What To Do When Someone Has Stolen Your Web Content

Scraped Stolen ContentThose pesky content stealers… Instead of using their time to come up with unique and original content, they’d rather spend their time stealing or scraping the content of others. I’m not talking about publishers that take snippets of info here and there, but when someone blatantly takes an entire article from another site and uses it as if it was their own original work, then there’s a problem.

What’s the problem?

Well, for one, whenever there are multiple copies of the same content on the Internet, search engines can view them as duplicate content. So, either the original page or the scraped page will be counted as duplicate content. If you are the original content owner, and your page is seen as the duplicate content, then you won’t receive credit for your work.

Secondly, it’s not all about search engine rankings. If you have invested a good amount of time and effort to produce quality content, you don’t want someone coming along and stealing all your hard work. It’s just not right.

What’s the solution?

In most cases, Google and Bing will be able to determine which page is the original. If this is the case, you can technically ignore the copied page if all you really care about is receiving credit for the original content in the eyes of the search engines.

But, what if the offending site receives credit for your content? This is when you need to act.

Here are a few things you can do to get the stolen or scraped content removed:

  • Ask the site owner directly to remove the copied content. It may be a long shot, but you have nothing to lose. Who knows? The site owner may not have known about the copied content if he/she has writers working for them. Another situation when a site owner might innocently copy content is when they don’t know any better. It seems to hard to believe, but this happens more often than you might think. I have done work for small business owners in the past who had no idea that copying content from other sites was illegal or even bad for search engine rankings. For these simple reasons, I would suggest reaching out to the site owner first before doing anything else.
  • Contact the web hosting company that is hosting the offender’s site. Explain the situation and be ready to provide evidence. Most web hosting companies take their reputation and service seriously, so they don’t want to be seen in any negative light if they can avoid it. And, they’ll go to great lengths to make sure any wrongs are righted.
  • Report it to Google. Google has a form where you can report scraped content pages. This won’t remove the stolen content, but it will at least let Google know which page should deserve credit as the original content.

Has anyone scraped your content before? If so, share your experience here.

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