John Lincoln

Copyscape Review: How to Ensure Your Content Is Unique

Full review of Copyscape

If you’re serious about search engine optimization (SEO), then you need to make sure that the content on your website is unique. Failure to do so and your site could get slapped with a penalty.

That’s what makes Copyscape so valuable.

In a nutshell, Copyscape is a plagiarism-checker. But there are a few different ways you can use it.

In this Copyscape review, I’ll go over the whole suite of Copyscape products. I’ll also cover how much you can expect to pay if you want to use one or more of its tools.

Basic Copyscape

First, I’ll start with what I like to call Basic Copyscape. It checks for copied content online.

To use Basic Copyscape, just visit the Copyscape website and plug in a URL of an article. Then, look at the results.

You can think of Basic Copyscape as a search engine that focuses on plagiarism.

And, like many search engines, it’s free. That’s a nice bonus right there.

As an experiment, I plugged in the URL of my ContentStudio review.

Did I get some matches? Yeah, but no evidence of plagiarism. Just other pages that link to that page.

So I’m in the clear!

But that raises a good point: even if there’s no plagiarism, you might still get some matches with Basic Copyscape. It’s up to you to check the results manually.

Keep in mind, though, you’ll definitely get results if the work is copied. Then, you should take action.

You can also use Basic Copyscape to check for too much duplicate content between two articles.

Compare two articles with copyscape

For example, let’s say you ask a ghost writer to rewrite an article you like. But you want to make sure it’s sufficiently unique.

Just head over to the Compare Articles page and plug in the URLs of both pages. Alternatively, you can just copy and paste the text.

Then, Copyscape will show you how much duplicate content exists between the two articles.

If you find there’s too much duplicate content, you can take action.

What Kind of Action?

Let’s take a break in this Copyscape review for a moment to go over its importance.

If you’re serious about content marketing, then you’re cranking out content online. Chances are good, though, that you don’t have time to produce all the content yourself. So you outsource the responsibility to a writer.

But what happens if that writer copies the content from somewhere else on the web and then just resells it to you as his or her own work?

I’ll tell you what happens: you get in trouble.

What kind of trouble? Multiple kinds of trouble.

First of all, if Google or other search engines pick up on the fact that you’re running plagiarized content on your site, then your rankings will take a hit.

Google hates duplicate content.

Next, your business will earn a bad reputation. People who find out that you’re copying the content of others will be sure to tell their co-workers and business partners that you’re running an unethical organization. You don’t want that.

Finally, you could get into legal trouble. Some of that work duplicate content could have a copyright.

If you put someone else’s copyrighted content on your website, expect to get a letter from an attorney representing the person who holds the rights to that creative work.

And then you’ve got to hire your own attorney to deal with the fallout. Yeesh.

So that’s why Copyscape is so important. It helps keep you free and clear from the kinds of problems that could really hurt your business.

But wait! There’s more to this Copyscape review!

Copyscape doesn’t just help you catch ghost writers who steal from others and sell to you. It also helps you catch people who are stealing from you.

You’ve made some significant investments into your content. It would be a shame if somebody claimed credit for work you’ve done.

Copyscape also exists to help you find people who’ve stolen your creative work.

Copyscape Premium

Now I’ll go over the other products offered by Copyscape.

First up is Copyscape Premium. As the name implies, it costs money.

How much does it cost? Well that depends on how much you’re using it.

It costs 3 cents per search up to 200 words. It costs an additional penny per 100 words thereafter.

So a search for 500 words will cost 5 cents.

Copyscape Premium sign up screenshot

By the way, that brings up an important feature of Copyscape Premium: you can check for plagiarism by just copying and pasting text. You don’t even have to enter a URL.

Copyscape Premium also handles batch search. It can crawl through your entire website and check for examples of plagiarism. Right now, though, the tool can only handle 10,000 pages per request.

You can also use Copyscape Premium to track multiple cases of plagiarism and your responses to each one of them.

Copyscape Premium also allows you to filter out certain sites that you don’t want to check. That might be necessary if you’ve intentionally duplicated content (hopefully with the aid of a rel canonical) because you want it in multiple locations.

Copyscape API

I can’t get through this Copyscape review without mentioning that Copyscape Premium comes with an API. You might find it useful if you want to incorporate automated plagiarism checks into your workflow.

You’ll have to use server-side code, though. The Copyscape API won’t honor client-side code (from JavaScript, for example) because of cross-domain issues.

If you’re running a WordPress website, you can use the Copyscape plugin with your API credentials to add plagiarism-checking into your WordPress workflow. You don’t even need to know how to code.


How would you like an automated agent that goes out and checks the web for copies of your content? If so, then take a look at Copysentry.

It will perform daily or weekly scans to check for plagiarized instances of some or all of your content.

Now if you’re asking, “Why would I want to check for copies of just some of my content instead of all of it?” then you probably won’t be shocked to learn that the answer comes down to one word: money.

If you want to check your pages every week, that will cost $4.95 per month for up to 10 pages. It’s $0.25 per month for every page after that.

If you want to check your pages every day, that will cost $19.95 per month for up to 10 pages. It’s $1.00 per month for every page after that.

Wrapping It Up

Lots of people use the Internet to look for “quick wins.” Unfortunately, sometimes they duplicate content in an effort to save time.

Copyscape can help you track down those culprits. Then, you can take whatever action you think is necessary.

If you’re still on the fence after reading this Copyscape review, give Basic Copyscape a try for a few weeks. If you like what you see, go for the premium version.

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Welcome to John Lincoln’s personal website. On this website, we offer courses by John Lincoln, review software, publish articles and videos. You can also learn about John Lincoln’s books, films, book him to speak and contact him. John is directly associated with many of the businesses mentioned on this website and freely discloses this information. 

About the Author

John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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