Does this scenario sound familiar? You are surfing the web, trying to find some topics related to a recent post you published on your blog. Hoping that you can find some people to crosslink with, you are surprised when you find a post on another site that looks a lot like your own. No… it looks exactly like your own. Someone has stolen your content!
It would be nice to say that this is a rare occurrence, but we all known better. Plagiarism is a common crime, especially from blogs that don’t have the team of lawyers of larger sites and companies to protect their copyright. But what makes it worse is that often scrapers and scammers who steal this content end up with higher rankings in search engines as they use unethical tactics to draw traffic.
This means that even though you wrote it first, it is possible that your site could be outranked by someone else using it. Your blog might be filtered by Google, and it can be difficult to prove that you were the original owner and so deserve the top spot.
Don’t scream in frustration just yet. The best way to fight plagiarism is to prevent it, and there are ways to do that.
Copyright Your Content
It isn’t airtight protection, but it can stop casual snatchers from taking your work without permission. Just provide a small copyright notice at the end of the post, stating that you maintain all rights over what has been written. This should contain the year, as well. It will look like this: Â© Bob Smith 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Many bloggers will just put this in the bottom of the page theme, implying that all content posted is protected.
Use Plagiarism Detectors
If you are worried that content might have been stolen, there are various tools that will allow you to search for things taken in part, or in full. Some of them are:
- Duplicate content tool: Detects duplicate content by text
- PlagHunter: Detects where your images have been stolen
How to Deal with Plagiarized Content
Once you find who steals your content, submit a DMCA complaint with Google which is pretty easy and you won’t need any legal help with it. Google is pretty quick at processing them too: It is reported to be removing one million pages a month as a result of DMCA reports!
You may also want to use WordPress plugins to combat illegal content copying:
- WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click
- Content Copy Protection & Prevent Image Save
- Plagiarism Checker By SST
Do you have any tools that can help you to be alerted to plagiarism? Anything to help prevent it from happening in the first place? Let us know in the comments.
Image credits via Flickr.