Sitting at my trusty keyboard, waiting for the ping of an idea there’s a couple of questions about this copywriting vs not copy my writing thing. Firstly, when is an original thought not an original thought? Well, unless you are a 21st century equivalent of Plato or you’ve won the Nobel Prize for having the time to have an original thought, it probably never is.
Face up to it. Most of the time what we are doing is recycling. At best you might add a personal perspective, but that’s probably the only thing. Now, don’t think I’m being harsh because your view on this really depends on who you are. Not everyone regards Copy My Writing with the same fervour as an international criminal court prosecutor chucking the book at someone for crimes against humanity.
True if you’re a modern day William Shakespeare or perhaps a J K Rowling (Harry Potter lady – sold a few volumes) then the work on the page is yours and yours alone. You’ll not want anyone else benefiting from the beads of sweat on your brow.
Similarly if your are emeritus Professor of Something-or-otherology you’ll be worried about Copy My Writing (lets go with CMW from now on) because you are truly in the business of original thought. Group work for you is fine but collusion, or gasp, horror the big P, that’s plagiarism to you and me , chills the very blood in your veins. With all this stuff on the internet, unscrupulous students can copy and paste and without so much as a hint at anything original the world of academia grinds to a halt coz there’re no new ideas being thought up.
But what if you are a freelance content provider and have a bevy of beautiful websites all displaying your content. Do you need to worry about CMW? Time for another question me thinks. In the content of the interweb thingy, plagiarism is a bad thing because? Well from where I’m typing it’s because Google (and the others) say so, but I’m not sure I’m happy with them making the moral judgement on my behalf. Look a bit closer and all this copy my writing debate looks a bit like the Googles of this world being rather self-serving.
Search engines make their money because you want to use them to find things to buy, places to go and services to use. You won’t bother using them if when you type in your query the answers you get are full of twaddle so it’s in Google’s interest to make sure that content is fresh, lively and interesting. Fresh, lively and interesting are a bit hard to guarantee at the moment so they stick with unique content.
So if you put up content on the internet that is not unique, or plagiarised, then Google will penalize you and your site will be moved down the rankings, or at least will progress no further upwards. But if you ensure your work unique before it is posted (we’ll come to how shortly) you’ll not be impacted negatively in the rankings. So dare I say, let Google worry about those who copy your work, all you need concern yourself with is the uniqueness of your freelance writing pieces.
There are any number of content checkers out there that do a very good job of double checking your work against everything else that’s posted. Do a Google on “plagiarism checker” and see what comes up. Industry standards are applications such as Copyscape and Grammarly and they don’t knock a big hole in your wallet either.
Now, here’s a bit of text you can plagiarize if you want to. “This text has been checked with Copyscape Premium for plagiarism and no results were found for the text (668 words)”. It’s a little pasting I place at the top of everything I send out to a client and it tells my client that I’ve taken the rouble to check my work for uniqueness and it seems to be appreciated. Feel free, use it.