How Can Copyright Infringement Affect Your SEO

Any experienced entrepreneur will tell you that good SEO is the essence of having your business grow and stay afloat. If you don’t develop time, energy, and resources to improve your SEO and keep up with the latest trends, you won’t be in the game for long. One of the things that can damage your SEO is copyright infringement. This is something you should be extra careful with and something which will give you headaches if it’s not taken care of properly. Most people don’t think this kind of content is relevant because they don’t think anyone will pay attention to it or now it might be subjected to copyright. Yet, the internet is a cruel place which adheres to honesty, no matter how contradictive that might sound.

1. What constitutes as copyright infringement

Essentially, what we’re talking about here is duplicate content. This means that the content on your site is exactly or almost exactly the same as content on another website. This can also refer to the same content on your site but on different pages. For example, if you have multiple landing pages for geotagging and only the locations are different, leaving the content the same but only changing the title clutters your site.

Now more than ever, it’s important for businesses to fill each page with interesting and quality content as SEO systems are advancing. The AI’s are now able to recognize the quality of your content just by how people are responding to it and what they understand in a given context. That’s why there’s no room for laziness. Each page should have its own specific content created, regardless of how similar it is to another page.

2. Why is this an issue

It might be questionable why duplicate content is even an issue, especially if you’re just copying from yourself. It’s very logical though, no one likes working hard for something only to have it stolen by other people. When it comes to copying from yourself, it’s a question of downgrading the quality of your website and cluttering it with useless information.

Finally, this is an issue because it confuses search engines. They don’t know how to rank sites. This is both applicable to the scenario of someone else having the same page as you and you duplicating your own content. How does Google know which page is better if they’re almost identical? In turn, this comes back to the lower quality of content we’ve mentioned and ruins business for everyone.

3. How can you get rid of duplicate content on your website

It can be hard to get rid of duplicate content, especially if you’ve already filled your site to the brim. It takes time to filter through all the information and make sure nothing is copied. This is why it’s advisable to be thorough from the start. The safest way to ensure there is no duplicate content is to avoid it in the first place.

You can also have a team dedicated to filtering through your website and deleting everything not up to standard. It might be tedious work, but checking content and tags is necessary. It’s better to create lists of pages you need to work on and fix the problem gradually. Have 301 redirects set up, as well. These signals are transmitted to Google and can help bots crawl your site more effectively. Remember how we said search engines don’t know which page to rank higher if they’re identical? 301 redirects can help solve this issue and point the bots in the right direction.

4. What to do if you see your content on another page

Aside from accidentally or purposely using someone else’s content on your page, it’s also possible for your content to end up on another site. This is a matter that shouldn’t be ignored as it will put your firm in the same basket as the copycats and down-rank both of your SEO’s. If you see misleading and deceptive content on another page that’s actually your own, you have the legal right to take action.

The most important thing is for your content to be protected by copyright. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to contact your lawyer and file a lawsuit. Still, before it comes to that, you might try to contact the other firm. Tell them they’re violating your copyright and give them a short deadline to fix it before you call your lawyer. Most firms will oblige and you’ll save yourself the hassle of going to court while keeping your SEO pristine.

5. What are the consequences of using content subjected to copyright

Much like in the opposite scenario, the firm you’ve copied your content off of has the legal right to take action. It’s in everyone’s interest to avoid these situations and keep their SEO in check. The penalties could be grave for your business. If Google takes action, your site could end up appearing much lower in the search query or even be excluded from the search completely.

This is a terrible blow to every company which relies mostly on online searches to gain more business. A mistake like copyright infringement can very likely cost you your business. This is why you should take action to ensure all your content is original and that everything you’ve promoted on other sites is legitimate. The more genuine you are and the fewer shortcuts you take, the more trustworthy you are and the more authority you have online. In turn, this shows you in the top search results, makes your business flourish, and keeps your SEO up and running smoothly.

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s very important to pay attention to the type of content you post on your site. Whether your content falls to copyright or not can be the difference between success and failure. Your team should be up to date with your content policies and stick to them. This is the only way to ensure you’re continually providing quality and trustworthy content, and thus building your authority as a firm.

Bio: David Koller is a passionate blogger and copywriter for Media Gurus, mainly interested in SEO and Digital Marketing.