Plagiarism and content theft are serious problems in the days of the internet. Stealing your website’s content is as simple as copy and paste, and if you don’t think it could happen to your website, think again. There are lots of reasons someone might want to take credit for your content: indexing higher in search, being associated with high-quality content (without having to write the content), or harboring an intention to hurt your site’s rank and have Google impose penalties on you.
So how can you protect your content from being plucked from your website and passed off as someone else’s?
Protecting your website from content theft
Copyscape is a service that detects plagiarized content all over the web. You need to run your website content through Copyscape or a similar service to:
- Ensure you aren’t accidentally plagiarizing or taking credit for content that you didn’t write
- Check to see if anyone has plagiarized your content and is passing it off as their own
- Respond to any acts of plagiarism you find
Gideon Greenspan, co-founder of Copyscape, doesn’t take kindly to content theft: “Our expertise is designing advanced algorithms to beat the spammers, beat the content thieves, beat the content fraudsters, and provide our customers with the best protection they can get.”
This is how Copyscape protects your website from content theft:
They’re all seeing
The company partners with global organizations and companies to make sure they have access to even the darkest corners of the internet–and they scrape it all for traces of your content, much like some type of omniscient forensic detective.
They offer scale-able solutions
Whether you’re a small business or startup just beginning your foray into the world of business, or a well-established company with thousands of pieces of content online, Copyscape can support your efforts to protect your website from content theft. There are free and paid solutions available with different capabilities.
They use advanced algorithms
It’s not easy to dig up content that’s been plagiarized, and we’re willing to bet you don’t have the time to try and figure it out. Copyscape manages to do it by using powerful hardware and advanced algorithms that are constantly being updated to search the web more efficiently for traces of your content you probably wouldn’t find otherwise.
Why does my website need protection from content theft?
We mentioned above some of the reasons your content might be stolen; It could help another site index higher in search, be associated with high-quality content (without having to pay for or write the content), or hurt your site’s rank and have Google impose penalties on you while they continue to rise in search. How can this happen?
Search index issues
When another site copies and publishes your popular content, it can actually propel them past your website in search. It doesn’t matter if you’re well-ranked or not; recent studies have shown that your site’s authority on a certain topic and past rankings don’t stop plagiarists from using your content to rank higher in search.
Tarnishing your online reputation
If someone is copying and publishing your content, chances are, it’s because they know readers and viewers will find it interesting and valuable. They know it’s already been optimized for SEO. To them, your content is free and will boost their online reputation. And if your content is published in enough places, your online reputation will suffer as it becomes less clear who originally published the content in question.
When your content is being copied and published in numerous places, Google can impose search rank penalties on your site because it will screen your content as “bad.” Duplicate content will only punish you in search, so it’s imperative to find any duplicate content and make sure it’s taken down.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where our content was safe from plagiarism? Your website can take measures to protect itself from content theft, and it’s important that you start now if you haven’t been keeping track so far. Content theft is a very real problem for businesses in today’s landscape. Unfair? Absolutely. But unstoppable? Not so much.