Copyscape is a plagiarism detector designed for content creators. It’s one of the most popular options on the market. Read more about our Copyscape review.
Out of all the plagiarism tools out there, Copyscape is easily one of the most popular ones. While other tools will check plagiarism (like Grammarly, for instance), few tools solely focus on plagiarism checking alone.
For freelance writers, bloggers, and other content producers, plagiarism checkers are paramount. They will help you avoid instances of accidental plagiarism. If you’re running a content website, dedicated software can help you protect the content you spend hours or dollars writing and publishing.
But, where does Copyscape stand up? Is the free version of Copyscape enough or should you upgrade to dedicated premium plagiarism software?
What Is Copyscape?
Copyscape was created by English developer Gideon Greenspan in 2003. It’s a popular online plagiarism detector that detects duplicate content and other issues. It works via your web browser only.
You can upload a PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, and TXT, as well as paste the content or website’s URL directly into the search engine.
You can use it for all kinds of content, ranging from blog posts to LinkedIn profiles to social media posts. Plagiarism detection is Copyscape’s only purpose. Unlike other software, it doesn’t check grammar, spelling, or anything of that sort.
You can also configure it to work directly with your site by pasting your sitemap into the tool. Copyscape then allows you to see and compare the websites that may be partial matches.
How Copyscape Works
Copyscape is a wonderful tool for freelance writers and other content creators. It is effective at checking for plagiarism and is exceptionally straightforward to use. You can teach yourself in about two minutes.
It allows you to check content quickly and efficiently. Purchasing more credits only takes about five minutes.
Copyscape shows you what websites your content is similar to – allowing you to manually check to determine if the content has been plagiarized. It isn’t odd for some content to match others without it being plagiarized.
For the most part, Copyscape offers peace of mind. Most quality content is not going to spring a plagiarism checker. However, it is always better to check first before posting the content. You never know when you’ve accidentally used phrasing that is similar to another article.
Learn mroe about how plagiarism software works.
Copyscape is free to use if you want to check short blocks of text and avoid most types of plagiarism. However, you’ll need the premium version if you want to run batch reports, check lots of articles or access detailed plagiarism reports. Pricing is on a per credit basis. You can purchase $100 of credits and have more than enough to access Copyscape reports on the bulk of your writing.
Copyscape Key Features
Copyscape is straightforward to use. You just upload or copy-and-paste your article, and it does the rest for you. There is only a single page for you to mess around in – and there isn’t much on that page.
In my experience, most people don’t need the training to figure out how to use Copyscape like a pro. It is one of the most straightforward software products I have ever used. Much of this is likely because it doesn’t do very much.
After checking an article, Copyscape will show you which websites your content matches (if any).
This feature is vital in determining whether something is plagiarized or not. It isn’t odd for the system to flag duplicate content that isn’t plagiarized.
For instance, if I’m writing about a specific product, the product’s name almost always sends off plagiarism signals. Copyscape sees it as a “phrase” and flags it. Being able to check manually is essential.
Commonly copied paragraphs – like Amazon affiliate explanations – also tend to flag in the system.
Copyscape does allow you to do batch searches if you need to check a lot of content. As a freelance writer, I’ve rarely used this feature, as I tend to check new content as I write it.
However, this feature is useful for editors and website owners who want to make sure they’re receiving unique content from their writers.
Setting up a batch search is pretty straightforward. There isn’t much on the actual batch settings page – so it only takes a few seconds to figure it out. You can paste in multiple URLs but adding a sitemap is even faster.
We pasted in the sitemap for Become a Writer Today into Copyscape. That required upgrading to the premium version. It then spent several minutes running a report. After analyzing this report, we were alarmed to find some popular content was plagiarised without attribution on several other content websites.
We immediately contacted the site owners and also issued a DMCA takedown request. We wouldn’t have found these instances of plagiarism without the Copyscape website report. It’s now a key tool we use regularly to protect content on this site. We use it in conjunction with Grammarly.
We also sometimes use this plagiarism software to check articles by freelance writings before hiring them. Grammarly is faster at these type of checks, albeit at a higher price point. That said, many content agencies, like Writer Access, use Copyscape suggesting it’s industry standard for a reason.
Our Copyscape vs Grammarly comparison explains more.
Before writing this review, I had already used Copyscape over 400 times to check articles of all sorts. So there wasn’t much research I had to do in preparation for writing it!
However, I did check what other customers had to say. Copyscape premium is a rather popular tool, so there are many different opinions floating around out there.
I also ensured that I tested articles in a variety of different industries. It isn’t odd for writing tools to be great for some industries and subpar for others.
To ensure that Copyscape was picking up plagiarism, I purposefully added some plagiarised phrases into my content. (Spoiler alert: It picked it up just fine.)
I used Copyscape’s web platform a few times a week, updating this review accordingly. Most articles tested range from 500 to 6,000 words and came from a range of industries.
Updates on features and pricing are taken into account as they occur.
Why You Can Trust Me
As a full-time freelance writer, I’ve used Copyscape’s premium search to check thousands of articles for plagiarized content. I use it in my business every day – on top of a variety of other writing programs. I have also used many Copyscape alternatives. For instance, I use Grammarly every day to check my work.
After working closely with other Copyscape users, I have a pretty good idea of the consensus on Copyscape.
Want more? Check out our guide to the best plagiarism software.
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Copyscape Review: The Bottom Line
Copyscape is an excellent software for checking articles for plagiarism. It is one of the best on the market – and it is incredibly inexpensive.
It is also straightforward to use and doesn’t require much training to figure out how to use it. However, you shouldn’t expect Copyscape to perform functions it simply isn’t designed for. It is not the “only writing software you’ll need.” It only checks for plagiarism – while much of the competition provide proofreading services and SEO rankings.
With that said, I’ve used Copyscape as my sole plagiarism checker for years. It catches more instances of plagiarism than other software, easily making it the best plagiarism checker in my book. For me, the price is worth the peace of mind. It’s also ideal if you want to avoid duplicate content, protect your website and or check work by other freelancers.
- Allows you to directly compare to other websites
- Not Subscription Based
- ONLY checks plagiarism
- No integration
- Pricing structure is a bit complicated