Unique Content: Brief Summary
Unique content is defined as content which does not exist elsewhere, for any reason. Within online marketing, it is a key concept, because the uniqueness of web content is a major ranking factor for search engines like Google. This means that the more unique a piece of content is, the higher it is likely to place on search engine results pages (SERPs).
This influence on search engine results page rankings means that the idea of creating unique content is often associated with search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. The opposite of unique content is duplicate content and not only is this a potential issue when it comes to SEO strategies, it is also linked to problems like plagiarism or content theft.
Unique Content: Detailed Summary
The concept of unique content is most commonly linked to the practice of search engine marketing. In simple terms, search engines crawl the web in order to provide users with results that are relevant to the search term they entered. To ensure users have access to as many relevant results as possible, duplicate results are usually penalised.
Over time, search engines like Google have developed sophisticated algorithms, which determine which results to display. As a way of providing users with unique content, algorithms may exclude examples of duplicate content entirely from their SERPs, or they may penalise duplicate content in terms of how high up the results list it places.
Penalising duplicated content also helps search engines to avoid situations where websites manipulate its algorithms to place multiple times on SERPs. Therefore, the key to any successful SEO strategy involves the creation of unique content.
Aside from its association with search engine optimisation, however, unique content is also vital for avoiding accusations of plagiarism or content theft. Put simply, plagiarism is the act of passing off somebody else’s content as your own. It can lead to disastrous legal consequences and can also severely damage an author, publisher or website’s reputation.
In the digital age, plagiarism has become increasingly complicated. One example of this is the idea of ‘self-plagiarism’, which occurs when an author re-uses their own previously published work, without specifying that it has been published elsewhere before. Even in this situation, there can be legal consequences, due to copyright laws.
Moreover, it is important to understand that, in the case of plagiarism, unique content alone is not sufficient. If the ideas presented in a piece of content are too close to a previously published piece of content, making the same points, or following the same structure, it can still be subject to accusations of misconduct.
The sheer amount of content that has been published, whether in print or digitally, means that duplicate content can also be accidentally created. Wording can be similar to parts of another piece, even if an author has genuinely never read the content it is similar to. However, this can still potentially lead to SEO and legal consequences.
For this reason, it is imperative that publishers take steps to avoid accidental duplicate content, such as running content through plagiarism detection software and then making adjustments if the content is too similar to another piece.
It is also crucial to understand that unique content is central to sustainable, long-term user engagement with content. Consumers want to see new topics being covered, new ideas being presented and/or new arguments being made. Aside from the fear of producing duplicate content, it is vital to avoid publishing repetitive or cliched content as well.
How to Create Unique Content
Whether you are a webmaster, writer, blogger or SEO expert, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure the content you create or publish is truly unique. A sensible starting point is to endeavour not to copy anyone else’s content intentionally, and to run all content through plagiarism detection software prior to publication.
Writers should try to establish their own voice or unique writing style. If research is required, it is essential that you use multiple sources, rather than relying on a single source. Those who are outsourcing content creation should provide writers with sources they can use to produce the content, and then ask them to do further research.
If you are a writer, opinion pieces are a good way to avoid duplicate content and allow your individual points of view or interpretations to be expressed. However, you should avoid writing opinion pieces about unfamiliar topics. With these, try to be more factual, but use a variety of different sources and cite the sources you have used.
Try to use your own words as much as possible. If you are going to quote somebody else, make sure you use quotation marks, and you cite the original source for the quote clearly, preferably with a direct hyperlink. A few quotations in a longer piece of content is generally okay, but avoid using too many direct quotes.
Finally, with regards to plagiarism, if you are going to rely on somebody else’s unique insights or thoughts as a central part of your argument, make sure you credit them properly rather than passing their views off as your own. Try to avoid publishing content in multiple places and do not do so in any circumstances without express permission.
Ordering Unique Content From Textbroker
Textbroker.co.uk offers self-service and managed-service options for website owners, marketers, publishers and others who may require unique content to be written for them. The platform allows you to order high-quality, custom content as and when you need it, providing access to a marketplace of authors who have expertise in a range of areas.
Authors are tested and then sorted into levels, based on ability. This then allows clients to order content at the price and quality level of their choice. Textbroker authors are required to create unique content, and the platform helps to guarantee this via built-in plagiarism and duplicate content detection.
Unique content is one of the most important elements of a good SEO strategy, because most search engine algorithms penalise duplicate content, regardless of the justification for its existence. Furthermore, unique content is at the heart of content marketing success in general, as users are more likely to engage with fresh ideas and original insights.
With that being said, writers and publishers need to take care and check the uniqueness of content, as what is intended to be completely original content can still be flagged as duplicate content if wording is similar to another piece of writing. In these worst cases, this can even lead to plagiarism accusations, damage to reputations, and legal action being taken.
Join our over 80,000 customers world-wide, and use Textbroker for your Content Marketing.