Modern digital marketing has more of an emphasis on content than any other form of marketing that came before it. Writing a lengthy blog post that’s been planned and executed successfully is rewarding, especially as a content writer, so it’s disappointing to see that it’s been lifted by another person and claimed as their own. So what can you do to make sure that your content, which you worked so hard to produce, is safe from those who are looking to use it for their own means? Let’s take a look:
Noticing that your content has been stolen can be quite a jarring experience, whether it be written or visual. But before approaching the site owner, you must first gather up the facts about it. Some of the details you should look out for includes, but are not limited to, the following:
The next step, once you know the details, would be to kindly request that the site owner remove your content from their website altogether. This is usually done informally by way of an email, a letter or a simple phone call. Where you might not think that they’ll take the content down, there are several reasons as to why they might acknowledge and act on your request:
If you have contacted the site owner and they have paid your warning no heed, then you’ll have to start issuing legal takedown notices. But don’t worry, you won’t need to involve a lawyer at this stage. The website host can be found using WHOIS information, even if you cannot find the contact information for the site owner. You can use HostingChecker to look up who the website host is, together with: DNS IP address, nameservers and other relevant information.
Once you have your contact information for the website host, then you’ll need to reach out and submit a formal takedown notice. There are resources available, such as this one, that’ll tell you what the exact processes are for submitting a DMCA takedown notice. You will also be able to find some sample letters that can be easily customised to ensure it’s relevant to your business and the content that’s been stolen. If in doubt, Google has a process for a DMCA request, which can be found here.
It’s all very well and good having the copied content taken down, but how can you prevent it from happening again in the future? You won’t have the time to keep chasing people or take the content you have written, so take steps to stop people from doing it in the first place. Usually, the theft of content will happen in one of three ways:
Firstly, it’s recommended that you adjust your RSS feed. If you do not use RSS or if you’re absolutely certain that your followers do not use RSS, it can be disabled completely as and when needed. You’ll be able to do it in WordPress and other content platforms. If this isn’t something you want to do, then you can change the content format from “full content “ to “summary”. This means that the RSS will only show a snippet of the content on a blog post rather than the full thing. This should technically drive up your traffic. But what about the scrapers?
It’s not recommended that you disable web crawlers altogether; they’re important for indexing pages so you’ll be limiting the amount of organic traffic you receive. You can set up a free service, like DNS level security by Cloudfare, to help prevent this from happening. It will filter the traffic you get whilst stopping a non-trusted scraper in their tracks.
Manually copying and pasting is a little more difficult to prevent. However, you can give it a go by disabling the right-click option, so the “copy” function is removed entirely, but this isn’t recommended as it could damage your site. This is because followers will be unable to use your copy in Tweets or be prevented from sharing it with friends and family. But if protecting your content from duplication is more important to you, then doing the aforementioned would be beneficial.
Setting up surveillance on your content is the easiest way to ensure that your content isn’t stolen again. With an alert system set up, you’ll know, in real time, when your content is being stolen and who has taken it. There are a few ways in which this can be done, including setting up Google Alerts and using Copy Sentry by Copyscape. Both programmes will do the same thing, but Copy Sentry will allow you to run manual checks as well as automatic scanning to alert you as and when your content is being taken.
Kumo Digital has a highly-experienced, dedicated team of marketers, including website designers, PPC experts, SEO specialists and professional content writers. You’ll always be able to count on us to provide excellent customer service, serving customers throughout the UK, regardless of the industry you work in. If you would like further information about the marketing services we have available, get in touch with a member of our fully-qualified, committed team today – we’re always pleased to hear from you.
As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.