New Ways to Protect Your Blog Content from Thieves
Is an online content a personal property or does it belong to everyone? Who possesses the right for the content? Are there some laws and regulations that determine the status of online content? In fact, there are still no laws that protect online content though the effect of most laws connected with offline media and personal information spreads on online content as well. It means, that you can be legally charged because of content stealing. However, it does not mean that everyone is fair online. As the punishment for stealing online content is not clearly determined, users do not even think about the problems that may appear when they use someone else’s content.
The content gets stolen every day, and sometimes you are the one who suffers. Even if you have posted a unique research with your own-made investigation and photos, without evidence you can’t prove that it wasn’t you who stole it. The matter is that when you post something, none of the algorithm checks it immediately. It means that content thieves have enough time to copy your content and use it on their own websites.
This situation creates the necessity to protect your content from stealing and use additional prevention methods so that no one could take your post or photo without previous permission. Even though the development of apps, programs, and codes for content protection never stops, the thieves also create new methods that help them get your content without any obstacles.
What are the consequences of stolen content
The consequences of using stolen content are rather severe. Even though a person who steals content may avoid legal changes, the marketing strategy will suffer. The site loses its rank when the content is not unique. SEO strategies lose effectiveness and the visitors can’t reach the website entering relevant keywords. If you have been working for a long time to put your site to top rank, all your achievements will disappear.
Many online users do not know that search engines use certain algorithms to detect duplicated content. In Google, this algorithm is Panda. Internet marketing managers, SEO managers, copywriters, and advertisement managers know that Panda determines the success of ranking. You can follow all the rules for keywords usage, have perfect website structure and meta tags, but this won’t help you if your blog or site fails to meet the requirements of Panda algorithm, you lose the rank.
There are several metrics that Panda uses for website assess: general quality of content, improper SEO structure, on-site and off-site duplicate content, poor grammar and spelling, and some of the technical moments. If you have duplicated content, your site automatically gets punishment. However, the search engine can’t automatically determine who the first published content. Thus, you need to protect existing content and check new content for possible plagiarism.
Best ways to preserve the originality of your content
There are 4 basic ways that will help you protect your content. Of course, it does not mean that implementation of these methods guarantees you a total protection from stealing your content. Unfortunately, no one can prevent stealing of information, but still, you need to use all available methods to make it less possible.
Copyright and watermarks
Computer illiteracy spreads on the usage of materials from the Internet. When we copy some materials, texts or images, we do not even think that we steal them. We just take them for our personal usage though involuntary we break the laws of personal property.
If you want to explain the visitors that all materials belong exclusively to your website, you need to highlight that additionally. The best way to do it is to use copyright sign at the bottom part of the website. You can also include the notification note into the code of your site. Every time someone copies text from your website and tries to paste it, the message that the text has been taken from your website (with URL) appears. Of course, a user may delete the link and the message, but it will prevent from the automatized copying of content performed by special software.
If you have problems with stealing pictures (for example, you are a photographer and promote your works with the website), it is better to use watermarks. In this way, no one will be able to place the pictures somewhere without notifying the readers that these pictures belong to you.
Copyright and watermark can become useful tools in case you decide to prove that the stolen information is your property. Besides, it protects you from unintentional stealing of the content. If you are not sure that your users understand what is copyright, add a message that copying of the information from this website is prohibited by the law. This precaution is the most effective for the situations when users do not steal the content deliberately.
Use Google Authorship
If you want to build a perfect online reputation and preserve your ranking even though someone has stolen your content, use Google Authorship. This is the most effective way to claim authorship of the content presented on your website. Of course, you need to do that as quickly as possible, as the content thieves always monitor websites and blogs to get a chance to copy content till it has been authorized. After the process of authorization, you get all rights to the texts and images and if the duplicated content appears somewhere, you do not get any punishment.
Google Authorship works in a simple way. You need to create your personal Google+ account or an account for a person who is the representative or administrator of your site/blog. First, Google needs to verify the trust. There are three basic methods to do that: 3-link method, 2-link method, and email verification. The process of setting up content authorship is not complicated though WordPress website owner should perform several additional movements to complete this process.
For WordPress based website owners, WP-Copyprotect is the most effective tool to prevent content from copying. Installing this plug-in, any copying or highlighting of the materials is locked. It means that none of the users can take the content easily. A user can only retype it or make screenshots and use special programs for identifying of symbols. From one hand, this works perfectly to prevent content stealing, from the other hand, it reduces the level of confidence between you and your readers. Your blog becomes less friendly, so you need to think twice before you install this plug-in.
If you still want to use WP-Copyprotect for your website, make sure that you have installed social media plugins that can be used for sharing your content. Being a blogger, you need to keep your readers engaged. The most effective way to do that is to encourage them to share content. Sharing buttons will also help you analyze how many users are interested in you blog and how they want to interact with the content that you post.
Check your content
You should always be aware of stealing the information. And you should always know who exactly steals your content and for what purposes. Sometimes, the sites quote the author and forget to add links to his site. In this case, you can contact the administration of the project and ask to insert the link. Some websites take the text and post it without introducing even slight changes. Here, you need to create a claim explaining that this site violates the rules.
How to deal with content thieves
Let us imagine the situation that you have decided to check your content and discovered that someone has stolen it. You have three ways of dealing with this problem: to ignore it, to re-write the stolen content, or to start a fight against plagiarism. The first method has too many drawbacks, and the most important of them is that your site will lose ranking. The second method requires too many efforts and additional money expenses, as you need to order the services of a writer who will prepare another research and create an article (or you need to do everything by yourself and waste your precious time). The best method is the third one though it does not guarantee results. Still, it is better than to do nothing.
If you do not use Google Authorship, it will be a little bit difficult to prove that content originally belongs to your website. Though it is quite possible especially if you are ready to wait for the results. So if you have found out that your content has been stolen, the first thing you need to do is to create a claim presenting all information on the violation including the URL of the websites (both yours and the one which uses stolen content), when and how you have found out that the content was stolen, when you have published your content. If you create a proper claim, the website that uses stolen content will be banned.
The biggest mistake you can make is to ignore content stealing. If you do not control the situations, you may suffer the consequences. The above-mentioned methods should build the foundation for your content marketing strategies and protection of your content assets.
Bio: Christina Battons, freelance writer and blogger, who specializes in topics about education, writing, blogging, and likes to share my knowledge and ideas with people. Currently, I write for various blogs. My free time I spend with my family, friends, or riding my bicycle. You can see my other articles by clicking this link.