It’s every brand’s worst nightmare: A lazy content writer pillages your website’s content,
switches the wording around a bit, adds a few keywords, and then sells it as his or her
own. Suddenly, the original content you’ve put company time, money, and resources into
developing isn’t so original. This isn’t just a risk to your brand’s reputation. It could also
land you in hot water with search engines, and you may even incur a duplicate content
penalty. The good news is that there are steps you can take to safeguard your website
content from online thieves. To prevent copied content, be sure to keep the following six
tips in mind.
1. Register your website under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
and add a DMCA badge to your website. A DMCA badge can be a major
deterrent to content thieves, as it will let them know that you have actively taken
steps to protect your content.
2. Copyright your content. Always copyright your content at the bottom of each
and every page. You may also want to consider a Creative Commons license for
more control over how your content is copied, shared, and used. Keep in mind
that this will also allow you to take action in the case that you fall victim to
3. Consider delayed scheduling for newsletters and feeds, especially if your blog
or website is new. These days, many content thieves leach content using RSS
aggregation, which allows them to scrap your content right after it is published.
The problem with this is that the plagiarized content often will get indexed first,
especially if your website or blog is still relatively new and building up authority.
Therefore, the stolen content will outrank the original content. To avoid this, it
can be advantageous to schedule your newsletters and feed to update a few hours
or even a few days after the post has been published in order to give search
engines a chance to index the content.
4. Protect your images. Remember, people aren’t just after your website’s written
text. Content thieves may also target images and other kinds of visual content on
your site. Luckily, watermarking your images is an easy way to deter thieves. You
can easily add watermarks to your images using Photoshop or Illustrator. Some
WordPress plugins even offer this capability. If you don’t know how to do this
yourself, most content marketing agencies can easily do so. You also might want
to consider hotlink blocking to ensure that thieves aren’t linking to your image
without your permission.
5. Hire a content monitoring service. Most content marketing companies and
agencies can direct you to content monitoring services, which are arguably among
the most effective ways to prevent copied content. For example, you might
consider Copyscape's copy protection services or the alert service Mention.com,
which will let you know when another website has mentioned your website or
when your content has been copied verbatim by someone else on the web.
Alternatively, you might also consider monitoring things yourself if you are on a
tight budget. This can easily be done with Google searches and RSS feeds.
However, your coverage will likely be much more comprehensive if you hire a
content monitoring service.
6. Work on building authority. The more authoritative and visible your website
and blog are, the more difficult it will be for online thieves to steal your content.
Make sure you are publishing high-quality content on a regular basis in order to
build a following and enhance your online presence.
The bottom line is that you don’t want online thieves pillaging your website’s content,
particularly if you’ve invested in the services of content marketing companies or agencies
in order to develop compelling, high-quality content. Therefore, it is in the best interest of
your brand and its reputation to take all measures possible to deter online thieves and
prevent content theft. If you need assistance safeguarding your content, you may want to
ask content marketing companies for assistance.