Why Copying Content is bad and Tips on producing quality content

copied content article
21st Aug, 2018
John Wright Author Profile Photo John Wright
This blog post is written more out of frustration than anything else. I am currently helping someone with their website for SEO and their idea of producing quality content involves copying it from another website and publishing on their own.

Now before I go into detail let me state that this person says they plan to email the authors to get permission to publish their content, which in theory makes it ok from a legal point of view but in terms of having quality content this doesn't make the cut.

Perhaps the main reason for wanting to avoid doing such a thing is pissing off the big G: Google.

 Google claims they want to make the internet a better place and in most cases they sometimes do.


In the past, nothing has been worse than having a website copy all of your content and outranking you for that.

Google in theory does want to help ensure that people who either steal content or take it from other websites are not rewarded.

In the past sometimes this worked so well that people made their own robot programs to just automatically steal content and load it on websites and in many cases collect money from adsense.

You can get all the permissions you want but there are too many reasons why this is just a very poor way of generating content.


How much time are you going to spend tracking down authors and emailing for their permission?

Many authors you contact are probably not going to read your email or respond.


Also many who get this request are going to say either 'hell no' or 'wtf you want to publish my article on your website so you can make money off of it?'.

So this route you can expect not everyone to respond and many responses to be no.

Even if you get someone to say yes they might take their time replying or get chatty on you.

Giving something in return:

For those that do say yes expect a small percentage to blindly say yes and expect nothing back in return.

Expect more to ask for something in return and one thing we can expect is a link back.

So a link back isn't so bad but it is helping their website at your expense. This isn't really a great gain here.

Copying Content is bad for SEO:

If the topic is very competitive then you should expect your pages featuring copied content to not rank at all.

Now I am sure there are some sad examples out there where some webmasters are still getting away with this and getting traffic from it but on average, expect poorer results with copied content.

If the topic is not competitive then you might actually still get some rankings for the content but of course in theory you will probably never be ranked #1 for those pages.

No matter how you cut it, copying content is bad for SEO.

Search engines know when your copied content was created and when the original author's content was published first.

On top of this with the latest in rich snippets to help authors do better in search engines, you won't really be able to just integrate this as you are not the author of that content and you'll be lucky if you can add rich snippets for those pages specifically to display them as the author.

Tips on producing quality content

Ok so we know copying content is not a good thing to do and is probably a waste of time. What are some tips of generating good quality content?


Interviews are easier to do over email or phone than emailing someone asking to just copy their content.

The person being interviewed usually has to spend a bit more of their time helping with the content.

Of course if they are a professional in any field, you'll want to give them some incentive for their time and promote them in anyway or their company. Interviews should benefit both parties, you as the webmaster for getting unique original content and the interviewee whom gets rewarded for their time for some publicity and exposure.

Guest Authors

Most authors prefer to get paid for their work but also many authors know that to get their name out, they might have to volunteer their writing services on a few platforms.

For them this builds their portfolio and if they have something to sell in the process than this is their platform.

If you want guest authors you have to track them down and do a lot of calling or emailing but this is a great way to get quality content on your site and as well offering a platform for the author to use your site to help them as well.


I consider rewriting to be closer along the lines to copied content and not really recommended.

If you are going to take the news source and spin it off as your own, try your best to credit the original source of the information and if possible add your spin and opinion to the matter to make the content a bit more unique.

Writing your own content

If you are a webmaster you should try to write your own content unless you have an editor as a partner that is really good at this.

For some people writing content isn't easy but something you can get very good at quality with a bit of practice and a bit of research on what makes writing worth reading and sharing.

When it comes to being a webmaster I believe it is key to network with other webmasters to ask them for tips and tricks on how to produce great content.

The ideas are nearly infinite and you'll find the most successful websites tend to have the best content and more original ideas.

If you are not fast at writing content, this is a skill you can learn with practice and a bit of research on how to become a good writer.

The person in question about this blog post questioned the ability or purposes of writing 200-300 words in 10 minutes.

Well this article is over 1100 words long and took 20 minutes to write which included phone call and email interruptions.

If you are taking hours to produce a 500 word article that isn't worth reading, sharing or doesn't feature extensive research then either you are doing something wrong, or you need to find an editor or you are in the wrong business to begin with.


If you ever thought about copying someone else's content, think twice.

In 2013 and beyond, google is doing a better job as a search engine to reward original authors of content and to punish other webmasters that steal content.

Even if you get permission to use someone else's content, a search engine wouldn't know if you had permission or not unless you constantly linked to the original source of the article.

Of course without permission things can get worse from you, just have a look at this article on how not to steal content:


21st Aug, 2018
John Wright