The importance of quotes in content

Posted on May 5, 2009


Anyone who has studied for a degree of any sort will have written something called a ‘dissertation’. It’s the massive block of headache fuelled text that you have to write at the end of your studies. It’s difficult because you have to follow so many rules when writing your dissertation. You have find references and then cite them in the appendix, you have to use relevant quotes, and you of course have to acknowledge those as quotes.

This is one of the most important things when writing a dissertation and it’s something that has caused one or two students in the past to fall down at the last hurdle on the grounds of plagiarism. If you take a quote from a source and pass it off as your own you’re likely to be pulled up by it as universities employ strict techniques when marking dissertations. Some students do it intentionally thinking they’ll get away it, some do it by mistake, not realising you have acknowledge quotes and references.

It’s exactly the same principle with the Internet. When you add content to your website you can use quotes from sources when they’re relevant to your article, however if you don’t acknowledge them as quotes you’ll be caught out by Google for duplicate content. You need to block quote your quotes, preferably with a link back to the source website; otherwise your website’s content will be the same as the source it was taken from, which is duplicate content, or plagiarism.

Google, just like a university, will mark you down for plagiarism. Google wants to see unique content just like a university does, and failing to provide unique content for Google can see your website penalised, and its position drop in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

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