I have a few websites from customers that have (partially) the same content as other websites. I plan on rewriting all content that is not original, but how do I know if my websites have original content, or content that's been copied from another website?

My customers say all the content is original, but I have my doubts to be honest. They often let other people who don't work there anymore write content for the sites.

What I did so far is copy a line from my website that can be found in other websites as well and pasted it into Google Search. If my website is the first link, would it be considered the original source?

  • Generally you can't because your competitors can use your content with placing fake publication date. Aug 18, 2014 at 3:22
  • use copyscape and register for better results. The free vesrion not work very good!
    – user44093
    Aug 18, 2014 at 9:40

2 Answers 2


Yes you are correct. When searching for content in Google the site at the top of the search results is considered the Authoritative (least in Googles eyes) source of the content. This doesn't necessarily mean the original source, Google sometimes gets it wrong, but the most part is pretty accurate at figuring out the original source.

If doing a search for the content and no exact results are returned, you can do a search and put the search term within inverted commas (")

" this would be your search term"

This will return results only for the exact term. Also don't search for big chunks of content, as somebody may have copied only a small portion. I normally check sentences or paragraphs.

While copyscape is a useful tool, it won't let you know which results are the original, or ranking first in Google. So I sometimes use copyscape, but always use a Google search to determine which site has the authoritative ranking in Google.


Use CopyScape http://www.copyscape.com/

It will show you what part, and what percent of the text is copied from other sources. Of course no content can be 100% original. Paraphrasing is not an illegal thing and is an integral part of content writing. But it's about the total percent of the text on a specific web page.

Note that with the tool above you will see content that was copied from you as well. So be sure to check the date of publication of the web pages in question, perhaps they copied from you.

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