SEO Best Practices: How to Deal with Duplicate Content Issues
Being a content writer is not an easy job to do. This kind of writers need to be constantly aware of new content being published and try to be as original as possible in their writings, yet stay inside the boundaries of their vocation. Once we get the perfect balance and enter the state of equilibrium that makes us productive, we tend to get outraged when we stumble upon a copycat that has copied a part or even the whole piece of text that we wrote to their website or blog.
This happens often. If you ever wrote a blog post that went just a wee bit viral, the chances that someone copied your article is high. Do not think that this is the end of the world. Luckily for us, there are many pieces of software and tips and tricks that can help us protect our articles from the online content thieves and help us with removing stolen content from the websites where it was published.
A Few Short Tips On How To Avoid Plagiarism
- Place a license on your written stuff – Once you license everything that you have written on your blog, you will state clear rules about your content. In order to get informed more about how licenses work, you can check out the Creative Commons website.
- Insert a copyright sign – In order to make everyone aware of your opinion about copying your content, you should definitely consider placing a copyright sign or even a banner somewhere near the headline of the article. Furthermore, you can also put one in the footer, just in case.
- Watermark it – Watermarking can be done only to the images and videos, but if you manage to create your text into an image and watermark it, you will increase the chances of not getting copied. However, no one can guarantee it that someone will not just retype it. In other words, this is an effective way to prevent images and videos getting stolen but not text.
- Use Google Alerts – Google alerts is a tool that provides notifications whenever your name, brand name or anything else connected to your blog or website is mentioned on the Internet. Google Alerts is pretty easy tool to use and once you master it, you will be able to automate the whole process of getting alerts when something is mentioned.
- Google Search – when the Google Alerts tool seems ineffective, you can always manually search for some key phrases and see whether your content is being copied somewhere. You need to be very good with keywords which will be the main focus of the Google searches.
- RSS feed should be protected – RSS feed of your blog or website can often be an easy target to the automated content stealers which will use your text and publish it elsewhere without citing the source. There are numerous plugins that can insert a copyright message to your RSS feed which means that content thieves will have more trouble stealing it from you.
What To Do Once You Find Out That Someone Has Stolen Your Content?
It can be pretty awkward for a content writer to make the first step in contacting the person that has stolen their content. But it should not be, because content writer owns 100% of his content and those who stole deserve to be punished in some way. We will not go as far as punishing, but here are a few steps that can be taken in order to get the stolen content removed from the website of the thief.
- Create screenshots of the stolen content – Before actually contacting the owner of the website, you should take screenshots of the website that stole your content as well as your content on it. This should be done before all because it will serve as good evidence if this goes to the court.
- Contact the owner – the best way to contact the owner of the website that has your stolen content is to get their phone number and call them on the phone, because they will be taken aback by the fact that they are actually talking to you, and will more likely remove the content without any further arguments.
- File a DMCA complaint, together with Google- If the website owner refuses to take down the plagiarized content, it means that it is time to take some legal action and file a DMCA complaint that Google has as an option. DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act and, to put simply, forbids any kind of digital things to be copied – a piece of software, a device, or any piece of art in digital format. There is a form that you can fill out on Google and once it goes through, Google will completely remove the website from its index. This means that people will not be able to find that website on Google when they search something.
- Try to build bad reputation for that website – If you are a revengeful person, you can also try and build bad reputation for the website that stole your content. There are many ways to do that, such as bad reviews on Google and other websites for ranking websites. These are some extreme measures and should only be applied if you are really outraged by the fact that they stole from you.
- Sue them – If you think it will be worth the expenses, you can sue the website that stole the content from you, and if justice is served, they will probably have to pay to you just enough to cover your lawyer. Yeah, the last option is really not the one where you win a lot.
Useful Software For Detecting Content Plagiarism
We have already mentioned Google Alerts which is a great piece of software, but even more useful than that is the website called Copyscape. It is a really simple tool and all you need to do is to enter the URL where your article is posted and it will immediately show you where your content may be also used.
Furthermore, they have a tool called Copysentry which will scan the web for the potential copies of your article and sent you notifications on email whenever someone uses a piece of your text without permission. Copyscape has a premium service which will give the users benefits such as checking for plagiarism before publishing and many other interesting tools that are connected to content plagiarism.
To sum up, humanity still did not invent the effective way to eradicate duplicate content on the Internet and it is going to exist as long as Internet itself exists. However, there are websites and pieces of software that are doing great job in order to minimize content plagiarism and as long as you use those and stick to the tips and tricks provided in this article, you will be 99% safe. If you happen to find that someone stole your content, you should consider using the tips and tricks provided in this article to have the stolen content successfully removed.
Scott Ragin is a digital marketing expert and a passionate writer. He loves guiding other people through their content marketing practice and shares his ideas as a blogger. Scott Ragin is a writing expert at Aussiewriter. Feel free to contact him at Facebook.