As a dentist, you ideally spend the majority of your time actually doing dentistry, instead of tending to the ancillary requirements of a modern dental practice. While this is certainly the ideal scenario, it means that you cannot pay attention to some of these other things, including exactly what’s going on with your dental website. Oftentimes, we find that some dentists (and even some more unscrupulous dental marketing firms) resort to just going around the internet and copy-pasting things that they believe represent their practice. At best, this leaves you with a website that is incredibly inconsistent in tone and writing, and at worst will get you hit with a copyright lawsuit by the person or organization from whom you “borrowed” your content.
In between these two extremes, however, are a plethora of reasons why it is always better to make sure that the content of your dental website is unique and not copy-pasted from someone else. The largest reasons are accurately reflecting your own personal brand and services, shielding yourself from legal issues, and making sure Google does not punish your website.
”You Are All Individuals!” – Reflecting your own brand and services
One of the first and most important reasons that you want to avoid duplicate content on your dental website is also one of the simplest: your practice is your practice, and no someone else’s. This means that you have different views on why your services are unique and what you offer your clients, both in terms of pricing and personality. No one is better than you at explaining why you’re unique, least of all someone you’ve never met whose dental content you merely copy and paste.
You’re your best brand ambassador
The word “Brand” initially came from the brands that ranchers would use to mark cattle as their own. Much like those brands, every one is (or should be) unique and distinguishable enough for the consumer to differentiate on their own. If you take other dental marketing writing from other brands verbatim, you aren’t unique and your own branding will get lost in the churn.
Your products. Your pricing. Your content
In addition to controlling your own brand, writing your own content for service pages or product pages (or hiring some expert dental marketing copywriters) means that you can be more specific about exactly what products and services you offer. If you offer different treatments or different prices at different offices, you can be specific about these without the annoying generalizations that duplicate content usually contains. People like specifics, so give them specifics.
You Wouldn’t Download A Car! – Intellectual property and copyright protection
While this section can be almost entirely avoided with something as simple as attribution, that often defeats the “purpose” of copying content. Those who do so want it to look like they’re the experts who took their time to educate their clientele, not give free press to the people who actually wrote it. However, not adding an attribution and refusing to take down the plagiarized content can be grounds for a lawsuit based on a violation of copyrighted material. Even if one was to win this lawsuit, it would take many more resources and significantly more time that it would have to just write your own content or pay somebody to do so on one’s behalf. In the end, if you’re worried about your own lack of writing ability, it’s better to hire someone to write for you than it is to take someone else’s content. Google is always watching.
Eye In The Sky: Google and duplicate content
While Google is against duplicate content, they must tread very carefully. The dental marketing industry is replete with examples where similar dentists with similar names offer similar products, and it is only the truly laziest of plagiarizers that do not change a single word in the content they copy. These low-effort thieves are usually caught and punished rather easily, especially with the addition of links within the content or rel=canonical tags (which point to the “home” of that particular piece of content).
If you find content of yours being used on the internet without your permission, you are able to ask that Google remove the offending content. Using tools such as the Wayback Machine (http://archive.org/web/) it’s usually rather easy to see who wrote the content, and Google can take action from there. This is vital to do as if Google gets it wrong and attributes the content to the other site, you will lose your SEO value from it.
Protect What’s Yours – And Hire The Experts
While all of the aforementioned issues are certainly reasons why anyone who thought it through would think better of using plagiarized content, there are certain people who are either ignorant of the consequences or ignorant that their sites even use plagiarized dental marketing content in the first place. It is always better to either write your own content or pay someone to do it, so you can control your brand, protect yourself from legal threats, and maintain your SEO optimization. Remember, you are your best brand ambassador!