"Borrowing" content

December 29, 2009

When you're putting together your chiropractic website, it can be challenging to come up with original content. You might find yourself tempted to "borrow" material from another website.

Don't. Just don't. And here's why:

First, unless you have permission, it's theft of intellectual property. You certainly wouldn't want to spend a ton of time creating content for your site and have it taken from you, so don't do it to others.

You can also get into big trouble. We've heard of doctors getting bills in excess of $2,000 for "borrowing" an image from one of the stock photo sites. You can find plenty of inexpensive images on sites like istockphoto that cost you about a dollar per image, so it's not expensive to do the right thing.

It's important to remember that everything published is copyrighted automatically. You don't have to have the © symbol attached to something to make it copyrighted.

Besides the legal and ethical issues, it's not going to help your website to reuse content; in fact, it will actually hurt your search rankings.

We heard of one doctor who took every page of his site from somewhere else, and his site dropped to page 20 in the Google rankings. Why? Because of duplicate content penalties.

Google indexes billions of web pages, and it knows when something is a duplicate of other, existing web content. It takes those duplicate pages and drops them way down in the search rankings, as Google realizes that the original article is the important one. If y0ur site is full of duplicate content, your entire site will suffer.

Options for Original Content

OK, so we know that you can't steal content. But content is time-consuming to create. So what are you supposed to do?

First, you an blog. Blog posts are short and easy to add to your site with our easy chiropractic blog editor. You can spend about five minutes a day writing up short posts on current news items or things that you happen to think about during the day.

If you really don't have even the time to blog, you can always hire people to write original content for your site. Sites like Elance.com and Craigslist have plenty of eager, talented writers looking for work. Make sure that you see samples of their work first, and you might want to have them start with one or two articles to see if they work out.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on this article or give us a call at (800) 295-3346.