There’s nothing I dread more than spending hours writing a post based on original research only for someone to steal it and use it as their own.
And I know I’m not the only one.
So in this guide, I tell you exactly what to do when someone steals your blog posts. You will learn how to:
- Find who is stealing your content
- Stop the other blogger from stealing your blog posts
- Keep people from stealing your blog posts in the future
Let’s get started.
How Do You Find Duplicate Content
Knowing whether someone else is using your content without your consent is easy these days. You just have to dedicate a few of hours a week to identify these irregularities using plagiarism tools like Grammarly, Plagiarisma, or CopyScape.
All you do is copy, paste your content into tools, and let them decide whether it’s a duplicate. Apart from using plagiarism detectors to find stolen ideas, you can do the following:
1. Set up Google Alerts
In this set up, you will be using keywords, or keyword phrases because Google Alerts crawls and indexes posts.
When posts are uploaded and Google finds your phrases while crawling them, you get an alert.
Google alerts are a good way for you to keep track of content theft, not to mention that it can also help you to monitor your brand mentions.
2. Track Internal Links
What we know of internal links is they help Google index all your posts and pages plus keep your readers on your site as they click on these links.
What most of us bloggers don’t know about internal links is that they help us identify our stolen content with ease.
When the article is published on site, it automatically links back to your website. A backlink monitoring tool will help you identify these links. You can also find the links on the WordPress pingback system or Google Analytics.
Always find time to check the new domains referring to your site and if you find one that takes advantage of your content writing efforts, add it to your list of stolen content.
I’ll show you how to deal with the sites – and URLs – later in this guide.
3. Use Reverse Image Search
Some content thieves are shameless enough to steal both your posts and images. So doing a reserve image search can also help you to determine whether someone else is using your content for his or her selfish gains.
This method doesn’t work for all images. To be abundantly clear, it only applies to images that you’ve created yourself, not those you’ve downloaded from creative commons or picked from stock photo websites.
What to Do When Someone Steals Your Blog Posts
Here’s what you can do when you realize that someone else stole your blog posts and is benefiting from them:
1. Contact the Site’s Advertisers
Green is the main reason why people steal your blog post.
The internet is full of inhumane folks who aren’t afraid to steal your content, publish it on their site as is, and make money from it through advertisements.
They’re too lazy to do original research and create unique content the same way you did. And if anything, they need quick money and will do whatever it takes to get it.
The best way to deal with such people as far as advertising is concerned is to report them to their advertisers and tell them the site has copied content that is against their terms and conditions.
The advertisers will do away with the site, which is a great loss to the person that copied your work.
2. Ask the Webmaster to Stop
Sometimes the copy written wasn’t stolen intentionally. This happens when a blogger outsources work to writers who are so lazy that the best they can do is copy and paste content from your website.
More often than not, the other blogger isn’t aware that the article he or she has just uploaded to their site belongs to you.
In this case, contacting their advertiser wouldn’t be fair way to deal with the situation. In such a scenario, the best thing to do would be to send an email to the site owner, notifying them that they stole content from your site and should pull it down.
Once you prove your ownership by providing a copy of the same article and the date of publication, the other blogger will be more than delighted to remove the post from their website – and deal with the writer who copied your work.
3. Contact the Site’s Hosting Company
Contacting the website’s host is what you want to do when you don’t get a response from the webmaster responsible.
Tell the hosting company that the site they are hosting is in breach of copyright. They will ask the website owner to remove the copyright from their blog. And in case they fail to do so, the hosting service will remove the site because they’re against supporting copied content.
How to Keep Your Blog Posts from Being Stolen
Now that you know what to do when someone steals your blog posts, let’s look at what you can do to prevent lazy bloggers from copying your content
1. Use Cloudflare’s Content Protection
Cloudflare is a service that protects bloggers from content-scraping bots. Cloudflare comes with a Scrape Shield setting for hotlink control and email protection. In addition, they have a firewall functionality that denies bot requests hitting your servers.
2. Make Your RSS Display Summaries
Most content thieves know that your blogs have an RSS feed by default. That’s why they will prey on content using bots.
If you’ve built your blog on WordPress, you can stop content thieves from tampering with your RSS feeds by changing the feed in the “reading” section from full text to summary.
If you don’t use WordPress, you can use 3rd party RSS management tools such as Content Studio to help you get the job done.
3. Use a Feed Delay
Although your stolen content can outrank you on SERP, such chances are minimal. Today, Google is smart to identify scraped blog posts.
Scraped content is determined by looking at the publish date. If Google discovers your article today and some months later, it discovers a scraped copy, it will out rightly trust your copy. Therefore, include a delay to when bots can scrape the posts on your blog.
Alter the delay on your RSS feeds to show your post a day later than when it went live. Doing so will give Google time to index your article before the bot scrapes get your posts.
You don’t have to let anyone take advantage of your hard work. So report copied content immediately you notice that someone is trying to steal what you’ve worked so hard to produce.