Preventing Content Theft
Updated: May 31, 2022
You’ve optimised your content strategy; You have the education and experience to produce professional, compelling content; You’ve put in the effort and hard work to produce industry-leading articles; It’s taken hard work, dedication and brain-power to get to this point. And then someone goes and steals your content. Content theft can feel just as violating as your physical property being stolen. Like any sort of theft, you can’t eliminate the risk, but there are steps to take to reduce it.
The purpose of a copyright notice is to notify viewers that your work is not to be used in any way that you do not approve of.
You will need to use the copyright symbol ©, your name and/or site name, current year or year range and any additional conditions about the use of your work. Putting this notice into your footer will ensure that the notice is displayed on every page of your site.
Use a Creative Commons Licence You can obtain a CC licence from this link which details the conditions in which you consent to your work being shared. Often just displaying the badge on your website can deter people from stealing your work. Google your work People steal content because they don’t have the skills or knowledge to write for themselves. When they steal, they’re often very lazy about it and won’t bother to change it up before publishing. Copy a few key paragraphs from your work and do a Google search on it. If someone has copy and pasted something of yours, it will show up in the search results ready for you to take further action.
Author Byline Include your name on everything you publish. The lazy thieves sometimes leave the original authors name included which identifies you as the author and makes it easier for you to find.
Google Alerts Google Alerts lets you register a topic you’d like to be notified about when Google indexes a new page matching your chosen topic. Simply set up an alert here for the name you publish content under, then any stolen content with your name on it will be sent straight to your inbox.
Copyscape Copyscape.com is a service to check whether your content appears on any other pages on the internet. It’s a quick and easy way to identify if anyone has used your work without permission and to check the originality of any content that you’ve purchased from a second party.
Use Stolen Content as Social Shares Having your work shared online in the digital age is parallel to word of mouth and can even have a wider reach. When writing content, always include links to other pages of your site so that if someone steals and republishes your work, it will still include a link back to your website. For example, if someone steals your article on 10 Tips for First Home Buyers and you’ve included a link to another article you’ve written, such as Understanding Lender’s Mortgage Insurance, then chances are, you’ll get some traffic to your website. Of course, if the plagiarised source is going to affect your Google rankings then it’s best not to stand idly by.
DMCA Take-Down Notice via Google If you believe your work has been infringed, you can file a complaint with Google here. They will investigate the claim and remove the infringing content accordingly under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). The internet can be such a free-for-all when it comes to content, but plagiarism is a big deal. Take action to ensure your hard work is protected.