… I can’t say I’m surprised that Greg opted to forgo an award this week…
One of the things that my team at Move did was send out “plagiarism” notices to agents if we noticed they were posting non-original content on the REALTOR.com blogging platform. We tried to phrase it nicely so as to encourage good content and let agents know that if they started writing good stuff they *could* get featured on the Let’s Talk blog (pretty much the only carrot at my team’s disposal).
Nonetheless, every once in a while we would get a defense of stolen content that was not only adamant, but borderline comical. For example, we had multiple people tell us they had licensed the use of blog posts from RCG, BHB or the REZ (definitions), while others would claim their content was “unique” because they had flipped the order of paragraphs or merged two articles (often with only slightly comprehensive results).
While there are some services out there that will help you determine if an article is plagiarized, here is an easy way to do it using Google:
- Copy-and-paste the first 10 words or so from a random paragraph in an article. (For no good reason other than she was recently featured, I’ll choose this article by Elizabeth Weintraub). The words I choose were “But in other parts of the country, especially those where” out of the second paragraph.
- Add a quote mark to the front of the string and do a Google search [“But in other parts of the country, especially those where]. The quote mark ensures the only results that get returned will be with words that appear in that particular order.
- In this case, the only results returned are from Elizabeth’s AR blog, so it almost definitely her original content. And while duplicating her stuff on AR and the RDC Featured Blog is probably not helping her SEO out, at least it is not plagiarized.
I think it is also worth noting that all of the search engines have really improved in getting the spam out of their results. It used to be that if you took a popular article from RCG and did a similar search, the results would be filled with spammy sites… Not so anymore on Google, Yahoo or MSN.