Have you ever had your blog content copied without attribution? If this has never happened to you, let me tell you that it might happen! You need to read this post and learn about what you have to do if something like this happens.
People that steal your content are called content scrapers. A scraper site is a website that gets its content from other websites or blogs through Web harvesting.
Why do people create such spam websites?
They mainly do that for advertising purposes. These websites have no value whatsoever. They just collect revenue from advertising. It is an old technique some marketers used. They write sloppy content to annoy visitors and make them leave by clicking on ads.
I know a friend who suffered from content scrapers. Her blog posts were copied by another blog! She talked about how she solved this problem on her post My Blog Has Been Hijacked!! Make sure you read it because I am not going to repeat what she said. But I am going to show you another thing you need to do when your content get stolen.
But first, you need to check if someone is stealing your content. You can do that on CopyScape.
The tool will show you a list of sites that copy your content. You can visit them and see what they have been doing with your content.
The first thing you need to do is to contact the webmaster and ask him or her to remove the content. If they don’t reply, take the needed action:
Report it to Google!
Yes, you can report spam websites to Google easily. They offer a very cool spam reporting feature on Google Webmaster Tools. I first learned about it from a blog. I don’t remember the blog exactly because I didn’t read the post or comment. I just read the title “how to report spam websites to Google” while scrolling down. When my friend Adrienne commented on my post How to Know if Someone is Stealing your Product and how to Prevent That, she mentioned this problem of content scrapers. I remembered the post title then and started looking for the blog. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it, but I did find what I want.
Without further ado, here is how you report spam websites to Google:
Click here to report spam to Google
Follow these steps:
- Write the URL of the website that steals your blog content
- Write the search query. You can Google one of your blog posts that were stolen and see if they’re indexed. Sometimes you’ll find them ranking higher than you! Copy the search query and paste it in this field.
- Copy the URL of Google search result and paste it in this field.
- Specify the problem. In this case, it is duplicate site or pages.
- Write additional information. Here you can say something like: “this spam website is stealing ALL of my blog posts and it is ranking higher than me in the search result! Please take the necessary action.”
- Click on Report Spam
You’re done! Rest assured that Google will take the needed action!
Additional things you can do:
- Contact the website hosting company.
- Contact advertisers. Most of them don’t want to be associated with such websites. Don’t forget that these spam sites exist mainly because of advertising. If you hit them there, they won’t be able to survive!
I’ve never had my content stolen. As I said, it might happen and it is almost inevitable now.
Are there ways to prevent it?
I am not sure. Some bloggers use Blog Protector plugin that prevent right click and selection of text. I am not sure if this plugin is effective. I wonder if it can stop content creation software from retrieving content from your blog… There is also a plugin called Copyrighted Post. It shows a copyright notice at the end of each post you write. I don’t use any of these plugins and I have never tried them. I don’t think prevention is the best cure in this case.
What do you think? I look forward to reading your comments.
Please, help me spread the word by sharing this post. Thanks in advance!
Have a great day!