If you write awesome content, it’s inevitable it will be stolen at some point. It sucks but it happens so often these days. So, what can you do to protect your content from being stolen? You can start by putting a copyright notice on your blog, although I don’t know how much that will scare serious content thieves away.
Although there’s no 100% fool-proof method to keep your content safe, there are numerous ways to make it difficult for others to steal your content.
How to Find Out if Your Content Has Been Stolen
1. Set up Google Alerts
Each of your blog posts should have a unique title, so set up Google Alerts to generate email notifications whenever that title is published elsewhere. You can also use a section of content from within your post, if you want.
2. Use a plagiarism checker
I recommend using Grammarly and Copyscape, to check if people are plagiarizing your content. You can run a check by either copying and pasting a paragraph of text from your post or by entering the entire URL.
The services will then alert you to any web pages which have duplicated your copy.
How to Protect Your Site from Content Thieves
Although the previous two tools will only tell you when someone has published your content without your permission, there are a couple of tools you can use to protect it.
3. Sign up for Google Authorship
If you’re serious about your content and want to have more control over it, then you need to sign up for Google Authorship. This will allow you to associate your name with your content in Google’s search index, so when your content shows up in Google’s search engine, it will appear with your photo next to it.
Although content thieves will probably not care too much about it, if your content does get stolen and you decide you want to take legal action to get it removed, it will be easier to prove you are the original author.
4. Install a WordPress SEO plugin
If you have a blog on WordPress, you can use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin to protect your content. It lets you add some code to your RSS feed so that if your post is republished somewhere else on the web, it will also automatically add a link back to your site. This is only guaranteed to work when the content thief is using a piece of software which automatically republishes your content.
If you discover your content has been stolen and believe this could damage your reputation, there are a couple of things you can do to have it removed.
First, if you might want to contact the owner of the blog via email and ask him nicely to remove the content. If you don’t get any reply, which happens very often, then…
5. Take ‘em down
Use who.is or any other service you like to find out which hosting company is hosting that website and get in touch with them. Let them know that a website they’re hosting is stealing your content and prove it. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the hosting company will be obligated to block access to that website as it has infringed on someone’s copyright.
You can only use the act against sites hosted in the USA, but you can make a request even if you’re based elsewhere. If the site isn’t hosted in America, you will have to look into the equivalent legislation for that jurisdiction. You can also file a DMCA request with Google to have that content removed from Google’s search index.
If you’re serious about blogging, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on who is doing what with your content.
Article by Alex Gavril, a copywriter at 123-reg.co.uk. The company is the UK’s largest domain name registrar and offers a range of services including web hosting.