Plagiarism and content theft can be a blog owner’s worst nightmare. As Google and other search engine providers continue their efforts to clamp down on duplicate content, the consequences for plagiarized content become increasingly severe. While this shouldn’t concern the original publishers of content who, by nature of copyright law, own the material they produce, Google’s methods for detecting and eliminating identical material can potentially turn nasty for both victims and perpetrators thanks to a scripted, automatic method of content and source validation. For those with a vested interest in preserving their current page ranking, it’s in their best interest to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to reduce the potential for plagiarized content. The techniques listed below can put you on the right path to protecting your content.
Monitor the Web Using Google Alerts and Copyscape
Google’s powerful Alert system allows you to check for specific search terms on a recurring basis. When the designated material appears within a search, you can choose to receive an email notification. This becomes especially useful when you are scanning for identical copies of your website’s content. Choose a particular phrase from your website and establish an alert where your content is queried daily. If your material is duplicated and published online, you will be informed within 24 hours. This “early warning system” will allow you enough time to take the necessary steps to get the duplicate material removed (see steps below) before your website is wrongfully targeted by scripted systems.
How Do I Setup Google Alerts? by Brian Jensen: Video Source
In similar fashion to Alerts, Copyscape allows users to search for a segment of text on the internet. If your material has not been duplicated, the only result that should appear after the search is completed is your own website. If the content has been duplicated, you can quickly see the exact online location where the offense has occurred.
CopyScape Promo: Interesting and tempting, huh? : Video Source
Locate the Data Scraper Who Has Stolen Your Content
If you do discover that your material has been stolen, you have a number of tools at your disposal to find and contact the thief. Websites such as WhoIs.net allow users to find ownership and contact information for online domains. If you have discovered a website displaying your material, you can choose to directly confront them using the information you have uncovered. Data scrapers typically expect that their victims will never even become aware of their theft; a direct confrontation with them may quickly persuade them to remove your content.
Display Copyright Information On Your Website
Although this isn’t technically necessary, given the fact that any material you produce is automatically under copyright protection (barring contractual agreements with publishers, etc.) this visible display of ownership may help deter would-be scrapers and also lend an air of legitimacy to your website. If you do decide to make a case against a scraper or plagiarist, this will also help lend further credibility to your case.
Place A Formal DCMA Complaint With Google
Possibly one of the best options you have to prevent further theft from a particular scraper, filing a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint with Google allows you to identify your own work as well as the location of the plagiarized material. After completing the process, Google will evaluate the situation and respond to your claim using the contact details you have provided. As Google takes content theft very seriously, you can expect your case to be dealt with in a timely and professional manner.
One of the most important things to remember when pursuing copyright violation claims is that you are “in the right.” While it’s all too easy to intentionally ignore issues such as these out of a fear or lack of comfort with confrontational situations, the fact remains that you have done nothing wrong. By ignoring the issue, you are not only allowing your own integrity and hard work to be undermined but are also empowering data scrapers to violate successive individuals’ rights. Complacency only serves to further nurture the growth of the duplicate content industry. As the majority of internet service providers and search engines fully support copyright protection, you can rest assured knowing that you have a global team of professionals supporting you every step of the way.
Google and the DMCA by Jonathan Bailey: Video Source
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