I've downloaded some shaders from the web, and I'm not sure how to get them actually into Maya. I would think that there would be a folder somewhere to put them in, but I'm not sure. This is the first time I am doing this with Maya. Any thoughts??
This isn't always a problem. I run into this sort of thing frequently and I just ignore it. Thus far I haven't had a problem, although it's probably a good idea to save the resulting file with a different name just in case something goes wrong.
What might be happening is that a shader node has the same name as a node you already have in your project file. Maya will usually assign a new name to prevent name space conflicts.
If the file seems to work and your computer doesn't burst into flames, you are probably okay.