It involves a lot of time, hard work, and intellectual thinking to create content that is unique and original.
But how would you feel when you realize that your content is being copied or theft?
Truly this is painful and shocking!
Call it plagiarism, copying, cheating, content jacking, or anything else, this act is undoubtedly disgraceful.
And the bitter truth is that despite knowing this fact, a large number of people still practice it.
If you host a website, blog, magazine, or any other online platform, then you must have experienced this problem for at least once till date.
However, the good thing is that it is possible to protect your content from being copied and hence fight content plagiarism. To help combat the threat of content thieves, all you need to do is prepare well and practice all possible measures.
But is content plagiarism really a big issue? Let’s read below and find out!
Why is Content Plagiarism a Big Issue?
Here have a quick glance to know why content plagiarism is a big problem.
- Protecting your content from being stolen is equally important as posting original and unique content.
- It is because Google penalizes sites and blogs with duplicate content. As a penalty, they will never be able to rank top on the search engines.
- Additionally, it can be a great loss to your image and reputation. If your site or online platform is identified as penalized, then it will not be allowed to perform in the online arena. Hence, this can be a great loss to your reputation and authority.
- Just like any other theft, even content theft is unlawful and dishonorable.
- If anyone practices it, then he is performing an illegal activity that is at all cost punishable.
- Just like your brand has to be unique, even your content has to be original. Only then it is possible to build a unique brand image online.
- Most importantly, when you publish copied content then you are rendering negative impact to your site. You can never avail higher search engine rankings with copied content.
Hence, it is essential to not just avoid copying the content, but also to protect the one belonging to you.
With the qualitative plagiarism checker tools and adapting precise measures, it is possible to check theft of your content, rectify it, and prevent your future content from being copied or stolen.
How to Know about Theft of Your Content?
With innumerable sites online, tracking down content plagiarism is not an easy task. Before you head towards using any tool to check for theft of your content, it is first important to discover whether the stealing has really happened or not.
Here are some top-notch methods to find it:
1. Google Alerts:
This is one of the easiest and simplest tools to detect the robbery of your content. This tool has been introduced by Google to offer support and help to all the writers on the web.
You can use it by just visiting the Google Alerts website, placing in a part of your article, and select the types of online platforms that need to be searched, to identify content theft.
You need to provide your email address in order to fetch the necessary details about the theft.
Also, it is the same ID that Google uses to contact you with the requisite results. you can set Google alerts as per your preference on receiving notifications on weekly, daily, or when a theft happens.
2. HubSpot Social Inbox, Topsy, and Twitter Conversations:
While earlier, it was only Google Alerts that the content marketers were relying on, there are similar tools introduced to offer support to content protection.
With HubSpot Social Inbox you can see from the contact list to know that anyone is copying your brand, keywords, or phrases. For this, you need to list the required information.
Twitter conversations and Topsy allows to pull information from blogs and websites and to know about their stealing.
This is one of the most used and reliable ways to check for content stealing. You just have to place the URL of your page into the search box, and the results will be displayed.
With Copyscape, it is possible to locate the exact platform or site where the content appears other than your site online.
While the free version fetches only the top 10 results, the paid version can help you with the more robust report.
Depending on the basis of the content management system you use, you can ask for notifications when a site links to your post.
If the third party simply copies your content and pastes it on his site then it is possible to know through pingbacks. This is an easy way where you don’t need any analytics.
5. Referral Traffic:
Using marketing analytics is another effective and easy way to know whether your content has been stolen or not.
You can check the sites that are sending you traffic through marketing analytics. If there is too much traffic coming from a specific source then check that if it has content similar to your content or not.
6. Manual Checking:
If you don’t trust the above mentioned advanced tools and want to do a checking by yourself, then manual checking is the correct option for you.
With this feature, you can check about stealing of written content and copying of long-tail phrases. You can check a specific piece or phrase or the content at the bottom of your site to know whether it is being copied.
You can also do the manual checking for the images on your site or blog through Image Search Feature from Google. This is a time-intensive way, but it is definitely the most effective solution to identify content theft and defend it.
Once you have used these ways to identify that your content has stolen, you must not immediately land up reaching to thieve. Before you do that it is vital to confirm and for this, you need to evaluate the entire situation first.
Once you are sure that the content is being stolen then you can always fight to get it removed from that website. Here is what all you can do!
How to Fight Content Plagiarism against the Thieve?
Once you have decided to take a step further and move forward to fight against content theft, then there are certain measures that you can adopt.
This will ensure that you reach the desired outcome without putting in too much time and efforts.
1. Take Screenshot of the Copied Content:
Since it is a theft, so you need to have enough proof to support the situation in your favor.
The best way is to take the screenshot of the copied content right away. This way, you will have proof with you.
If possible then click the screenshot of the entire content. If not possible, then at least take a screenshot of the content that has been copied. Also, do record the site URL so that you can show it and use it to confirm your evaluation.
There are all kinds of tools available in your operating system to help you perform such tasks. Otherwise, you can always check Google to know the correct way to do this.
2. Send an Email to the Offender:
It is essential to get in touch with the concerned person directly before you report the issue to Google.
If you are not able to find out the offender’s email address on his website, then you can conduct a domain search to find the same.
When you register a domain name, you need to submit contact information, which is in most of the cases not public.
If a domain registration is public then you can use a plugin from Google known as Rapportive. In just a few minutes, it would help you land to the desired email address.
3. Reporting Offender to Website Hosting Providers or Search Engines:
If the email communication between you and the offender is not so healthy, then you can take more time in order to get the stolen content removed.
For this, you can manually submit a complaint against the offender and request to remove it from search engines, or contacting the hosting provider.
There is also a DMCA or Digital Millennium Copyright Act for the same that needs hosting providers and other processors to follow a process to remove the stolen material from their online platform.
You can identify the hosting provider by using the domain search method.
Not only Google but even other search engines consider plagiarism a serious offense.
You can contact them directly to resolve the problem. Once you are done with it you need to wait for the reply, which can be within minutes or in a few days.
How to Prevent Content Plagiarism?
As per the old saying, ‘prevention is always better than cure’ Hence, you can fight against content thefts by ensuring that your content is always protected.
This can be an exhaustive process, but it is the only way to ensure that your content is 100% safe.
1. Include a Copyright Notice:
It is best to include a copyright phrase or notice under your content or on your website or blog. This would not affect the copyright coverage.
You can include the phrase in the footer to remind readers about the copyright status so that they always keep their hands off.
DMCA.com and Copyright offer free banners that you can include on your website.
2. Draft Proper Guidelines for Content Usage:
While the inbound marketing strategy is partially related to content that people could easily share, but this does not imply that you are offering them the right to copy the content.
A great way to clear the confusion is drafting suitable guidelines for the same.
You need to define clearly to users about the usability of your content. This can be done for all types of contents on your site like blog posts, presentations, graphs, images, and more.
You can always refer to similar guidelines hosted on reputed content related websites. This will provide you a better idea.
3. Setting Up Google Search Authorship:
Yet another effective way to mark the originality of your content and protect it from stealing is setting up Google Search Authorship. This authorship defends your content from being stolen. It allows you the ease to publish content online.
If anyone would try stealing your content, then it would be liked back to you. Eventually, it helps to duplicate your content with support from Google.
If having difficulty, then you can always check online to know the way to set this guide.
4. Publishing Few Paragraphs in the RSS Feed:
Content thieves are getting smarter and one intelligent way they use to steal content is with robots.
In such a case, you can include a phrase or link to your company stating that the content belongs to your company.
Adding a phrase and a link will ensure that when a robot steals the content then he also copies the phrase and the link. If the third party does not remove the link then it will help Google know that the link is the original source of the content.
5. Design Visual Content with Your Brand’s Logo:
Removing brand logo from the image is one of the toughest things to do for content thieves. In most such cases, they avoid stealing such content.
Hence, you can always protect your content from stealing by including a logo of your company or brand.
Content marketing is all about offering people rich pieces of information. Content stealing is unacceptable under all circumstances and knowing the ways to prevent it and steal it would help you offer high-quality services to your audience with ease.