In light of last’s month post outing now infamous (and new Internet meme) Ocean Marketing for plagiarizing from this very blog, I thought it was important to stress the importance of original content, which is imperative for online marketing success. Not only the foundation of good SEO, content also feeds your social media marketing campaign, builds your overall online presence and helps establish consumer trust in your brand. Content it far too important to outsource to cheap writers, and too closely intertwined with your brand to try to get away with plagiarizing.
Original content gets links.
Even if you have never actively engaged in any kind of offsite link building, chances are your website has developed a small link portfolio of natural links overtime. Maybe someone linked to a product page of your website, quoted you in a blog post or cited you in an article—these natural links came out of your original content. People link to content that they find funny, interesting, informative or useful. It’s hard to be any of those things when you’re stealing content from other sources and claiming it as your own.
Original content builds your reputation.
Especially in the B2B world, much of your online reputation is built upon the content you produce. Great, original content is how you prove to your target audience that you know your industry inside and out and shows how you can help them achieve their goals. If you get caught “borrowing” content from another website, you’ve effectively destroyed your online reputation. I heard a great line once about how the Internet never forgets—once the damage is done to your brand it’s nearly impossible to rebuild it. At some point, you have to start over completely and build an entirely new brand and hope your past actions don’t follow you.
Original content is how your site gets found.
The search engines rely on the content on your website or business blog to determine what search queries your brand will rank for. You want to create original content that is designed for your specific target audience, sets your site apart and helps your own your niche. Stealing content from other sites to build your own is like taking pieces from five different puzzles and trying to make a new picture—even if some of the pieces fit the final product isn’t going to look (or in this case read) right to your audience.
There is a big difference between republishing someone else’s blog post and citing them as the author versus copy-pasting that article to your own blog and trying to pass it off as your own. E-commerce sites , for instance, might rely heavily on consumer reviews to add content to their product pages, but they aren’t stealing that content. That content is being supplied by the end user and is reprinted with permission. Guest blog posts are a great way to round out a thin blog, but that doesn’t mean you get to post them without adding an author byline or bio of some kind, acknowledging that you aren’t the owner of that content.