Blog Post Copy: How to react if this occur to you?

Blog Post Copy: How to find it out?

With hundreds of millions of website across the world you might think: “How is it possible for me to find out if somebody copy my content?”  In fact, it is easier than you think to do so.  Let’s go through some ways to do so very easily:

  • Find out using your Native CMS options.

You are using WordPress or another popular CMS platform?  Turn trackbacks/pingbacks on.  In WordPress you will find in Setting under Discussion “Allow link notifications from other blogs”.

 

If the other website has “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from article” on, chances are that you will be notified.  A notification will appear in your comment section.

To make sure this work as expected, always include at least one internal link in the middle of your blog post.  This internal link now become a link pointing to another blog post of yours from an external source when published.  And as a side benefit, peoples going through your content might stay on your site longer if they find additional interesting content in your blog posts.

You can ask google to alert you should some specific content is found by them on the web.  Use your gmail account to login.  Create an account if you do not have one already.  Browse to http://www.google.com/alerts and fill in the blank.  Make sure you take a textual portion of your blog post that is unlikely to be reproduced as is to avoid false positive.

Should that portion be found by google you will be warned about it.

Copyscape will only need your website .url and will scour the net to find out all instances of copied content.  Should you have a lot of content, it would be a better solution than having to create one alert for each individual post.

Who Copy Blog Post and Why?

Google has become very good at finding out the original content from the copied version of it.  As such, less people benefit from copying content these days.  Should google penalized you from copying somebody’s else content, you will fill the pain, let me tell you.

However, you cannot trust this entirely.  Google might make mistake and believe your content is the copy.  As such you must keep an eye out for this.  Furthermore, other search engines are not as reliable identifying the original version from the copy.

Most of the time, when you find copied content, this will be somebody starting out and trying to get a free pass.  Not knowing the risks, he is incurring by copying other’s content.

What to do when finding your Blog Post Copied?

This is a good sign!  Your content is worth copying.  You should rejoice. 😉  After the initial smile, before reacting, take the time to review the situation:

  • Do you receive proper attribution?

The first and last line of the blog post should mention something like this:  This blog post appeared first on http://www.yourdomain.com/your-blog-post-url/

  • Does images copied included your copyright notice?

Your images should include your copyright notice and link back to your domain.  The notice should be clear in the legend portion of the image.

  • The .url links pointing to your other content are still active?

Should the original .url linking to other articles of yours on your own website be inactive or pointing somewhere else, you know this is intentional stealing of your content.  Otherwise, is this an opportunity?

  • Where does the canonical url point to?

The canonical url tells search engines: 1) this blog post is a copy of another one, 2) where to find the original copy and 3) instruct the search engine to rank the original copy.

To find out about this, you can right-click in the post and chose inspect from Chrome or View Source on most other browsers.  When you are looking at the source, search for the word “canonical”.  The line that include this word should be written like this:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.yourdomain.com/your-blog-post-url/”>

If all these tests are positive, the value you get from it might be greater than the harm.  At least you know that the intentions on the other side are good and sincere.

Otherwise you need to react to get things fixed.

Should you turn a Blog Post Copy into an Opportunity?

Your content is yours and you certainly have the right to ask for it to be removed.  You can go down the path of asking politely to have it remove up to filing a formal DMCA complaint.  Leveraging this into an opportunity is usually not worth it.

Before considering leveraging this as an opportunity consider the following:

  • What is the domain reputation on search engines;

The domain reputation will be usually really low.  Nobody earns from copying content these days.

  • What are the modifications that are needed for this to become acceptable;

Having somebody new to the web to include the proper canonical url to a blog post is something really complex.  Out of the 4 check you will be doing this is the most important one IMHO.

  • Take into consideration the time needed to verify your content regularly afterward.

Should you succeed in having all of it fixed, nothing could prevent them from removing these in the future?  This means that you would have to check that back again on a regular basis.

In most case, it might be better off just asking for the content to be removed.  In some situation though, it could prove more rewarding to have the content fixed.  If the content is fixed to your liking this could give you some backlinks that will improve over time.

When I try to transform these in opportunities, I use Link Assistant from SEO Powersuite to manage these and make sure they are and remains compliant over time.

Related resources and articles about unauthorized uses of your content:

So tell us, what did you do the last time one of your blog post / pictures has been used without your consent?