synonyms, making it easily detectable as patchwriting.

  • Paraphrasing: Honeybees are vital pollinators in the ecosystem, ensuring the reproduction of plants and contributing significantly to global food production.

This paraphrase adds details and rephrases the sentence while conveying the same information.

Copy-and-Paste or Direct Plagiarism

Copy and paste plagiarism is a type of academic dishonesty in which a person uses someone else’s work, whether written text, photographs, or any other type of information, without properly crediting the original author.


This sort of direct plagiarism entails directly copying and pasting chunks of another person’s work into their own paper or project without making any changes or adding their unique ideas.


This immoral behavior can lead to serious consequences, including 


  • Academic sanctions such as failing grades, suspension, or even expulsion from a school or institution.
  • In the professional environment, it harms a person’s reputation and job opportunities.
  • It undermines the essential ideals of honesty, integrity, and originality in academic and professional writing.

The table shows an instance of direct plagiarism.


Original Content Copy-Paste/Direct Plagiarized Content
Still Here

by Langston Hughes

‘Still here’ by Langston Hughes is a poem that is grounded in varying grammar concepts to indicate weariness through struggle and clarity after the struggle concludes.

‘Still Here’ explores adversity through the speaker’s recounting of harsh elements and personal struggles. The poem symbolizes adversity with wind, snow, and sun, representing challenges that attempt to break the speaker’s spirit. Despite these adversities, the poem celebrates resilience and perseverance, emphasizing the strength to endure and overcome obstacles in life’s journey.

The sections in red font display the part of the content directly copied from the source.

This poetic piece is based on several grammar elements to convey exhaustion during the battle and clarity aftermath of the crisis.

‘Still Here’ explores adversity through the speaker’s recounting of harsh elements and personal struggles. The poem uses wind, snow, and sun to signify misfortune, which tries to crush the speaker’s spirit. Despite these challenges, the poem glorifies tenacity and endurance, stressing the ability to endure and conquer hurdles along life’s journey.


Mosaic Plagiarism

As the name implies, this combines numerous small fragments from various sources. This sort of plagiarism involves taking certain copy-paste chunks and paraphrasing others before combining them without quotation marks or citations. It may also take some passages, either direct or paraphrased, from several writers and combine them without crediting sources.

This sort of plagiarism takes more effort, yet without citing sources, it is still academic dishonesty and does not exhibit much original work. You, as the writer, are focusing all of your work on finding words that someone else has already used, rather than figuring out what you want to say about your issue.



In original content, sentences are phrased in the writer’s own words with proper citation for factual information. However in the plagiarised content key phrases and some sentences are directly copied from sources without quotation marks ([Source A], [Source C], etc.).


Original Text Mosaic Plagiarism Text
Fast fashion’s allure lies in its ability to deliver trendy clothing at budget-friendly prices. However, this convenience masks a darker side: the industry’s substantial environmental toll. According to a recent report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the fashion industry contributes a staggering 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of wastewater discharge [1]. These figures paint a stark picture of the environmental burden fast fashion carries. The fast fashion industry’s reliance on synthetic materials like polyester, derived from fossil fuels, contributes significantly to environmental problems. [2]. Fast fashion has become a global phenomenon, offering trendy clothes at super-low prices [Source A]. But this convenience comes at a big cost to the environment [Source A]. It’s one of the world’s worst polluters [Source A]. A 2021 report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of wastewater discharge [Source B].

These numbers show just how bad fast fashion is for the environment. The clothes are made with synthetic materials like polyester, which come from fossil fuels [Source A]. A 2021 report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation highlights this concern. They suggest that the fashion industry is responsible for a staggering 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of wastewater discharge [Source B].

Self Plagiarism

This is when you replicate your own written pieces on many domains. This can still cause content SEO issues, even if it is your content. Repurposing or recycling content is perfectly OK, however reusing previously submitted or published work is not.


 For example, you may submit one of your previous blogs as original content for a paid guest blogging opportunity. Even if you rework or restate any of the information, it will still be considered self-plagiarism.

How To Avoid Plagiarism

The saying goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but in the context of writing, it can land you in trouble. The path to original and insightful writing isn’t about avoiding inspiration altogether. It’s about learning from those who have come before you – while carving your own unique path.

Follow these key tips to prevent content plagiarism

  • Ask yourself: “How can I build upon this concept? What new perspective can I offer?”
  •  Truly understand the source material and express it in your own words.
  •  Paraphrase without changing the meaning of the concept itself. 
  • Always cite the sources.


Plagiarism SEO: Solutions for Different Categories


Plagiarism Category Solutions
Accidental Plagiarism Every writer must check for plagiarism before uploading or sharing their work with clients.
Patch-writing Ask yourself: “Can I write this concept with my own perspective and add any personal experience?”  Unsure? Then cite the source.
Copy-paste  Improve your critical thinking skills! Analyze sources, comprehend their arguments, and then present them in your POV.
Mosaic Plagiarism Effortlessly track information origin for accurate citation. Even with good paraphrasing, credit the original source of the idea.
Self Plagiarism Treat your prior work like any other source – cite it whenever you reuse content, be it data, ideas, or even quotes from yourself.

Aim for distinct methods, results, and discussions in each work.

AI And Plagiarism

Plagiarism, the act of stealing someone else’s work and passing it off as your own, is a pervasive issue in today’s digital age. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, plagiarism has become even more effortless and widespread. AI-powered content generators can produce articles, essays, and even creative writing in a matter of seconds, making it easier than ever to copy and paste without attribution.

This poses a significant problem for educators, researchers, and content creators alike, as it undermines the principles of originality, creativity, and intellectual property rights.

content plagiarism

Can I Check Content Plagiarism Without Any Tools?

Yes, the manual methods listed below can help. However, they can’t guarantee complete detection.

  • Phrases and Structure: Pay attention to how information is presented in your sources. If you find yourself using similar phrasing or sentence structure extensively, it might be a sign of unintentional plagiarism.
  • Develop a Citation System: Choose a citation style and consistently use it throughout your work. This helps you track your sources and avoids accidental plagiarism.
  • Review Past Work: If you’re reusing content from your own work, cite yourself appropriately to avoid self-plagiarism. Avoid heavy reliance on previously published work. Provide fresh content and insights in each new piece.

For comprehensive plagiarism detection, using online checkers is highly recommended.

What Is Not Plagiarism?

Identifying the line between using existing information and outright plagiarism can be tricky. Refer below to understand what does not constitute plagiarism:

  • Common Knowledge

Facts widely known and readily available in multiple sources are considered common knowledge. If a truth appears in three or more sources, it is not plagiarism.

Example: The Earth revolves around the sun.

  • Original Ideas and Opinions

Your own thoughts, analysis, and interpretations are not considered plagiarism. 


Example: While the negative effects of climate change are well-documented, I believe a focus on sustainable technology offers the most promising solution.


  • Properly Cited Material

 When you use another person’s work, whether a quote, paraphrase, or summary, as long as you provide proper attribution, it’s not plagiarism.


  • Public Domain Content

This includes government publications, expired patents, and works with expired copyrights, which can be used without authorization.


  • Using erroneous citations 

Spelling an author’s name incorrectly, forgetting or mistyping an element in a reference list item, or citing a source in the text without a corresponding reference list entry. However, the error must be minimal and traceable to an editing oversight rather than a deliberate attempt to steal someone’s ideas.


Common Tools To Avoid Plagiarism 

By now you understand the importance of ethical writing.  We have compiled a list of common tools that assist writers in safeguarding the originality of their work.



It helps to prevent duplicate material, check originality, and track down content duplicates.



Copyleaks use advanced AI-based algorithms to easily detect similar words, paraphrased information, and plagiarism.



It checks content against published sources, provides plagiarism reports, protects anonymity, and assists students in writing papers or essays. 


Small SEO Tools

It is a free and reliable tool to detect plagiarism in your writing.  It offers a document view for easy identification of copied content.



This allows users to check for plagiarism without any cost. The interface is straightforward, allowing for quick checks.

Copyright Infringement And Plagiarism 

Both of them share a common thread: utilizing creative efforts that belong to someone else. But they are distinct concepts. Copyright infringement falls under the body of law. It protects creators from unauthorized use of their work. 

Plagiarism, on the other hand, is an ethical violation, a failure to properly credit borrowed ideas or expressions. Steer clear of copyright infringement by ensuring you have the green light from the copyright holder before using their work. Also, give proper credit when using copyrighted material.

How Seo Inventiv Can Help?

Plagiarized content drips your website ranking to the bottom of Search Engine Results Page. It not only gets you penalized by Google, but it also conveys the wrong message to your target audience. If customers believe you are taking content from other sites, they may lose trust in you and refuse to return to your site in the future.


Our team of SEO professionals can assist you in creating high-quality material that avoids the pitfalls of plagiarism while also improving your website’s ranking.


Contact us now to get started!

Shalini Rella
Shalini Rella
With more than two years of dedicated expertise, Shalini has established a reputation as a pioneering figure within the SEO industry. This acclaimed author and perpetual learner has revolutionized numerous websites through meticulously crafted digital marketing strategies, leveraging profound insights and a forward-thinking approach. Her groundbreaking articles on SEO and digital marketing are featured in over 100+ publications. Her commitment to sharing knowledge has garnered her widespread recognition as the ultimate authority in this field.
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Shalini Rella
Shalini Rella
With more than two years of dedicated expertise, Shalini has established a reputation as a pioneering figure within the SEO industry. This acclaimed author and perpetual learner has revolutionized numerous websites through meticulously crafted digital marketing strategies, leveraging profound insights and a forward-thinking approach. Her groundbreaking articles on SEO and digital marketing are featured in over 100+ publications. Her commitment to sharing knowledge has garnered her widespread recognition as the ultimate authority in this field.

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