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3 ACTIONABLE Steps That You Need to Take When Your Content Gets Stolen

The rumors are actually true. One out of every three content found on the web is a duplicate content. This was confirmed by Google's own Matt Cutts in one of his webmaster videos in 2013.

 But that's not all there is to it.

Talking about the effects of duplicate content on SEO, he said that webmasters should not worry about it. According to him, Google algorithm identies and collects all the contents on the internet that are repetitive into clusters. Then, out of that cluster, they will choose one document that they should show to someone searching with a query related to that your web page.

Now, here's the real shocker

John Mueller, another employee on Google, while giving further explanations about this said that the web page that will get chosen out of that cluster depends on a lot factors. One of those factors is where the document was found - its Page Rank (PR).

That is to say if you copy the contents of your blog posts into a new page, and the new page has lots of links, it will immediately outrank the old blog post on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Once the new page gets indexed on the search results, the old one will get suppressed or removed from the SERPs.

This is not bad at all for pages on the same domain. In fact, it is actually beneficial to you. This is because Google will choose the page most likely to rank high - which is exactly what you want.

However, this becomes problematic for you when that content is copied to another website. It becomes worse if the website that copied the content has more authority than your domain. In considering which pages should rank, Google might favour the page on a more authoritative domain.

And that's bad news for us, the average webmasters. We spend all of our time thumping our head to punch out some witty useful contents that our readers are sure to enjoy. And we care less about link building - giving the scrapers the perfect conditions that they need to operate.

Google knows this also. That explains why they filed a patent in the past which allowed them to employ people that will get the search results cleaned up from time to time. They are called " Search Quality Raters ". In a guideline which  they published for them on March, 2017, specific instructions about duplicate content was included.

They were asked to rate a web document low on the SERPs if all or some of the main content is the same or identical to what is found elsewhere on the internet. No doubt, Google must armed them with some advanced tools that could help them to know who owns the original version of a content. So, hopefully, your content will be back on the SERPs after a considerable period of time.

However, we all know that humans can make mistakes. This means that your website might not never return to its rightful position on the SERPs. And even if they are so perfect and they don't miss a thing, you have to consider time. Unarguably, it's going to take up to two weeks before they will stumble onto your page.

Instead of keeping your fingers crossed, hoping and praying that they find it and rank it. You can actually task yourself and find out who the copycats are in order to report them to Google. As a matter of fact, Google recommends this course of action.

That's what we will be talking about in this article - the actionable steps that you can take to find out when your content appears somewhere on the web as well as what to do. If that sounds like something that you will like to include in your content marketing strategy, then you might want to stick with me throughout this article. I bet that you will learn a lot.

Let's go.


1. Know When Your Content Gets Stolen

It might be hard for you to fight back when your content gets scraped if you have no idea when it happened. Thankfully, there are ways that you can use to achieve that goal. With these tips, you are likely to catch them red handed just before they begin to enjoy the spoils of your their dishonest labour.

 Always try to add your brand name (the name of your website) to every single page that you create on your website. Another alternative is to add your name within the article. And when I say that, I am not referring to the author field where your name is automatically inserted each time you make a blog post. Of course, it's a no brainer that the scrapers will automatically avoid adding that to the final copy.

However, if you add that to main content, it will be hard to be detected for removal. When you must have done this, you can go and set up Google Alerts, Mention or Awario which will instantly notify you when your website or your name gets mentioned on the world wide web.

Another excellent alternative to the above tip is to interlink your blog posts. Most scrapers don't remove the links found within the contents (unless in very rare cases that they are very advanced).

Therefore, they are more likely to copy your blog posts alongside with the links back to your website. When that happens, you will find out through some link monitoring tools like ahrefs, Moz Site Explorer, Semrush, CognitiveSeo Explorer and even the Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).



2. Find Out Who They Are

The truth is, this step isn't really necessary. However, not doing it could make you to spend a very large chunk of your time in reporting infringing websites that are likely set up by one person.

To make things easier for you, you can meet the person and talk things over. The least thing that you will get out of it might be that he will stop scraping your site. While looking at the bright side, you might get a content syndication partnership that could land thousands of dollars in your bank account.

So how will you find the exact person copying your stuff? Well, it is easy. Simply make use of a Whois database that is available on the web. An example of such databases is whois.com.

To find the owner of a domain name, type it into the search box available on the site. If you are lucky, the Whois information will be publicly available. From there, you get his email address and even his address and phone number.

However, I doubt that you will find out who they are. Most web scrapers prefer to stay anonymous. To find their email address, you need to use a contact information discovery tool like hunter.io.

3. Report the Content to Google

It might happen that you couldn't contact the owner of the scraper site or that he refused to take down those pages containing contents that were copied from your website, you can report him to Google. Once you report them to Google, their entire site will be removed from the search results in less than 1 week.

The easiest way to do that is to file a DMCA report through your Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). If you don't already know, DMCA is an abbreviation for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. To get started, you need to log in to your Google account. Then visit Google Webmaster Tools and look for Google Copyright Removal page.

On that page, you are supposed to give a proper description of the copyrighted work. This will enable Google to have sufficient knowledge of the type of work which its copyright was violated. That description box is for only one URL. If there are multiple infringements, then you need to open a new report page when you finish the first one. Keep the URLs to both the original source of the content and the copied version handy, it is also required on that report page.

It would be faster and easier for the Google team to verify your claim if your blog posts have time stamps enabled. If not for anything, it will prove that your web page went live before the other one.

Immediately after you submit the form, Google is going send you an automated reply of confirmation. In less than a week, they will send you a manual email notifying you whether they carried out your request or not.



Conclusion

In this post Panda era, having a duplicate content on your website is a huge minus. And it doesn't help at all that most scrapers are taking their game to the next level by trying to trick the Panda algorithm into thinking that the content which they stole from your website belongs to them.

Thankfully, Google is getting each passing day. However, we must not relent on our oars and depend on them for everything - including catching the content thieves. By being proactive in making sure that our content is one of its kind on the whole web, we make our website as good as golden in the eyes of Google and help them achieve their mission of "organising information".

Comments

  1. thank you for sharing this information. i will be helpful for most people. really nice blog. happy to read it. keep posting more..

    SEO Training In Chennai

    ReplyDelete

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