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Following the words of a nobleman, Nikola Tesla who once said: “I don’t care that they steal my ideas… I care they don’t have any of their own”, we came up with an idea to write an article about people who often steal content online and use that content to rank higher and better than the ones who actually worked hard to come up with a unique piece of information.

It’s not that Google is not capable enough to find those who scrape online content. It’s more likely they often do not care if someone actually does that. Or we just simply care too much that someone else will get much more credit after all the hard work invested.

This is why I am coming up with this guide to help you battle people who are blatantly using this technique to earn a quick buck.

Let’s go through every step to show you how you can find websites that republished your content and have them removed.

Step 1: Investigation 

It’s not that hard to find a website who actually copied your content. If you are using one of the latest WordPress versions, you will be able to detect a content theft quickly. Every time I write a new article on my website or I guest post somewhere else, I always link back to some of my other posts or link directly to my website’s homepage.

The reason I am doing it is not only to pass link juice, but also as a way to figure out if anyone stole that content.

Your WordPress website will help you find stolen content by showing you trackbacks. This is essentially a WordPress way of helping you fight this. Trackbacks will show you websites that linked to yours. Once when you see that someone linked to your website, you can check out an article and see if they have stolen your content.

However, content stealers are often smarter than that, so they remove all of the links from the article and give you a hard time tracking them.

This is where Copyscape comes in. If you haven’t heard of it already, Copyscape is an online software program that helps you track plagiarism. All you have to do is enter a link to your post and wait for a few seconds. If anyone stole your content, you are going to get a clear notification that shows your where plagiarized content is.

You can also use Webmaster Tools to track links and Google Alerts to check mentions of your post title, but my recommendation goes to Copyscape as it is easiest to use.

Step 2: Getting Credit for Your Post 

Now, someone might think that the easiest way is just to report a website that stole the content but let’s be smart about it. You report it, remove the threat, but you gain no benefits from doing that.

What if you ask for credit instead of just asking for removal? Contact the website owner explaining them the situation and ask them to provide credit while clearly stating that article they posted was copied from your website. Give them an option to remove the copied content on their own if they do not provide a reference and give you credit, and threaten that you will report them to Google who will then discredit their website.

If they decide to link to your website, you will gain a useful backlink instead of a potential threat to your rankings.

You will be surprised by the number of people who will be willing to comply and provide credit to its rightful owner.

Step 3: Reporting 

This should be done only if the owner of the website hasn’t responded to your request for a reasonable amount of time.

There is no other option for you than to go running to Google and file a DMCA request to remove their content. You would have to prove that you are the rightful owner of the content by showing you are the website/business owner. Your employees can do the same, but they need to have the authority signed by you that gives them a right to act on behalf of your website.

It takes about 7-10 days for this process to go through.

Summing Up

Content theft will always find its way on the Internet. It’s just plain stealing, and if people do not have a problem doing it in the real world, they have even fewer problems doing it online. Did anyone ever steal your content? What tools have you used to deal with this?


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