It is a common misconception that plagiarism and duplicate content are one in the same: the act of copying someone else’s work or borrowing their ideas. Plagiarism is the stealing (or misuse) and publication of another person’s language or ideas and the depiction of them as one’s own work. Plagiarism is a serious ethical offense—it is academic dishonesty and a breach of journalistic ethics. Duplicate content, however, refers to several websites that have the same, or very similar, content. Why does this matter? Duplicate content can affect your SEO ranking. Search engines aim to give users the best search results, and when the exact same content appears in multiple places, search engines give less consideration to websites that have duplicate information.