As a blogger or even a website editor you spend countless hours writing and sharing your knowledge. Some articles might flow easily at your cerebral fingertips, but other articles might require lengthy research, interviews, citations and deep thought. When your work is shared throughout the Social Media space or blogosphere you may feel a sense of pride that work has had an impact. However, there are some people on the Internet that will steal your valuable content because they are flat out lazy and are looking to make money online through advertising; usually Google AdSense. Copyscape is your best bet as a plagiarism checker.
Think it does not happen? It does all the time everyday. These clowns scrape your site with a program to copy your content and then use your prose to populate pages on their own web properties. They even steal the images from the page creating a near exact replica of your article. They create sites around a subject matter that is valuable in the pay-per-click advertising world. Their goal is to make a website that ranks high organically on the search engine result pages.
It can be a shame when their copied page outranks your page stealing valuable referral traffic and worse yet potential customers. How do you stop this? First you must locate the nefarious culprits. That is where Copyscape enters the picture. Enter a URL of one of your articles and press “Copyscape Search.” You might see some disturbing results.
For our example I am using an article about non-Canadian citizens being denied entry into Canada if they have a DUI conviction. The first few results are examples of the article being copied, but the content was used to answer someone’s question posted in a forum or Yahoo! Answers-like websites. The two entries outlined in red are troublesome. These two sites are entirely populated with copied content. The pages are littered with pay-per-click advertising and clearly the site design was slapped together. Fortunately, they have a “Contact” page and have published their email address. Otherwise, you would need to do a “Whois” look-up to find how to contact the site owner.
Once the plagiarizer is found you then need to send a cease and desist letter to the content stealing culprit. In the letter you clearly state they need to take down your work product. Point out the URL of your article and the URL where your copied content exists. Give them a few days to remove the content and mention if they fail to comply you will alert their website hosting company, their domain registrar and legal support at Google, Bing and Yahoo!. If the SPAMMER will not remove the content then all those parties just mentioned will help in having that content removed.
Using Copyscape is free, but they do have a premium service as well, but I am not familiar with that offering. The free plagiarism checker feature has suited me quite well over the years. Now find out if your blog is being copied. Happy hunting.