Your own unique and attractive content has great value for your blog SEO. Such content brings you more traffic and hence more money. But it is not only you who understands this. There are some unscrupulous people who try to gain web traffic without writing their own lines of useful content, but rather by stealing them from others. This is called content scraping (or blog scraping), and you need to know how to protect your content from it.
Let us consider several things you can do to deal with content scraping.
Add a Copyright Notice
First of all, you need to have a copyright notice somewhere on your blog. It should clearly specify what you allow and DON”T allow. For example, it may appear in the following way:
© [Full Name] and [Blog Name], [Current Year or Year Range]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Your Name] and [Your Blog Name] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
You may place it in the sidebar in the footer, but it needs to be visible at all times.
Allow Search Engines to Index Your Content First
When the content scraper steals your content and publishes it on his website, it may happen that his website will receive a higher rank than yours in the eyes of the search engines. Thus, that website will be more visible in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP); hence it will receive more traffic. The problem is when a search engine sees content which is already in its index, it considers it a copy and gives it a lower rank. That’s why it is important to be sure the search engine finds the content on your site earlier than on the content scraper website. There are several methods to do this:
Some of the content scrapers subscribe to your RSS feed and get information about the new posts from it. That’s why it makes sense to delay publishing in RSS for a while to let the search engines index your blog first. If your blog is built on WordPress you can find many off-the-shelf feed delay plugins.
It’s good idea to add Sitemap to your blog and register it in Google. This may help Google to find your content quicker, especially if your web site is quite new. There is also a good wordpress plugin for it.
Show Only Post Summaries in Your RSS Feed
If you post the whole article in the RSS feed, then it makes it easier for scrapers to obtain your content. Shrinking the content to snippets will add an additional protection.
Implement Google Authorship
Google Authorship gives you the ability to tell Google that you are the author of the content. This not only causes your picture to appear in the search results, but also may help Google to fight against the content scrapers.
Insert Backlinks into Your Content
It’s also profitable to insert a link to your own post into the post content. For example: “This post originally appeared on [your blog url] on [post date]”. Since most of the blog scrapers don’t analyze the scraped content, they will publish your link along with the post. This will not only let others know where this content has originated from, but also may give you a bit more “link juice”.
Disable the Right Click Function
Disabling the right click function will make it difficult for the thief to simply copy and paste your post. If you use WordPress you can do it with this simple plugin.
Digitally Certify Your Content
You can create a digitally signed certificate of your post. This may help you in the future to prove your ownership. There is a WordPress plugin called Copyright Proof for this.
Monitor The Web
In order to determine in a timely way that your content was scraped, you need to constantly monitor the web for copies of your post. It’s obvious that to do it manually is very tedious and time consuming. That’s why there are special tools to find content duplicates automatically; they are called plagiarism checker. For a free one I prefer http://www.duplichecker.com/, but if you’re ready to pay for professional service, you can go to http://www.copyscape.com/. The latter has the wonderful feature of automatically monitoring the web for your content duplicates.
That’s it! I admit that I did not cover all methods of blog content protection here. So if you have something to add you are welcome to comment!