When the Content Isn’t Yours…Sourcing Website Content Appropriately

When the Content Isn’t Yours…Sourcing Website Content Appropriately

sourcing website content without stealingWe get it. Having refreshed content can be tedious, and is sometimes difficult to keep up. Nevertheless, it’s a necessity to keep your SEO rankings strong (among other things). Some website owners end up pulling their content from other websites, which is essentially plagiarism or theft. If you decide not to write your own original content but to use other sources, make sure you cover these basic rules when sourcing website content, to keep everything on the up-and-up:

  • Be sure to give credit where credit is due. Attribute any (short) verbatim material, quotes, references or statistics to their source – this should be done within the content, if you’re using parts of other sources within your own content, or as a footnote if you’re using for reference material.
  • Don’t just re-post full articles verbatim. Not only can this hurt your SEO by incurring duplicate content penalties, it’s also plagiarism if you’re seeming to claim it as your own.
  • Use other sources of content as an opportunity to voice your personal/professional opinion about content posted elsewhere. Cite the source and give a summary along with your opinion.  If adding a link to the source material, be sure to code it as a “nofollow” link for SEO purposes (unless you are specifically trying to help that linked website out with their SEO.)
  • You can use other sources of content to find new and interesting directions for the content on your own website by expanding, refuting or supporting someone else’s content. Start your post with a short quote or reference to the source material, and then let that springboard into your own fresh content.
  • While RSS feeds have fallen out of favor, some websites still offer them as a way of adding a “feed” of their content in shortened form onto your own website. This is similar to the now-common practice of including a Facebook feed on your website.
  • Your content does not need to be a direct link to your product or service every time – it can be something within your industry upon which you can comment intelligently. For example, if you’re a builder but you don’t do roofing, that doesn’t mean you can’t comment on someone’s post about getting a new roof or how to find a good roofer.  You’re providing a service to your readers because you’re an expert in the building industry.

Sourcing Website Content vs. Creating Your Own

Finally, if you’re still struggling to develop relevant new content for your website to keep it fresh, don’t hesitate to contact your web developer.  Most of us have content writers on staff (or on stand-by) to not only write great content, but also help in generating content ideas and formulating an appropriate tone (or “voice”) for your new content that will position you as an authority in your field.

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