A Google Webmaster Help thread has someone who is claiming his site was created completely by a web designer he hired, from the design to the content and discovered the content was stolen from other sites. The thing is, from the wording of this person's complaint, it seems the web designer used boilerplate content to fill the pages so that his client can re-do the content themselves.
This is the complaint:
i paid a web designer to make a website for me but a lot if not most of the text has been copied and pasted from "very" large websites. it has only been up for a few days but i a worried i will be the one in trouble. i have contacted him regarding this. he said he has done nothing wrong and knows the "web laws". he said this is just a rough draft but if i had not caught it i think it would have been left there. i want to turn him in to Google and others but i am afraid the only thing that will happen is my website will be removed from search engines not his. any advice would be appreciated
As many of us know, designers need content to insert into the site's design to see how it may look. If the client won't provide it, often they will use gibberish or content from similar web sites just for drafting purposes. I am not sure if this person paid the designer to also do the content on the site, I suspect the person feels like he/she did.
Now she is worried that Google will penalize the new site because the content is stolen.
I like most of the replies in the thread, but Google's JohnMu replied, so I have to quote him. He said:
Looking at your site -- assuming it's the one that comes up in the search posted above -- I imagine this is something that you'd be able to fix yourself with a bit of help. It's usually not that complicated to change the text, and if this is just a few pages, you could have that changed yourself by Monday (and learn a little bit about websites on the way :-)).
I can't say what the best solution is for dealing with your web-designer, I'll leave that to you & the others. My suggestion would be to take the current state, start a new thread here in the Chit-Chat section and get advice from the experienced folks here regarding how to move forward. Instead of spending too much time worrying about these details, you could be focusing on making the most out of it. Even if you later decide to move on and have the whole site re-made, you will have learned a lot about the details that you'll need to know then.
Love how John ends with, "you will have learned a lot about the details that you'll need to know then."
Bottom line, the site should not be live until the site owner approves it. It should be on a test domain, locked down, until it is approved. Once approved, then well...
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.