Can You Copy Product Description?

Edgars Kebbe

Updated June 20, 2023

Writing high-quality and attractive content for your eCommerce audience is undoubtedly difficult. Therefore, it is expected that many online store owners are attracted to copying and pasting content from their competitors, thus “solving” the copywriting needs for their product descriptions.

The problem with this practice is that it is so easy to do that the content you are trying to reuse has probably already been copied by others. Moreover, using duplicate content in your eCommerce can bring you severe problems in your SEO score.

So is it valid to copy product descriptions? Join me on this journey to find out and give you some tips for your eCommerce.

Can You Copy The Product Description For Your eCommerce?

Duplicate content should be limited as much as possible, but it’s okay.

When we talk about duplicate content, we refer to content already published on other websites. Therefore, this content is protected by copyright laws just like offline content. It is crucial to remember that it is only possible to take an image, video, or writing from the internet and use it on your website if you have the consent of the author of the content. Remind that Google recommends avoiding duplicate content to prevent incurring penalties.

Avoid copy-paste content in your webpage if you do not want have problems.

So, there are better ways to do things right but don’t worry. I’ll explain later what you must do.

Pro tip:

If you violate copyright by copying and pasting content from the internet into your website, the author of the content can request that this content be removed from your website, not to mention the SEO penalties you will face.

Duplicate content can present three main challenges for search engines

When there is duplicate content, three main challenges for search engines arise:

  1. Since it is difficult to determine which URL contains the original content, the content that best matches the user’s intent will often be ranked first.
  2. If duplicate content appears on your website, it will be challenging to know to which page link to attribute the link metrics.
  3. They will try to determine the original version of the content; if they are wrong, this will affect the ranking of the website that owns the content.

Should You Reuse Manufacturer Product Descriptions?

As a general answer, NOT. Even though some vendors recommend using their product descriptions and images in your eCommerce, you will have content similar to the competition. Therefore, how will that make you sell? It will not sell much nor give your eCommerce the authority it needs to position itself in your online store’s niche.

Pro tip:

If you are very busy with the design and launch of your online store, you can use the product descriptions of your suppliers, but only as a temporary thing. As soon as you can dedicate time to the copywriting of your eCommerce, do it because that is where the holy grail that will raise the turnover of your business is.

Should you rewrite the original copy?

Rephrasing product descriptions is an option. There are two types of paraphrasing:

  • Poor paraphrasing: In this case, a couple of words of a copy are rewritten.
  • Complete paraphrasing: Here, depth rewriting is done, changing most of the words of the copy.

In both cases, rewriting a copy is frowned upon, as it is not creating content from scratch.

How Do You Write eCommerce Product Descriptions?

The easiest way is by rewriting content. However, if you want to elevate your project to another level, you should try to connect with the reader and follow the rules for writing eCommerce product descriptions; that empathetic connection with the consumer will make them imagine your product in their hands.

But be careful! As in everything, you must seek balance and not lose sense, create a good product categorization, and use simple sentences with a clear message. Remember that writing is not just mentioning words. It’s the art of knowing how to captivate through writing.

Ways To Legally Copy Product Descriptions For Your Website

You can legally use others content in your wbpage if you use references and citations, quotes and take inspiration  from others.

Some ways in which you can legally copy content are:

Using citations and references

Sometimes, you may need to use statistics and snippets of content from other websites because they are authoritative. In these cases, you must cite and reference the content’s author.

Quote appropriately

Suppose an analysis or phrase has impacted you, and you want to use it on your website. In that case, you have to make a textual citation and acknowledge the rights of the content author.

Take inspiration

You may need more inspiration and read a bit of a product type to write about content in your own words. In these cases, it is not necessary to cite or reference.

Conclusion

In these times, where content and information abound, your eCommerce must perform actions that distinguish it from the competition and attract the consumer’s attention. This task is not easy, but it is essential if you want to add value to your products.

It’s easy to be tempted to copy content from other websites. Still, duplicate content will lead to low rankings, and Google will remove your eCommerce content (if requested by the content author) or lose customers because they need to see value in the copy of your products.

Now that you know the right way, are you ready to start invoicing?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if the content is copied?

You can use a plagiarism detection tool such as Grammarly, Plagium, or Plagiarism Check. These tools have limited free versions and full-featured premium versions.

Is copying content illegally?

No. But only if you have the permission of the author of the content. Online content has the same copyright protection as offline content. Search engines will penalize your site by lowering its ranking.

How does Google detect duplicate content?

Using the Panda algorithm, which reviews already indexed URLs and compares them with new ones. However, this algorithm can be wrong and rank duplicate content by mistake.

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