Eric Hoppe, Content and Product Manager at Constant Content, one of the Internet's largest and most established marketplaces for SEO friendly content, spoke to iThenticate about its reasons for implementing a stringent plagiarism screening process into its editorial review.
Why is unique content king? Find out in our interview!
iThenticate: What types of services does Constant-Content provide and why is original content so important for an SEO focused company?
Eric (Constant-Content): Basically we are providing content and articles to businesses who are using them primarily on their websites, but also in print publications, email blasts, blogs, and all sorts of different ways. Ultimately, when it comes time to put content on your website you really do want to make sure it is unique because from an SEO perspective, search engines like Google are going to reward sites with unique content with better rankings.
We’re seeing more and more that search engines are rewarding sites who are using fresh, unique content and penalizing those who don’t. The best evidence for this trend is in Google’s search updates - Panda, Penguin and Caffeine. Here’s a quote from Google’s Blog that illustrates this:
"This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on."
Eric: We have a network of 73,000 writers, all freelancers. They submit articles to list in our catalog so people can come and buy basically off the shelf. Or we also offer custom writing services and our customers are able to hire any of our writers directly for any projects they have.
iThenticate: What is the protocol if you identify an example of plagiarism?
Eric: Basically how we are using iThenticate is we have all these different writers submitting work to us and we are verifying that what they are submitting is original.
Writers are able to submit any articles they want to us, and we check every article that comes in with iThenticate. Regardless of whether it is a new writer or they’ve been with us for five years, everything gets checked.
If we detect plagiarism from a writer using iThenticate, we take it very seriously. In obvious cases we will suspend the writer and stop working with them. We’re not interested in working with writers who are stealing other people’s work and profiting for it -- it rips the true author off, us, and our customers.
iThenticate also picks up on patterns, where we can identify if someone has “spun” someone else’s article, which is a form of plagiarism that we take very seriously. If we find a submission is “spun” content, we would suspend the writer on those grounds.
iThenticate: How frequently do you encounter originality issues / plagiarized content?
Eric: It comes up occasionally, but for the most part our writers are really honest so we don’t see it too often. The fact that we don’t work with writers who submit plagiarized content to us means we don’t see repeat submissions of plagiarized content, so that reduces the incidence of these issues popping up too.
iThenticate: Contant-Content is taking advantage of the iThenticate API. Could you talk a little bit about how the software works into your editorial workflow?
Eric: [iThenticate is] definitely a help. Everything is automated for the editors now. As the work comes in, we are batching all the articles up and sending the articles over for review. Within minutes the articles have been reviewed by iThenticate and we pull a plagiarism score back to our site and if plagiarism is flagged high, editors go in and investigate it. They can tell if it’s someone including a quote or something (which is ok), but it it’s an actual case of plagiarism, they can act accordingly. It really put the information right at the editors’ fingertips, so that’s a definite plus for us.