The internet is filled with people that love to benefit from other people’s work, and unfortunately, that will never stop. Search engines are attempting to try and stop this practice by punishing duplicate content, but not only does it hurt the thief, it can also hurt us.
So to help us all ensure our content is safe and sound, we are going to cover how to figure out if someone stole your content and how to deal with the situation.
Using Monitoring Programs
There are plenty of services that allow you to review your website’s current content for any duplicates on the internet. They will also let you pre-scan content to see if anyone else has the same stuff on their website before you post yours. There are many reliable services that plenty of people have been using to ensure their content is unique and that it stays that way.
You really don’t have to worry about spending much on these services because most of them are cost effective. Some even allow you to pay per scan which is usually just a few cents, but if you have a large amount of content, then you might want to just sign up with them for unlimited scans.
Keep Tabs on Your Link Profile
Another great way to find out if people have been posting your content is to keep up with your link profile. If you add a lot of links in your content, then your thief might not even bother to change the links.
You will be able to check where the link is coming from and then double check the content that they posted. This is a free strategy but doesn’t always work because some people who steal the content might take the extra time to change up the links.
Contact the Website Owner
Alright, you found that someone stole your content and you want to take action! Well, before you lose your head and get angry, understand that the website owner might not even realize the content is stolen. When a website owner doesn’t have the time or just doesn’t want to create their own content, they hire someone else to do it. While you might want them to be punished for their theft, it is always the best choice to contact them first and ask them about the situation.
When you first contact them, in a peaceful manner, ask them to remove the content due to a duplication. Most of the time, if the website owner had no idea it was stolen it will be removed right away and everything is done.
Even if the website owner is the one who stole the content, they would usually just rather take it down instead of getting reported and having it manually removed by Google and other search engines. Once it is taken down, your goal is completed and they know never to steal from your site again.
Report Them with a DMCA Takedown Request
The bad news is that this situation will sometimes not go as smooth as just asking them to remove it. If you don’t get a response or they are unwilling to assist, you can then take the next step and file a DMCA takedown request through Google. Google will then review the case and within time, the content will be removed.
The website that stole the content will usually get punished for the duplication and could even see their website be completely removed from the search engine. It can seem a little extreme to report them, but in the end, they were the ones who stole your content and were unwilling to remove it. You tried to ask them politely, so you should have nothing to feel bad about.
So now you know how to check for stolen content and also get it removed. Once you get the hang of managing and checking your content on a regular basis, you will start to see that less and less people are willing to risk stealing your content, especially if you posted a sign on your website that your pages are protected with a monitoring service.