In a Webmaster video published in December 2013, Matt Cutts advised to avoid the practice of creating articles by copying sections from individual articles on multiple sites. He said this when responding to the question, “Can a site still do well in Google if I copy only a small portion of content from different websites and create my own article by combining all, considering I mention the source of that content (by giving the relevant URLs in the article)?” Cutts says Yahoo calls this technique ‘stitching’ and considers it as spam. So what’s really essential for effective SEO content writing?
Cutts cites several examples of “stitching” in the Webmaster video such as copying two or three sentences from one article, then another and so on, taking a bunch of excerpts and writing a single line after each one. According to him, if all that you do is taking quotes from others, then there would be no added value for those articles. It’s just like watching a clip show on TV when you actually want the original visual content.
However, he adds that it is possible to generate good content from different sources if you synthesize content taken from each source in your own way rather than a mere copy paste. He gives the example of Wikipedia to explain this. If you take a look at a Wikipedia article about a particular topic, you can find the sources listed at the end of the article. Instead of a copy paste, Wikipedia synthesizes the content taken from those sources by summarizing it or presenting it in a neutral manner.
So, how can you create unique content that appeals to both readers and search engines? Here are some effective tips you could consider.
- Avoid Plagiarism – Do not copy paste content from other articles. It is copyright violation, which will damage your websiteâ€™s reputation and ruin your credibility. Be creative and present the core information given in the external articles in your own style. You can add quotes from eminent personalities as such, but donâ€™t stitch an entire article from such quotes like Cutts said in the video.
- Link to Sources – You can place no-follow links to sources in your articles to add credibility to what you have said in your article. For example, if you are writing about a latest research paper, you can place a link to original research paper or if you are writing about a new product of a company, you can add a link to company’s press release about that product.
- Try to Remain Neutral – Unless you are utterly sure of something, better not offer either positive or negative opinions. Give an unbiased view as far as possible.
- Dedicate Some Time for Proofreading – Before posting the content on your website or blog, take time to review it and make sure that your content is accurate and up to date. Proofreading is very essential to identify the mistakes you make while writing. It will also help to detect plagiarism to some extent.
- Use Plagiarism Checker Tools – You can check plagiarism on your articles effectively with plagiarism checker tools. Copyscape, Viper Anti-Plagiarism Scanner, and Plagium are some of efficient tools available.
If you are a busy professional having limited time to implement these techniques, you can seek help from a professional SEO company that offers web content writing services so that you can develop good quality content free from plagiarism.