The Dangers of Duplicate Content : Protecting Your Blog From Plagiarism

Published By: Ashu Insan Published On: 10:29 AM

The internet works in mysterious ways. With an increasing number of automated web “spiders” and cunning data scrapers actively seeking the generous yet elusive rewards of properly optimized SEO, everyone is looking for a way to obtain “golden” content, material which will propel their website to the top of Google's search engine rankings and catch the eye of advertising agencies and marketing companies. Unfortunately, this wordy arms race can have disastrous consequences for your own website or blog if you become the victim of content theft and plagiarism. Google's latest updates are designed to severely restrict the presence of duplicate content, with increased sensitivity to word spinning and a variety of other generative content creators.  If Google detects two websites sharing content, it attempts to determine the “authentic” host of the material. The winner retains their position in page rankings; the loser is cast into oblivion. Considering this is all configured through automated scripts and protocols, the whole process may feel slightly “up to chance.” Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to ensure that your website maintains its integrity. We've included a few helpful tips below:

Tip No. 1: Think Of Your Website Like Your Credit Score – Check It Often

Make it a daily mantra. Take a particular selection of content from your website and examine it using Copyscape's powerful plagiarism detectors. Only one result should appear - your website. If multiple listings appear for your content, there's a good chance that your website has been duplicated. This quick and easy diagnostic process can provide you a current, accurate assessment of your current website integrity.

Tip No. 2: Find Proof

As copyright rules apply to internet-based publications, your content is lawfully owned by you, regardless of where it eventually ends up. If you discover evidence of content duplication, take screenshots of all copied material, including the website name and URL of the website that is displaying your text. This 'evidence' will be especially useful if you decide to pursue your plagiarism claim with search engines and internet service providers.

Tip No. 3 : Know Your (Scraping) Enemy

If you find that your content has been duplicated, the next step is to ensure that it doesn't ruin your credibility. You can use an online web identification service such as WhoIs to find the name and contact information for the owner of the website on which your content is illegally appearing. Before contacting Google or other web authorities, you may be able to solve your problem by confronting those who have stolen your material. In many cases, data scrapers rely on the fact that website owners are typically oblivious to their actions; as soon as you address them personally, they may take down your material immediately. It's worth a try.

Tip No. 4 : Contact A Greater Power

If all else fails, your best option is to notify Google of your situation. A polite and objective e-mail, combined with the screenshots you have collected, should provide ample support for your claim. If you have attempted to contact the perpetrator, include this documentation with your evidence. All of these materials will reinforce your ownership of the content and ensure that your website does not suffer the consequences associated with duplicate content. No matter what happens, you're first priority should be to remain calm, collected and professional. If you fire off an angry rant to Google, there's a good chance you won't be taken seriously. If you're serious about your content, you should attempt to protect it with an equal degree of legitimacy and professionalism.
About the author: Rob Greenberg is an internet marketing specialist. He works as a copyright consultant at a plagiarism checker software company.
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