Imagine what it would be like for your firm:
You apply an identical complaint from one case to the next. You communicate the same cause of action for every client you agree to help, ignoring the unique facts and damages of the case.
How would duplicating a petition be in your client’s best interest?
It wouldn’t be. And doing so would wreak havoc on your reputation.
Word would spread about your unprofessionalism, and clients might file complaints with your state’s Bar Association – penalties no lawyer wants to face.
Just as you can face penalties in real life, you can face penalties for participating in unethical practices online. And while your wrongdoing may be virtual, the consequences can affect your entire world. After all, your website is an extension of you and your firm.
So how do you avoid getting yourself into real trouble online?
Don’t plagiarize or duplicate content.
Whether you’re self-plagiarizing or copying other people’s content, SEO plagiarism can result in your website disappearing from people’s search results.
This means potential clients won’t find your information, and you’ll fall further and further behind your competitors.
Learn how to avoid SEO plagiarism so you can spend time changing lives with huge settlements instead of paying a small fortune to reverse a penalty by the search engines.
What is self-plagiarism?
Self-plagiarism is when you copy large blocks of text from one page on your site, use it on another, and publish it as a fresh page.
This tactic is considered plagiarism, even if you were the one who wrote it in the first place.
Does plagiarism affect SEO?
Plagiarism negatively affects your site’s performance because search engines reward new, valuable legal website content. They use highly refined algorithms to promote quality information.
These algorithms also determine when something was published and by whom. And using this information, search engines identify plagiarism.
How much plagiarism is allowed in SEO?
There isn’t a defined percentage of plagiarism allowed in law firm SEO. This is because algorithms are largely private and change frequently.
If we look to Google, it doesn’t give us a definite answer.
According to the official Google plagiarism SEO guidelines…
From Google Search Central:
[When] Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll make appropriate adjustments in the [ranking] of the sites involved.
The ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.”
Google penalizes websites with duplicate content by making their pages less visible – or invisible – in search results.
How to avoid SEO Plagiarism
Minimalize similar content
If you want to write pages with similar content, think about ways you can differentiate each page. Highlight distinct areas or go into greater detail on different topics to set your pages apart.
Or consider combining your pages into one.
For example, say you have a page for your ‘car accident’ practice area, and you’re thinking about adding a ‘ride-share accident’ page.
You can add ride-share accident details to your existing page or expand separate pages using unique content.
Use plagiarism SEO tools
You can use several online plagiarism SEO tools to check for SEO problems in your content.
Grammarly is a popular, easy-to-use (and free!) SEO tool for plagiarism. It allows you to copy and paste your text into the editor to see how much of it is already published online.
Copyscape is a credits-based SEO plagiarism checker. It scans your text to identify if any of it already exists on the internet and on what site.
These tools help you catch duplicate text before publishing content. This way, you can make any necessary adjustments and avoid consequences.
Hire a professional legal content writing team
Ultimately, there’s no way around SEO plagiarism other than creating unique content.
And at We Do Web, that’s all we do. We’re a law firm content marketing team that doesn’t use tricks or techniques to try and get around search engine algorithms.
We’re fully transparent and have nothing to hide. Our content speaks for itself in Google’s search results.
Call (954) 425-9081 or reach out to us here and let yourself focus solely on the real world.
Be sure to check out our glossary of content marketing terms to deepen your marketing strategy knowledge.
Yvette Valencia is the Latina founder and CEO2 of We Do Web Content, a content marketing agency for law firms and one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private businesses in America. She’s a 14-year content marketing veteran and Six Sigma-certified Green Belt credited with developing the proven (and repeatable) process for creating top-ranking website content at scale for attorneys.