Monday, February 7, 2011

Copyscape vs Grammarly: Scam & Plagiarism Detection Comparison

Grammarly Scam Analysis


I have decided to focus this first blog post on the perennial SEO favorite topic, duplicate content. It's not as big a deal these days as it once was from an SEO standpoint, but spammers and scammers aren't shy about stealing good content and repurposing it for their own ends, which makes it valuable to be able to suss it out. That's why I'm doing the Copyscape vs Grammarly scam detector challenge.


Before the advent of tools like Copyscape and the Grammarly scam & plagiarism detector, the process of finding dupes was was pretty manual - I remember hours spent plugging pieces of content (inside double quotes of course) into Google's search box to see what domains would show up for the search. Nowadays there are multiple options for identifying this content and trying to catch the spam websites hosting it.


The tool I've always used is Copyscape, which offers both free and paid tools, and allows you to plug a URL into its website to identify any copies of the URL online. This can have multiple uses - entering one of my own (or more likely a client's) URL to see if anyone's riding on the coattails of the good copy we've created is the big one. You can also put in the URLs of competitors to see if they're trying to run a scam on search engines by offering the same content on multiple domains. Pretty basic stuff, but I've been working on Spam detection for a client so it's top of mind for me.


I was recently introduced to another tool I wasn't familiar - Grammarly - a spelling and grammar checking tool a friend of mine uses. Grammarly is paid-only (after a seven day free trial), but when my friend mentioned the service's plagiarism detection services my ears perked up. So which service makes the most sense when you're trying to detect duplicate content?


For my money (or more to the point, lack of wanting to spend it) Copyscape is still the best option. Not only do they always offer a free option (you can upgrade to paid for some added services, but nothing necessary for my purposes), and I couldn't find any indication that Grammarly would let me input a URL to find the scammy copy - it seems to work based on inputting text instead of a URL.


I'm interested in the idea of this hack of Grammarly's plagiarism detection to find spam, but i'm wondering if it's worthwhile unless I'm signing up to take advantage of the site's other services. At this point I'm inclined to stick with what works. That said, it seems worth it to sign up for Grammarly just to see if my hopes about souped-up plagiarism detection are true. I'll keep you all posted.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing. It was especially interesting to see how plagiarism tools like copyscape and grammarly can identify scams! I love seeing how different people use different tools.

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  2. Well, Copyscape doesn't offer you the free version for long.. any more. It has limited checks to a specific URL, after which you are prompted for a purchase.

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