You may be utilizing content optimization services and feeling pretty secure about your website, including your blog articles. But, even though you are doing everything right in the world of online marketing, you could be the victim of “scraping.”
How do you know you are a victim? Perhaps one day, you come across an article that looks very familiar. It only takes a second to recognize it because it is your content! Someone has taken all your hard work and posted it on their blog.
In most cases, they have taken the entire piece, including images and links. They do this by “scraping” your blog’s RSS feed. Occasionally, they may change it up a bit. But the majority of the writing, images and links are all yours. No matter the situation, it is never pleasant to realize that someone has stolen your hard work. It is even worse if you have not been given credit for it.
What to Do
The first thing you need to do is decide if you are going to do anything at all. It can be extremely frustrating to know that someone has used your hard work for their own gain. But, the amount of work that may be needed to get the article taken down may not be worth it.
On rare occasions, you may find that it is a new blog owner who copied all of your work because they didn’t know any better. In fact, they may even think they are doing you a favour.
If it appears to be someone starting out who possibly didn’t know any better and their contact information is right out there in the open, you may want to try emailing them. You may be surprised at the quick response you get with an apology and offer to take down the copied blog post. If they are genuinely clueless and didn’t realize that what they were doing was wrong, they will more than likely own up to it and take it down immediately. It is acceptable to give them 24 hours to take down the content.
If you can’t get an answer from them, you can try contacting their hosting company. There are a few websites that can help to locate a hosting company for a specific site. Hosting companies can get into legal trouble if they are hosting a site that is violating Copywrite laws, so they will likely act quickly to help issue a notice to the site in question.
Take It Further
More often than not, they will know exactly what they are doing and why it is wrong. Some people prefer to take it further by putting pressure on the blogger or contacting advertisers on the blog who has stolen content. You can also issue a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice against the site in question.
However far you wish to take action is up to you. Just remember that at the end of the day, it may not be worth your time. Check to see if your site still ranks higher than thieve’s site. Just search Google for a sentence from your blog post (in quotation marks) and see if your site still ranks above the other. If so, you can rest assured that you are still doing better than the thief, even with them ripping off your material.
To reduce the risk of “scraping,” include at least one link in each blog that points to another one of your blog posts. That way, if readers come across the stolen content, they may click on the link and be redirected back to your original blog.
If you are having trouble with “scraping” or just need some help with your content, contact us today! We offer content optimization services to make sure your site ranks on top, no matter how many thieves try to steal your content!