For bloggers and writers that put their heart and soul into the content they create, it can be soul crushing to find out that your content has been stolen and published somewhere else. However, there are steps you can take to prevent and monitor content theft online.
be sure to list a disclaimer on your site that any content, media, or images on your site is property of you alone and websites for individuals wanting to cite your content needs to either ask for permission or link back to the specific page they are referencing, whichever you prefer. In your disclaimer, it might be helpful to reference the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects original content online.
Content Theft Prevention Plugins
If your site runs on a platform like WordPress, there are a plethora of plug-ins available that can help fight hotlinking and copy and pasting of content. While some people to copy your content for good reason (one example being copying the title to share it on twitter), if you have had problems with stolen content in the past this may be worthwhile.
CopyScape is a plagiarism checker service, where you can paste in your content and it was scanned the Internet for other copies of it. Each search currently costs about five cents. CopyScape also offers CopySentry, which is a paid monthly service that continuously monitors pages on your site for plagiarized copies found elsewhere online.
An easy and free way to check for your content is to search for the title or key sentences within quotation marks on Google or another top search engine. Putting the phrase within quotation marks ensures that Google search for that exact phrase, instead of a combination of the words.
Additionally, you can search for your images video reverse image lookup within Google Images. You can upload the photo file or direct Google to its hosted URL.
Finally, you can also use Google alerts to set alerts for your name, company name, or trademarked phrases and Google will send you an email each time the index the page that contain that keyword or phrase. You can use Boolean search terms here as well, such as the quotation mark search referenced in the above paragraph.
If you’re on a content management system platform like WordPress, you can select to be notified whenever someone pings your post on your site. This means that they haven’t linked to that specific post, allowing you to check it to make sure that it hasn’t been completely plagiarized or twisted.
No matter what you decide are the best tactics for protecting your content online, the fact remains that there are many content thieves out there and it’s important to be cognizant of the potential risks.
photo credit: ★ spunkinator via photopin cc
Kelsey Jones runs her own social media and search marketing business, MoxieDot where she helps clients grow their online presence. She was voted one of the top 100 marketers of the year by Invesp in 2009 and has worked for Yelp, Run.com, and Bounty Towels. Check her out at MoxieDot and on Twitter @wonderwall7.