Are You Protecting Your Content?

Th blogosphere is a harsh and unforgiving world; think of it as a modern day wild west. Gone are the days when you can tell the teacher when someone is copying your work, if you’re a blogger it’s down to you to protect your territory (your blog) and the content you publish on it.

It’s an unfortunate and sad truth that there are people out there willing to leech on your creativity and hard work, and pass it off as their own. To add insult to injury they may even be making money off of your hard work.

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If you browse the less reputable freelance websites, you’ll notice a slew of “employers” offering writers money to “spin” articles for their site. Put simply, spinning is taking someone else’s hard work and rearranging it to pass it off as your own. It’s wrong, and it damages the blogging community.

If you’re a content creator you will no doubt eventually discover that your content has been scraped and published on another site without giving you credit. If this happens to you, you will soon learn that imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. To help prevent this from happening there are a few things you will need to understand, and a few steps you can take.

How do they do it?

Remember that you’re dealing with lazy people here; they aren’t spending the time browsing your blog, reading the content, and picking out your best work. They’re scraping the content directly from your RSS feed. Pro blogger outlines some great steps you can take to make sure it’s clear where the content came from if it is ever stolen.

Firstly, you can stop people from copying the text using plugins, but this can also prevent people from quoting your work and writing about you, so it’s generally not the best option. Another more friendly suggestion is to manage your RSS feed more effectively. Enable snippet view, so the content can’t be scraped directly from the RSS, and then add a copyright notice to the end of your posts as part of the signature. This way, even if they steal your content, readers will see where it originated.

How can you keep track?

  • Set up Google alerts for your name, your blog name, your domain, and any keywords associated with your content.
  • Check CopyScape to see if your content is showing up anywhere else on the web.

And how can you take them down?

  • Contact the owner of the domain (you can find them using a WHOIS search) and request that the content be removed.
  • If your request is ignored you can file a DMCA report with Google so they can remove your content and prevent the thief from earning money through Google AdSense.