Copying online content is just as bad as plagiarism in books. You may not get in nearly as much legal trouble, but there are huge potential repercussions. The point is, you should never copy content. Look at other articles for inspiration, but hitting Control + C and Control + V is the laziest and most ineffective way to build traffic and sales. Here’s why:
Search engines will filter out websites that copy content.
Search engines will actively filter out search results that have duplicate content. This means being lazy and copying from other websites won’t help improve your visibility or traffic. It will help your competitor’s though.
The number of undifferentiated competitors and content will increase, making life more difficult for sales and marketing.
Imagine this: Every best-seller in the world was copied word for word by competing authors. How do people pick between authors if they know that the will just end up reading the same exact book? At random? If all other factors are kept the same it means each author has essentially the same probability of selling their book. This means lower sales for everybody. The same thing can happen when it comes to copying online content. Not having a unique take on a subject doesn’t give a consumer any more incentive to look at your site over other options. In turn, this can impact the sales and marketing team’s ability to create compelling reasons to purchase your products. Copying content removes differentiators, making the most exciting company extremely mundane, and a hard sell.
Dramatically lowers the use of search engines for everyone.
The whole point of search engines is to display the best array of information available on a given topic. This can include different points of view, writing styles, source types, etc. Duplicating content reduces the usefulness of search engines by reducing variety. A fully informed consumer is one that has access to all views and sources, not one that can only see 500 duplicate articles.