It is crucial that freelance writers perform a plagiarism check before submitting a final copy of their work. Many feel that, because they are creating content they know to be original, there is no need for such a service. However, even with 100% original content, it is possible for an article to be flagged for duplicate content.
Duplicate Content is Easily Detected EVEN When it Hasn't Been Plagiarized
It sometimes happens that freelance writers have the originality their work questioned. Primarily, this occurs when work is flagged after being passed through a site, such as Copyscape, which is routinely used to perform a plagiarism check. Most times, the actual problem isn't a copyright infringement, but merely a case of common wording that the author didn't think would cause an alert. For example, the author may have written about a concert and included the artist's name, the name of the concert venue, its street address and the concert's date. While the rest of the article may have been written entirely in the author's own words, all Copyscape detects is that it the exact arrangement of words have been used in other articles appearing across the web. Therefore, an alert is issued that there is a possibility of infringement.
The Plagiarism Checker Has the Final Word
Often, duplicates like these don't show up during a plagiarism check, however. And, for this reason, many assume this will always be the case. These individuals continue to include common text in future articles until, one day, a client complains or an article is rejected because it has not passed Copyscape.
Misunderstanding Creates Conflict
Of course, this becomes the point when many authors rage in defense of their work. Writers are highly offended at the mere suggestion that they have stolen someone else's work. After all, freelance writers invest valuable time crafting original content and nothing rubs a writer rougher than having those efforts belittled and labeled as, of all things, unoriginal.
The truth of the matter, however, is that the one doing the plagiarism check didn't compare the writer's content to the content that was published first. In fact, they probably didn't look much further than the initial results offered by the plagiarism checker. They didn't read through to discover that the actual alert referenced something as simple as a concert information within an otherwise unique article. All that they know is that the plagiarism checker detected duplicate content.
Check for Plagiarism to Safegaurd SERPs
Performing a plagiarism check is especially important for freelance writers specialize in SEO copy. Those who do, understand how duplicate content can affect one's search engine ranking. Though duplicate content isn't rejected or outright penalized by search engines, content may still be adversely affected with a low ranking. Once again, the powers that be haven't taken the time to actually read the content and analyze the areas of duplication. Of course, this is unlikely to happen with something as small as the concert venue example above, but it can happen if the percentage of duplicate content rises above a certain percentage.
Though Copyscape is one of the more widely used sites for performing a plagiarism check, there are others. Many plagiarism checker sites even offer their service for free. However, because the cost for premium service is so low at Copyscape and because they are deemed to be highly reliable, freelancers are advised to make a minimal investment here. After all, this is also the one most likely used by the end client, too. Whichever is used, though, in making a habit of performing a plagiarism check before submitting each and every article, freelancers can eliminate the likelihood of the originality of their work being questioned.