A Ukraine-based startup, Devellar, has launched an online plagiarism tool that checks online content to see whether it has been duplicated.
The beta version of PlagSpotter features an algorithm that "enables bloggers, journalists, writers, priests, politicians, or any type of public figure to track if someone posts any of their material online," the company said in a statement.
PlagSpotter offers free unlimited individual URL checks as well as three paid subscription plans for automated scanning and monitoring of web content for plagiarism.
For $49.95, the "Guru" plan allows up to 50 URLs to be checked for plagiarism daily, offers email notifications and day-by-day weekly reports. For $10.95, the "Master" plan offers 25 URL checks and email notifications, and for $7.95, the beginner plan offers 10 URL checks and email notifications.
Currently, the beta version of PlagSpotter offers free unlimited individual URL checks.
Devellar, which was originally founded in 2004 to develop products for its own use, is pitching its duplicate content checker as an important tool for preventing Internet copyright infringement, avoiding Google ranking penalties and improving search engine optimization.
Devellar said the tool can also be used by websites to ensure that they use only original content, thus avoiding any problems by easily identifying whether their content is truly original. Additionally, anyone who has written any original material can find out whether their material has been duplicated online without permission.
"Google constantly tries to provide the most relevant websites a searcher is looking for. If a website has too much duplicate content, then its SEO is compromised and can be put last in a Google search or removed entirely," Devellar said.
Computerworld tested PlagSpotter on one of its stories and the tool found 21 other sources that had quoted sections of the story.
"Duplicate content is becoming more important and relevant for websites as a result of Google's latest penalties and algorithm updates," Devellar said. "This means that websites that copy and paste stolen content unto their website risk not only poor SEO but copyright infringement as well."
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.