Updated February 2022
If you are a writer, you know what it takes to write a high-quality article. You spend hours researching and writing to create the best content out there.
But what happens when someone uses your diligent work for his benefit without caring a damn about you? Yes, I am talking about content theft.
It feels so frustrating and angry when someone else uses your article without your permission. But what can you do and does it affect you or your site in any manner? Should you care about it and How can you stop it?
Stay tuned. In this article, I am going to show you how to deal with content theft and content scrapers?
Understanding content plagiarism
Plagiarism is a common word being used in the digital marketing industry.
Plagiarism refers to a practice of using someone others work as your own without their permission or without acknowledging them.
When one copy your blog content even if one paragraph and paste it on his site without giving you credit, then he is doing plagiarism which is a serious offense.
While you should not worry too much about someone other using some lines of your blog content without giving you credit. But you should always watch out for where your content even if one paragraph is being used as you can ask the person using your content to give you a link as a credit. This way, you can get some backlinks.
If someone copies your blog content as a whole and paste it on his site, then you should worry about it. This is content theft. A common problem writers face on Internet. Because this was your content and you did the diligent work for creating it then how can you let other people use your diligent work for their benefit.
How your blog content being used on other sites affect your site SEO
Your blog content is a result of your diligent work so why you would let others use it. Your web content being used on other sites can be truly harmful to you too.
Duplicates of your content can sometimes rank higher than your blog in search engines and this way, you can lose your rankings and revenues to those bloody scrappers.
Although, this is rare in 2018 as Google from the past few years is taking strict measures to stop plagiarism and scrappers. Google’s latest updates were aimed to penalize sites that use duplicate content. So if someone will use your content on his or her site then Google will recognize that as a duplicate content and will deep burr that page on search results and maybe sometimes penalize the scraper website.
So losing your rankings to the scrappers is not a major concern now.
But still it may happen, in case the duplicate content gets indexed faster than the original one. If this happens then this might be possible that Google perceives your content as duplicate and thus you can get penalized instead.
Although, as said this is rare still you should stay safe.
How to know who is using your content
Before you can take some action against content stealing, you need to know who they are?
In order to check where your blog content is used other than your site, you can use tools like:
1. Copyscape: Copyscape is a tool which helps you find out duplicates of your blog content. You just need to enter your blog URL and the Copyscape search engine will look for its duplicates and notify you.
2. Webmaster tools: Webmaster tools will help you catch content scrappers who may be continuously using your blog content on their site.
Go to webmaster tools then look for your site on the web>links to your site.
Look for websites that link you many times and check them. They can be content scrappers.
These are some ways you can check where your content is being used other than your site.
Once you find your blog content being used on other sites, you may be wondering-
What to do if someone uses your blog content?
Even if you don’t lose your rankings to the duplicate page still you will never want your diligent work being used on other sites without any benefit of yours.
In case you recognize a site using your blog content as a whole, you can do two things-
1. Contact the website owner and ask them to remove that page or content. In order to contact the website owner, you can use their email, contact form or any phone numbers if listed. In case you don’t find any way to contact the site owner from his website, what you can do is a whois look up to find out who owns the domain and other contact details.
2. File a DMCA complaint: In case, the website owner does not agree to remove content or accept your conditions, then we can send a send a DMCA letter to web host of that website using your content. You can find where that website is hosted using whois. Once you send DMCA letter to the web host, the web host will take strict action towards the scraper website.
3. If nothing seems to work then its time to file a lawsuit.
Prevent content theft: How to avoid your content being copied
There are a few things you can use as to avoid your content being copied.
Down I list 2 things you can do as to avoid your content from being copy pasted on other sites.
- Use a Copyright Notice: There are many people on the Internet who do not know about plagiarism and copyright. These type of people are most of the times new to the digital marketing industry. You make these people not to copy your content by making them know that this is an offense. You can craft a Copyright notice and add it to your site. Post your copyright notice on a visible place on our site. When people will visit your site and see your copyright notice, scrappers will get warmed and unintentional stealers will get to know about copyright and plagiarism.
- Make your content all yours: This is yet another way you can use to minimize your content being copied. What stealers do is copy your content and paste it on their site as theirs but what if they will not be able to prove your content theirs. If your content will be more personalized for your website and you then scrappers would not like to copy your content. How you can do this is by using your name and your website name often in your articles. You may also use other tactics to make your article look only yours.
Turning Small steals into Backlinks
As said earlier, you should watch out for where is your content being used even if in a small amount. As you can turn this into a link building opportunity.
Many times scrappers websites provide us some backlinks that are useful. You should never allow your whole article being used on other websites but people using some lines of your content are acceptable. As these people can provide you backlinks if you ask them for credit.
In case you wanna automate this process of asking for links to stealers, you can use WordPress plugins like Copylink.
This plugin will automatically add your website link attribution if someone copy pastes your web content on his site.
This will help you get more links to form scrappers and common people interested in using your content.
The Bottom Line
With search engines getting smarter and smarter, now they can distinguish between duplicate and original content. So scrapper would not be able to steal your rankings in most cases.
Still, you should avoid your content being used on other sites as this is your diligent work.
Many times people copy a few lines of content from your website and paste it on theirs. To handle this, you can use plugins like copylink which can help you get more links from other websites copying your content.
Remember, scrappers are not always bad and can be really helpful in link building
Thanks for reading and hope it helps.