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Plagiarism, The Pits For Article Marketers

Dec 7, 2007

You have written an article and placed it on your website or submitted it to some article directories. You come across an article directory that you have yet to use, sign up as a member and submit your article. A message appears stating that an article bearing that title has already been submitted to that directory. You take a look and find that it is your article with somebody else named as the author and their links in the resource box. How would you feel?


You submit your article to a directory and then get an email asking if the work is yours or even worse mistakenly accusing you of plagiarizing your own article. How annoyed would you be?

Plagiarize This!!

Plagiarism or copying somebody else's work and claiming it to be your own is illegal worldwide. Cheats are violating copyright and by placing plagiarized work on another's website they are putting the site owners at risk. I know that some article directory and opinion site owners have been threatened with the law for unknowingly accepting plagiarized work.

It is quite easy to spot most plagiarized work if you know what to look for, and once you have suspicions Google or Copyscape usually does the rest. As a directory owner I get hacked off with the amount of my time wasted checking suspicious articles when I could be working on improving my business.

At one point I got frustrated with the time wasted and placed a paragraph in red at the top of my article submission page stating that plagiarized work wasn't accepted and accounts would be deleted. The next day 27 plagiarized articles were submitted to the site. As that coincided with the day that I tried to stop smoking I was almost climbing the walls.

Some of the cheats have had their accounts deleted several times; they just sign up again and repeat the cheating process time after time. That is really taking the whiss and will probably have to be countered by blocking them. Some sign up with several accounts and submit plagiarized articles on each, probably hoping that at least one will get through.

Some submit articles with the true authors name at the end but their own links in the resource box. That still does not make it right, after all at the top of the article you see - by: authors name - if that name is different to the one at the end of the article and it is not the true authors alternative pen name and you do not use the true authors links it is still cheating.

One of my articles was plagiarized and submitted to another directory within a week of me writing it. You might say that it is a compliment; I say that it is annoying that I cannot submit my own article to that directory because some cheat has already placed it there. My email to that directory owner bounced back mmmm.

I understand that not everybody can write well enough to submit their work to article directories and benefit from article marketing, and I can understand them wanting to jump on the bandwagon of getting back links to their sites. I encountered the owner of a very low cost article writing service and am now recommending that service to the cheats.

I saw a post in a forum from a guy who has run an offline business for 20 years and has recently started up online. He said that he posted his own article to a directory and was accused of plagiarism because somebody had taken it from his website and posted it on his blog as his own work. The true writer was very angry and assumed that the way he was treated was the norm online. I assured him that it was not normal; that the directory owner had probably made a mistake because of the high amount of plagiarism that was being pushed at him.

I have sometimes wondered if because my article directory is relatively new the cheaters think that I am inexperienced at spotting them. If so they are mistaken, I was writing for opinion sites years ago and learned all of the signs then.

My favorite cheater was an elderly one-eyed lady from across the ocean. She stated that she sometimes took months to read a book because of her disability, yet she added book reviews to at least 3 different sites daily. She was suspended and banned from all of the sites but she was allowed back because of her friendliness and popularity.

She created quite a stir among site members on MSN one evening when she posted a review of the Kama Sutra. The first and last paragraph were obviously her own rather naive work, the rest a dry long worded piece nicked from an Amazon review.

I have not seen her around the Internet for a few months and funnily enough although she cheated regularly I miss not seeing her about and the often-amusing lengths that she would attempt to see her name at the head of articles or reviews.

What About PLR And Spinned Articles?

Apart from plagiarism there are PLR articles. Although PLR articles are free to use and call your own they do not qualify for the many article directories that want original content submitted by the authors or articles that have been especially written for them by copywriters.

Reality is that truly original articles will rarely be submitted to article directories first because it makes good business sense for writers to place them on their own site and then with as many article directories as they can. The articles are duplicated so many times that they lose originality.

If PLR articles are submitted under whatever name you can be sure they are about on the Internet under several different names and that directory owners will assume that you are trying to submit plagiarized work and probably delete your account.

Spinned articles are articles that have been reworked with software to provide many variations. Not a bad idea if they are your own articles but if you do that with somebody else's work whole sentences, part sentences or unique phrases remain and if they just happen to be picked at random for a search it takes longer for the directory owner to decide whether or not it is too much like the original article to accept, so the slightest sniff of a spinned article is a pain.

Getting Ideas From Other Articles

I read many articles and some make me want to write about the same subject but with a different slant or added information. Or I may want to improve upon an article that I've read.

For instance I declined an article about free advertising recently because it was too short (200 words) and very repetitive. The writer stated that there were too many advantages to free advertising to write about. My immediate thought was that the writer probably knew nothing about advertising free or not. I then thought about how I would write that article and made a few suggestions when I declined it. I may use those suggestions to write an article myself, so that short repetitive article generated an idea for me but it won't be copying.

Copying would be rewriting an article using the same format and ideas but slightly different words and sentences. Is it really worth it?

I welcome your comments; the points raised could affect all article writers and marketers in one way or another.
About the Author
Patricia Jones owns http://bb-articles.com and has just launched a new business at http://eprofitscentre.com There you get free digital downloads and much more! For information about creative writing visit http://www.creativewriter.me.uk
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