Most of the webmasters do not like to get into trouble with Google and they would like to do everything right. One of the areas that people are concerned about along these lines is duplicate content. Google and other search engines are pretty strict with duplicate content. This is mainly to avoid redundancy of information or duplication of information or content in multiple sources. Secondly, duplicate content also infringes intellectual property rights. Using duplicate content is therefore a risky thing to do and it is best when totally avoided.
However, there may be many instances whereby you may be required to quote certain chunks of text from another online source and you may not be trying to use duplicate content or trying to take the shortcut in terms of filling your pages. In such situations do Google view it as duplicate content and does it penalize your website? No, Google does not penalize your website in such situations. You are allowed to use direct quotes from the other websites and of course with proper acknowledgements to the right source along with the URL to that source. In many instances, quoting a certain portion of the text directly in your website will prove to be more convenient way of presenting the information rather than forcing the website visitors to leave your website to read the text directly from the original source.
Nonetheless, if you are trying to reproduce entire articles page after page then it can lead you to problems. Even if you are quoting the original source, if your website does not contain any original work or original text then you Google will view your website as a low quality site and will treat you accordingly.
Using text from other online sources is allowed but how extensively you do that is a deciding factor. Most importantly, plagiarism is a complete, ‘No! No!’ you will have to make sure that you are not using plagiarized text in your website. If you are required to quote other sources in your website acknowledge the sources correctly. Even when you are acknowledging the sources make sure that you do not use more than a just few lines of text to be on the safer side.
When you quote from other sources, try to present your original content all around the text so that Google understands your intent in quoting the text correctly and if you should ever get into problem you will be in a better position to explain yourself.
If you are hiring a content development company to provide you with content for your website or hiring a writer to post regularly in your blogs make sure that you are dealing with reputed service providers and that they do not use any plagiarized content in your website. If you are careless here, you will put your website to unnecessary risks. Mistakes made here can prove to be really expensive and you will have to work ten times harder to undo the mistakes.