How to Safeguard Your Content from Thieves
Everyone knows the deal when it comes to the critical role content plays in inbound marketing. You need content to:
- Drive sales without resorting to hard-sell tactics
- Build trust and authority among your buyers
- Build a loyal community around your brand and
- Become recognized as a thought leader in a specific industry
The challenges marketers face in regard to producing quality content are numerous. In particular, it’s easier said than done to produce enough content and to produce content that’s interesting and valuable enough to get read. But some of us do our due diligence and devote time, resources and energy to create unique and engaging content.
And it pays to do so because if you get the hang of creating content that sparks discussion, goes viral and drives business, you’ve essentially ticked all the boxes when it comes to the aforementioned goals and benefits of producing and publishing content.
But the web does not only consist of honest people. Instead of investing the time and energy it takes to create good content that people would want to consume, some opt for the easy way out, which is, stealing. That simple! They steal your content and use it to grow their business. After all, your content sits in plain sight on your website. In truth, at any moment, anyone in the world, with just a few keystrokes namely CTRL + C and CTRL + V, can steal your content and paste it onto their own website, sometimes verbatim, claiming it as their own.
Plagiarism is today a serious plague on the web and one that should not be taken lightly. But how can you protect your website against theft?
We’ve got some ideas!
What Copyscape Recommends
According to Copyscape, if you want to fight and prevent plagiarism, there are three things you can do.
- You can use a plagiarism warning banner on your website to deter content thieves from stealing your work
- You can assert ownership over your work by using copyright notices on each page
- You can use Copysentry to automatically monitor copies of your work over the web
What DMCA Recommends
In addition to Copyscape, DMCA also recommends certain steps to fight plagiarism and to prevent your content from becoming easy targets. To protect your website against content theft:
- Consider naming, dating and titling all the content you publish on your website within the code itself
- Place a DMCA Protection Badge on website pages. This extra layer of protection can go a long way in deterring thefts and safeguarding your rights against plagiarists
- And finally, to protect the non-written content on your website, watermark your graphics, images and photos. For this purpose, DMCA’s watermarking service is very practical
Other Ways to Protect your Content
1. Set up Google Alerts
Would it not be so handy if you could receive an email each time your content is stolen and used somewhere else on the web? It’s not so far out of the realm of possibility because this is exactly what Google Alerts can do for you. In essence, this is what you have to do:
- Copy a line or two from any content you publish on your website
- Paste it in Google Alerts
It’s a simple two-step process and subsequently each time your content is published somewhere else on the web, you will be notified.
If that’s too much work for you, one way around repeating this process several times over is to include one specific unique line in every piece of content you create. As long as you are doing this for a line and not a whole paragraph, this does not count as duplicate content. Other tools you can use for the same purpose include Topsy, and HubSpot Social Inbox.
2. Create Content that Discourages Theft
To make it hard for content thieves to use your work:
– Think Internal Linking
Smart internal linking has several benefits including strengthening your site structure and improving crawlability. Another use of it is to deter content thieves because it makes the content unsuitable for publication somewhere else on the web.
– Tie your Images & Content
If you’re using an image to add color to your written content, consider referencing those images within the content itself with phrases such as “in the image below” or something similar. By integrating your visual and written content, you make your work harder to steal.
– Or You Can Use Personal Anecdotes
Often dishonest content marketers steal other people’s work and claim it as their own but if you use personal anecdotes and other short stories about your business and/or yourself, this makes the content harder to plagiarize.
– You Can Also Write in First Person
And finally, content written in first person is not only good writing; it’s also helpful for theft prevention. Therefore self-references, in particular when used in conjunction with internal linking is a powerful way for website owners to keep content thieves away.