Internal & External Plagiarism – How to Find, Fix and React?

Home » Internal & External Plagiarism – How to Find, Fix and React?

Internal & External Plagiarism – How to Find, Fix and React? January 14, 2020

Plagiarism, the act of stealing someone else’s intellectual property without giving due credit to the originator, has become a massive nuisance across the internet. To counter this theft, software programmers have researched, developed, and launched plagiarism detection solutions. However, their work has not finished as plagiarists keep finding new ways to plagiarize.

As there is no universal law to penalize and punish this form of theft, it’s left up to the originators of content, music, and programming code to counter this act. With the internet expanding rapidly, the plagiarism issue is growing and becoming a huge problem for the website owners. Their entire websites, including the theme, navigation bars, design, and content, are being stolen!

How Does Duplicate Content Occur?

In many cases, the use of duplicate content is not malicious or intentionally created. A recent study shows that 29% of websites face duplication issues.

Two common types of plagiarism encountered on the internet are:

  • Internal
  • External

Internal – On your website

URL variations

At times the same web page of your website is located in multiple places. For example, if you have an e-commerce site, an item like ‘hunting boots’ can be found both in the ‘Shoes’ section as well as in the ‘Sale’ section. It indicates that two URLs are displaying the same web page.

WWW vs. non-WWW pages

Your website has more than one version, one without and the other with the WWW prefix. Both versions have the same content and compete against each other for search engine ranking. This might seem ordinary but can result in much destruction as the search engine wouldn’t be able to choose between the multiple versions of a single site.

How to Resolve Internal Plagiarism?

If we come straight to the point, the answer is “Canonical URL.” A canonical URL, in easy words, is your preferred URL that you want search engines to notice and rank instead of other versions. Different URLs of your website might be serving similar content, as cited before. Hence, it becomes essential to use canonical URL to notify search engines to crawl through that specific URL instead of others. Website managers and SEO executives can take this step to stop one URL competing against another version of their own websites.

External – On other websites

If you suspect that web pages on other sites appear very similar to your documents but are not exact copies, several methods can be used to detect external plagiarism. The two ways that are used are called language-dependent plagiarism detection and language-independent plagiarism detection.

Language-Independent plagiarism detection:

In this method, plagiarism detection is based on evaluating text characteristics that are common across popular languages as the number of unique characters and length of sentences. However, clever plagiarists can use paraphrasing techniques to mislead language-independent plagiarism detectors.

Language Dependent plagiarism detection:

This method of plagiarism detection is far more effective than the language-independent plagiarism detection method. Text characteristics that are specific to one language are used, such as counting the frequency of a particular word.

Content-Based Methods

These methods are only used to detect plagiarism in external sources.

Fingerprinting technique:

A special method is used to create the fingerprint of a document. The fingerprints of the two documents are compared to check similarity.

Latent Semantic Analysis:

This is a mathematical technique that is used, and a matrix of rows and columns is constructed. Similar meaning words are compared, and the matrix is iterated till all similar words are compared.

There are other methods also used to detect external plagiarism like SCAM and preprocessing techniques for natural language processing.

Final Thoughts

If you suspect that part of your website’s content or the entire site has been stolen, use a plagiarism checker. Just enter your website’s URL and let the plagiarism checker do the work. The plagiarism checker in its results will list the offending sites, and solutions will display the percentage of the content that has been plagiarized.

There are a number of steps that you can take to counter external plagiarism. You can ask the website owner to take down the plagiarized content. If that fails, report it to Google. Plagiarism detection techniques need to expand as plagiarists keep finding new ways to bypass it.

Tip: DupliChecker’s Plagiarism Checker is a smart option for finding the plagiarists. It also provides you with the report that will contain everything you need for suing the plagiarist.