It’s safe to say that all bloggers know about the importance of creating unique content for their websites. Bloggers need to write articles on a regular basis, so creativity is a necessary skill for the job. Your original content is what sets you apart from your competition and what defines the essence of your brand. Unfortunately, not everyone on the internet is honest and willing to make the effort to draft unique website content. Some Lazy Larry’s out there would prefer to steal, copy, or plagiarize it. So lame! Because of this, everyone is at risk of getting their content plagiarized. Copycats can pick anyone to duplicate their content! However, it typically happens when your site is growing in popularity, rankings, and is overall high value. So needless to say, if you’re killing it in the SEO game, you are at higher risk of having your content copied.
Besides being just plain rude, wrong, and the full-blown stealing of your intellectual property, duplicate content can also hurt your SEO blogging efforts. That’s right, your Google rankings will suffer if someone is copying your website content and posting it on their site. This happens because Google filters duplicate content, therefore only indexing one to their search results. So your website traffic will be reduced if you’re having multiple blog posts being copied!
How To Check If Your Website Content Is Copied
The good news is there are ways to check if your content is being copied by someone else. And there are also different actionable steps you can take to protect the content on your site if it happens to be stolen. Today’s post is here to guide you through the process of making sure your original content isn’t duplicated by a copycat. We’re sharing our tips to check if your website content is copied and what to do about it!
Let’s get to the old-fashioned way first. A quick Google search can tell you if the unique content for a specific page of your site has been copied. All you need to do is copy and paste a paragraph or sentence from that page into Google, between quotation marks. Then search away! Ideally, the search engine results will only show your web pages. If other pages with similar content show up, remember that Google considers the first result to be the original. But if other websites appeared on the results before yours, it means you probably have a duplicate content problem.
Copyscape is a great plagiarism checker because it allows you to search for your entire website’s duplicate content in a single search. All you need to do is type your website’s URL and wait for the results. Copyscape will show you which sites are duplicating your content and what specific pages are being copied! Though this basic search is free, the premium tools come at an extra cost. Still, it’s a great resource to check if your website content is being copied.
Google Alerts is a fantastic free tool to regularly check if someone has stolen content from your website. You just need to go to the Google Alerts page and paste a piece of your original content in their search bar. Then you tell the software which type of websites they should look into for similar content and give your email address so you can receive the results. You can repeat the process every time you write articles so you get alerts for each one of them!
Siteliner is a plagiarism detector similar to Copyspace, as it searches for duplicate content from your entire website. The process is also really simple! All you need to do is paste your website’s URL into their search box and wait a couple of minutes for the scan to complete. It’ll tell you more than just if there’s a copy of any content on your site, though. It also features page load speed, link-building analysis, and words per post. You get one free scan per website per month, so you can protect your content on a regular basis.
DMCA Protection is a plagiarism checker that has both a free and premium plan available. While the pro plan offers a wide array of services, the free plan has all you need to check if your website content has been copied! If you sign up for the free plan, you’ll get a personal portal to manage your protected pages, a DMCA Protection badge for your website, and alerts if anyone duplicates your content.
This plagiarism detection site is perfect for those who don’t want to wait too long or for an email to get their results. All you do is type your website’s URL and wait a minute or so for the results. You’ll get a list with all the pages that feature your stolen content as well as the links to those sites so you can check for yourself.
What To Do If Your Website Content Is Copied
Don’t freak out & don’t get mad! Remember, the fact that your content is being copied just means that you’re creating great work. Not everyone has the ability to come up with unique, high value, insightful blog posts. And not everyone has the integrity to avoid copying. So keep those emotions in check and focus on taking the proper action.
Unfortunately, the process of getting copied content removed from the Internet isn’t as easy as checking for it. There are multiple steps you’ll need to take over a few days and even weeks. And how quickly the content is removed really depends on how the thief and their hosting company respond. Below are the steps you need to take to remove plagiarized content, in order:
Step 1: Document every last bit of evidence.
Did you notice we listed several plagiarism checkers with similar features? Well, that’s because you should document the evidence of your stolen content from each and every one of them! The more proof you have of plagiarism, the easier it’ll be to get the duplicate content removed from the internet. You’ll also need to take screenshots of all of your communications and efforts in the steps below. So take screenshots of everything, place them in an evidence folder, and have them available to use in the following steps.
Step 2: Contact the website owner.
Let’s say you wrote the perfect blog post. You detailed every important detail, you followed all of the SEO best practices, and you’ve just posted it to your website. Yet a couple of weeks later you come across a website whose page is virtually identical to yours. It’s almost as if they were impersonating you! What do you do first? Well, before you panic or start drafting a brand new blog post, you need to contact the website owner. Go to their Contact page or any of their social media platforms and leave them a message detailing their offense. Include screenshots of all the evidence and ask them to remove the stolen content before you take any further action. Screenshot your message to them with any responses.
Step 3: Take it up to the website hosting and domain providers.
If the website owner refuses to remove the content or straight-up ghosts you, don’t give up. Your original content deserves to be protected as it is your unique intellectual property! Domain and hosting providers usually do everything in their power to avoid getting caught in the middle of an intellectual property battle. So contact either (or both) of them if the person who copied your content is nowhere to be found!
You can find this information on Who Is Hosting This for free. You can use a tool like GoDaddy Who Is to find where their domain name is registered. Send an email to their contact or help email address, attach every last bit of evidence, and explain the situation. Ask them to take down the blog post, conduct a review themselves, and provide your proof that this is in fact your content that is being stolen. Chances are they’ll answer your request!
File a DMCA complaint and submit it to search engines.
This is the last step you need to take before seeking legal counsel. You can take advantage of one of Google Webmaster Tools, by filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint. You can file a DMCA complaint via Google by filling out a couple of forms. Then Google will decide if there’s been a case of stolen content and take action from there. If the decision is in your favor, then Google will ban the site from search engines and deindex the duplicated content so your traffic doesn’t take the toll. Just remember that Google asks you to complete the steps above before filing a DMCA complaint.
Seek legal aid from a lawyer with DMCA takedowns experience.
So here’s what you do when nothing else works. If the site’s owner won’t listen to reason, Google won’t deindex the duplicated pages, and you get no response from the host or domain providers, you can take legal action. Of course, you want going down the legal path to be your last resort! If you’re sure, then seek out legal aid from a lawyer that specializes in DMCA takedowns. For all Influencer related legal issues we recommend N.Becerra.
What measures do you take to make sure your content isn’t copied?
That’s all you need to know about duplicate content checkers and how to avoid and handle a copycat situation! We hope these strategies help you make sure no one is plagiarizing the original content on your site. Though if that is the case, now you’re familiar with the actions to take to remove the copied content from the internet. It’s always vital to protect your content against any copycats. So use a plagiarism check on a regular basis to be one step ahead of them!
Also, if you do get copied, don’t let it get you down. It’s a sign that your content is worth copying. When you create incredible things, there are always going to be people that try to imitate you, it’s part of the game. Just keep moving forward, keep creating, and keep your eyes on what’s next for you vs. looking back.
Remember you can DM us on Instagram if you have any more questions! And feel free to head over to our Blogging Tips page for more practical advice. That’s all for now. Best of luck with your website content!