Is article scraping plagiarism?

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April 21, 2011 – We’ve blogged on the dangers of plagiarism before, and it’s still a nasty subject that all web content developers have to deal with on a regular basis.

Plagiarism is defined at the website 

“the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.”

So this brings up the question of whether or not article scraping is plagiarism. Because a scraped article is basically taking another author’s work, removing the identifying information, and doing a few synonym swaps for words and phrases utilized heavily in the piece (i.e. lawyer for attorney, vehicle for car), we would say-without a doubt-it is!

At We Do Web Content we believe that anything that returns above a certain percentage (depending on the context of the piece, and whether quotes or industry-specific definitions were used) via a plagiarism checker like Copyscape should be considered a plagiarized piece, whether it was scraped or not.

To make sure that all of the content written for our clients is original and unique, we pass all of our work through Copyscape to ensure there’s no danger that the original content you purchased has been scraped or plagiarized from another source.

Because article scraping is typically done by a computer algorithm and not a human it’s merely a switch of words – something easily done with a thesaurus. The actual content of the piece doesn’t change much, if at all, and that means that the original thoughts and ideas are still intact with just a few words changed to make it seem original.

This kind of bad content is what clogs up the search engine rankings and denies your clients the quality content they’re looking for. But what can you do? As we mentioned previously, getting your fresh, unique content out to the Internet is a key to showing you’re the first and true owner of your content. Social media is the fastest and most relevant way to do this in 2011, so get tweeting!


When your business is looking for quality, custom content for your website, newsletters, and social media look no further than We Do Web Content. Having unique content on your website is a great way to increase search engine rankings and boost your Internet marketing. For affordable, quality content exclusive to YOUR website, blog and clients, contact us today!  1-888-521-3880.