by Juan Robin II
Duplicate content is a major cause for concern for site owners.
Google favors sites with fresh and unique content. The main goal of their search engine is to give the best result for a user’s search query, right? A piece of content found on five other sites probably doesn’t fit that criteria.
Not only that, but Google spiders won’t know which is the original piece if another site copies your content word-for-word. They’ll rank both lower than a completely unique piece of content since they don’t know which deserves the higher spot.
The bad news? Your content is free and easy to access. People can cut and paste your content onto their own site, resulting in duplicate content—which is extremely bad for SEO.
One tool aiming to help site owners combat it is Duplichecker.
We put this tool to the test to find out:
What is Duplichecker?
Duplichecker is a plagiarism checker tool that can find instances of duplicate content.
It scans the internet for the same sentences, phrases, or paragraphs you’ve got on your website, and points you to external URLs that have the same content.
Here’s an example of duplicate content copied from our guide to Private Blog Networks:
The good vs. the bad of Duplichecker
We know what Duplichecker is supposed to do. But the real question is: Does it do the job?
I spent a few hours playing around with Duplichecker, judging how many instances of plagiarized content it could pick up.
But during that testing, I found some good parts about the tool—along with others that show Duplichecker still needs some improvement:
The best parts of Duplichecker
Arguably the best part about Duplichecker is the fact it’s free.
Another benefit of Duplichecker is the fact you can upload several file types, including:
Or, you can pull content from a URL. Simply plug the link where your content is published and find a list of duplicate results found elsewhere:
The Duplichecker tool is part of a wider branch of marketing tools.
That’s why the Duplichecker feature can also analyze grammar by hitting one of the two options below:
Both tools are free, and could replace costly tools like Grammarly Pro.
Duplichecker isn’t so good at…
There’s no doubt that Duplichecker has lots of benefits. However, there are also areas that the tool lacks.
One of those is the word count limit. You can only have 1,000 words per search, which could be an issue if you’re checking whether long-form content has been plagiarized.
(You can work around this limit breaking up your text to 1,000-word chunks. However, you won’t find instances where different blocks of content are used because you can’t check the entire piece at the same time.)
Another downfall is that some content gets weirdly formatted when plugged from a URL. Here’s an example:
But unfortunately, the glitches don’t stop there.
I copied a chunk of text directly into the editor, and it ended up adding hundreds of extra lines:
This mistake, combined with the overwhelming wall of ads on the tool’s homepage, give it a “buggy” feeling. It doesn’t feel like a professional tool.
Finally, it’s worth noting that you can’t run a duplicate content check site-wide with Duplichecker. You need to plug the URL in one by one, which can get time consuming (especially if you have a large website.)
Other tools—including Copyscape—can do site-wide searches.
How accurate is Duplichecker?
The short answer is not very. Granted, it does pick up some instances of plagiarized content, but the accuracy isn’t spot on.
I had a few issues using the tool, including:
Not all content gets picked up
During my testing, I copied a section of a guest post I’d written for Sellbrite into Duplichecker. The original piece was also syndicated to Business2Community, so I knew there was at least one instance of duplicate content.
However, Duplichecker didn’t pick either up. It marked my content as 100% unique:
It can’t understand (some) quotes
Similarly, Duplichecker doesn’t seem to be able to handle quotes.
For example, I entered this quote in Duplichecker: “The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.”
The tool found just one instance of plagiarized content:
…But when you type that in Google with quotation marks, you can see hundreds of URLs containing exactly the same content:
Both of those findings vary search-by-search
We know that Duplichecker can’t find syndicated content or quotes, right?
Those things aren’t consistent.
I tested this post I wrote for ConversionXL, which was also syndicated on Business2Community. One of the quotes included in my article did get picked up as being duplicate, along with the original post:
But yet again, the syndicated version on Business2Community didn’t get flagged.
You can also spot that Duplichecker marked 33% of my content as plagiarized, with the remaining 67% being “unique.”
It wasn’t—the content was lifted directly from the original post, yet Duplichecker only considered three paragraphs as being duplicated elsewhere.
How does Duplichecker compare to Copyscape?
There are tons of plagiarized content tools you can use. One of the most famous is Copyscape. So, how does Duplichecker’s tool compare?
Let’s start by discussing the most obvious differentiator: Cost.
Duplichecker is free and checks up to 1,000 words. You don’t need an account to use it, and there aren’t any limits to how many times you can use the tool (so long as you’re beneath the word count on each search.)
Copyscape also has a free version. However, they also offer a Premium plan, which includes a scan of 10,000 pages, excludes sites you already know about, and helps you follow-up with site owners when you ask them to remove or change the duplicate content.
The price for Premium is 3c per search (up to 200 words), plus 1c per extra 100 words.
I’ve also mentioned that Duplichecker lets you check for duplicate content from uploaded files. You can’t do this on Copyscape, which makes it difficult to compare.
For example: When comparing our post on backlinks, I plugged the URL into Copyscape and got lots more results:
It showed only one on Duplichecker because I had to use a smaller sample of content:
Plus, Copyscape has a Copysentry feature. You get emails when new duplicate content is found without having to manually check for it. This costs $4.95/month, but worth the small expense if it means you don’t need to remember to search for plagiarized content.
The bottom line? Duplichecker is good for smaller businesses, or sites without much content… But it’s not very accurate.
Copyscape is the better option for larger businesses, those with lots of content, or those who pay for content. It’s also better if you use it for long-form content since there isn’t a word count limit on the text you’re searching for.
How to use Duplichecker to find duplicate content
Ready to start searching for duplicate content taken from your website? While it isn’t totally accurate, it does pick up some instances of plagiarized content.
Here’s how you can use the tool to find it:
1. Add your content
Start by adding your content to the Duplichecker tool.
You can do this through any of the file types we shared above. Or, add the URL of the content you want to search for:
Bear in mind that you might need to cut some text if it’s over 1,000 words long.
2. Check your scores
After entering your text, scroll down and you’ll see a report containing much of your content is plagiarized, unique, or has a related-meaning elsewhere:
You want most—if not all—of your content to be completely unique.
Remember: It’s bad for SEO if you’ve got content on your site that exists elsewhere, too.
3. Investigate duplicates
Beneath your score report, you’ll see a list of URLs with similar content to yours.
Click “Compare Results” and you’ll see the other site with your duplicate content highlighted:
Check how much of your content is duplicated on this site.
For example: Is it a full blog post or just a few sentences? A full blog post might need more serious action than a few sentences.
It’s also important to check the type of content that has been duplicated. A quote from your blog post that references it as a source might not be a bad thing. But if they’re totally ripped off your content without giving credit, that’s an issue.
4. Change the duplicate content
We already know that duplicate content is a huge SEO problem. So, we want to find any instances of plagiarized content and change it.
There are two ways you can do this:
- Contact the site owner and ask them to remove it. This is the easiest way to remove duplicate content if you created the original content. Find the email address of whoever runs the site, and tell them that they’ve taken your content without permission. You can politely ask them to remove the duplicate content. (If they don’t and your content is copyrighted, you could issue a cease and desist letter—or threaten legal action.)
- Rewrite your own content. Unfortunately, the spammers who’ve duplicated your content might not respond to your emails. The only option in this case is to rewrite your content. You could use Duplichecker’s add-on Article Rewriting tool for this. However, bear in mind that you might need to do this every time your content is plagiarized in future.
Final thoughts on Duplichecker
Our final word on Duplichecker? It’s a good, free tool to have in your toolstack—especially if you produce content for your website.
However, it does lack in specific areas. It’s unable to pick up quotes, syndicated content, and probably won’t show every instance of where your content has been plagiarized.
The bottom line? I’d recommend Duplichecker to small businesses with limited content production. But if you produce lots of content or invest in content from freelance writers, you’d be better off with a more reliable alternative like Copyscape.