July 9, 2015

Quoting from others might hurt your blog badly. How to avoid this?

When you copy-paste material from other blogs or websites into your own blog, that is not only unethical, but illegal too. Search engines also frown upon it. Unless you help search engines to know that you are quoting something with a good intention, your copy-pasted content might be taken as 'duplicate content' and you may be penalized for plagiarism.

There are times when you genuinely need to copy-paste. You may need to illustrate something by showing the original, use the original as an example, quote some important statement...

There are ethical ways to quote exact text in your blog and instead of being penalized, you will earn goodwill for acting in a transparent manner. Let's tell you how.

Wordpress (wordpress.com) as well as Blogger give you the option to quote using the rich text editor as well as by putting the html code. If you are not comfortable with html, you can use the " option to quote a passage. It will be indented when you see this passage on the blog post. Wordpress lso adds quotation marks around the text.

Html gives you two choices: to quote a big passage or to quote within a sentence or as a small phrase.
For big quotes, the html tag is 'blockquote'. [This is what is done by " in text editors of these two blogging platforms.] Go to html option in the post editor and place the passage like this: 
<blockquote>passage here</blockquote>

For example, we want to use the following passage from a literary blog, as an example of a particular type of writing,

He would stand next to the wall every evening to listen to that ethereal whisper. He thought he always heard it and heard the same sentence and with pauses at exactly the same places. And Roshanara always told him he was suffering from hallucination that was growing by the day.

What we'd do is to put 2-3 stars (***) at the place where we want to insert this passage, click on HTML in the Post Editor and look for the stars and remove them. [Stars were placed just to take you to the right spot easily.] Now we'd type out or copy-paste the passage and surround it with <blockquote> and </blockquote>

Though we could have put indentation / quotation marks manually, the html <blockquote> tells search engines that it is a quoted text. We can, for further emphasis, make this text italic or in a different colour.

Using html and quotes in Wordpress and Blogger blogs.
When you need to quote a small part, say something within a sentence, you can use <q> code in html. For example, we have quoted a personality's statement in this para:

<p> Julius Caesar said,<q>Et tu, Brute?</q></p>

This will put " marks before and after the quotation and also tell search engines that it was an intentional quote.

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