Everybody claims that plagiarism can harm a website or any online business. But no one focuses on its ‘how’ part. So, if you are looking for how plagiarism can harm an online business, you have arrived at the right place.
Here, we’ll discuss the real-life factors to prove our claim of how plagiarism can harm an online business. However, we’ll start this guide from scratch because we want to make this guide equally suitable for beginners and pros. So, without any further ado, let’s delve into this discussion.
What Is Plagiarism?
The term ‘plagiarism’ refers to duplicating information from an existing source without adding its reference. This definition indicates that copying information from a source doesn’t become plagiarism as long as you fulfill the criteria to make it plagiarism-free.
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What are the common types of Plagiarism?
The concept of plagiarism may seem simple from its definition. But it’s a lot more complex, as plagiarism has several types. So, before discussing the effects of plagiarism, it is essential to understand the different kinds of plagiarism.
1. Clone Plagiarism:
As the name of this type indicates, clone plagiarism refers to directly copying the work from an existing source and claiming it as your own. This type of plagiarism is also known as direct plagiarism. Hence, it is the most common kind of plagiarism.
Clone plagiarism will occur even after citing the source. So, to avoid this type of plagiarism, you must enclose the cloned information and cite its source.
2. Paraphrasing Plagiarism:
This form of textual plagiarism occurs when you include information from multiple sources and modify its structure. However, unlike clone plagiarism, paraphrasing plagiarism will only happen if you don’t cite the included information sources.
3. Idea Plagiarism:
As the name of this plagiarism type depicts, it occurs when you borrow an idea or solution from an existing source and claim it as your own. This type of plagiarism mainly occurs in research papers.
This type of plagiarism occurs when a writer includes information from his previously published work without acknowledging its source. It is also known as recycle-plagiarism.
5. Accidental Plagiarism:
As the name of this plagiarism type depicts, it occurs when an author forgets to include the reference of included information.
6. 404 Error:
This kind of plagiarism occurs when a writer cites some references, but the sources are invalid. So, when someone clicks on an invalid source, the browser will give a 404 error.
Effects of Plagiarism on an E-commerce Business:
Nowadays, it has become common for e-commerce business owners to copy the picture or description of a product from the internet. Doing so will fall under plagiarism.
But plagiarism, whether it is in the form of text or image, can harm any e-commerce business in different ways. So, let’s discuss a few factors to understand the impacts of plagiarism on an online business.
1. Harms the Repute of the Brand:
Generally, people turn to the internet to find solutions to their problems. Therefore, they always prefer information from credible sources. And the only way to become a credible source in a particular niche is to provide unique and high-quality services.
However, if you duplicate the information from existing materials, it will affect the reputation of your brand. That’s because the audience can instantly identify that copied information.
2. Increases Bounce Rate:
Since the audience can instantly identify the copied information, they are the best judges. Therefore, if you include duplicated information on your website or e-commerce store, your target audience will instantly leave your platform. This behavior will increase the bounce rate of your website, which is a killer for any online business.
3. Loss of Potential Customers:
With the increased facilities through technology, people’s demands have also increased. Therefore, nowadays, shoppers prefer quality and unique information.
But if you plagiarize information on your platform, you won’t be able to fulfill their expectations. Hence, you’ll lose your potential customers eventually.
4. Loss of Potential Investors:
According to a study, investment is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success. Therefore, startup owners are always on the lookout for potential investors.
However, no investor will be interested in your platform if it contains copied information. Therefore, as a startup owner, you should ensure that your platform contains enough high-quality and unique material to attract investors. Otherwise, your online business won’t be able to make its mark over the web.
Unique and high-quality content has several benefits. And one of those benefits is a well-reputed brand.
People will want to link to your platform when you provide high-quality and unique content. However, this benefit is not available with plagiarized or copied information. So, suppose you include plagiarized information on your platform.
In that case, you will lose the opportunity to become a well-reputed brand and eventually, no one will want to link to your platform.
6. Blacklists Your Platform:
Besides producing content and providing services for target customers, you should also consider the satisfaction of search engines. And one of the ways to satisfy search engines is by producing unique content.
Like people, search engines also prefer unique content. So, to make a mark over the web with your business, you should focus on producing high-quality and unique content.
But if you take assistance from plagiarized information, search engines can blacklist your platform. And once a search engine has blacklisted your platform, your effort and investment will be in vain.
How to Avoid the Threat of Plagiarism?
So far, you may have understood how plagiarism can harm any platform over the web. Therefore, it is time to discuss the techniques to avoid the threat of plagiarism for text and images.
1. Start Working Early:
One of the ideal techniques to prevent your platform from plagiarism is to focus on unique content production.
Undoubtedly, it is challenging to produce something unique. But if you dig deep into the research phase, you can always create enough percentage of unique and quality content to rank your brand higher on search engines.
However, you can only dig deep into the research phase if you start working on your project early. Therefore, the first tip to keep plagiarism away from your platform is to start working early.
2. Rewrite the Material:
It is normal to get carried away during the research phase. However, you can always take assistance from rewriting.
It is the art of rewriting an existing idea in your words without changing its true meaning. So, if you want to take inspiration from existing work, you can rewrite its content.
Know more: The 4 R’s of Paraphrasing: Rephrase Text
But rewriting the content is not as simple as it sounds because it requires top-notch writing skills. Therefore, consider the following tips while rewriting the material.
Tips for Rewriting the Content:
- You can only produce a rewritten version of some text if you’ve understood its theme. So, the first step to paraphrasing or rewriting something is understanding the original text’s meaning and intent.
- When it comes to the actual rewriting phase, you can try different approaches. For instance, you can:
- Try a unique starting point for a paragraph.
- Modify the sentence structure.
- Try synonyms for some specific words.
- For modifying the sentence structure, you can take assistance from active to passive voice conversion or vice versa.
- Similarly, if the original text contains reverse conditional sentences, you can convert those sentences to inverted conditional sentences during rewriting.
- If you can’t find suitable synonyms for your content, you can take assistance from a thesaurus.
- If the above-discussed tips are challenging, you can take assistance from an AI-based article rewriter. Such a tool works on Natural Language Processing (NLP) and GPT-3 algorithms to rewrite the entered text as humans and without changing its context.
However, rewriting alone is not enough to avoid plagiarism. You will still have to cite the source of original information because rewriting something doesn’t make you its original owner.
3. Source Citation:
Whether you rewrite some existing information or include some info by enclosing it in double quotes, you must cite its source. Otherwise, the rewritten information or the information enclosed in double quotes will still come under plagiarism.
4. Try the Best Plagiarism Checkers:
Identification of plagiarism is essential for avoiding or removing plagiarism. So, in such a situation, you can take assistance from a plagiarism checker.
A plagiarism checker is a one-click plagiarism finder. Such a tool takes assistance from archived theses and data available on search engines to claim whether the entered text contains text plagiarism or not.
Moreover, a plagiarism checker will highlight plagiarism of every type whether it is intentional or unintentional.
The below picture demonstrates how a plagiarism checker shows the results of plagiarized and unique percentages of content after running a scan for plagiarism
Thus, if a plagiarism checker detects plagiarism in your content, you can try the above-discussed rewriting tips to rewrite the text.
Whether you want to run an e-commerce business or any other online business, quality is the key to its success. However, quality is not all about the quality of the material itself. Instead, it also refers to the uniqueness and originality aspect of the content.
But new business or startup owners often overlook the originality and uniqueness aspect. In fact, during the early stages of their business or startup, they believe they can trick search engines and prevent plagiarism. But this doesn’t happen. As a result, they lose all the effort and investment they have put into their startup.
Nowadays, search engines have become advanced. Therefore, they can instantly identify if you have illegally duplicated the material and can take serious action. But you can read the above discussion if you don’t know what those severe actions are.
The above discussion will teach you how plagiarism impacts any online business and the steps you should take to keep your business plagiarism-free. Thus, protecting your business from textual or other forms of plagiarism should be your priority.