Many people send hours each day creating unique, entertaining content to place on their ecommerce store, only for someone to come along, decide that content looks good and simply copy and paste it on to their site in an attempt to increase their own search engine ranking without having to do any work.
Google are now attempting to cut out duplicating content altogether by penalising websites that have previously been accused of copyright infringement. This means that if a website has had a number of copyright accusations against them, their website will appear further down the search rankings, drastically affecting the traffic levels the site will generate.
According to statistics released by Google, they receive over 4 million site removal requests each month, who now receive and remove more copyright removal requests than they did in the whole of 2009.
Copyright infringement doesn't just consist of copying text from a website, it could be a picture, graphic or any other form of content that can be placed on a website.
How to stop your site being penalised
If you come across content that you find interesting and you would like to possibly incorporate within your own online store's blog there are a number of things you can do to avoid being accused of copyright infringement.
Contact the company that has published the information and ask if you could produce an article on the same topic on your site. Although you won't be able to copy and paste the content on to your own site, if they do agree to letting you use it, they may let you use certain segments of the text in order to boost your own content. If you use a quote or content from anther site, it will be a good idea to reference that site that you got the quote or content from. This simply means placing a link to the article as one of your sources at the end of the article.
If you use an image from another site, you will usually find that it has some sort of copyright label on it. If they have this label on it, it will usually mean you can't use the image but there is no harm in contacting the site and asking if you can use it. If you do use an image from another site, you should not only state on image caption what the image's source is, but you should also host the image yourself.
If you are unsure about what you can and can't use on a website, rather than doing what you think's best and taking a gamble, simply contact them and ask. That way you will be specifically told what you can and can't use.
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