Monday, May 4, 2009

Are you tired of people stealing your stuff?

Have you ever had your house broken into and some of your stuff stolen?

Really sucks doesn't it.

Last time it happened to me they made a huge mess in our house as well.

I was pretty p....d off.

Well, it happens on the internet as well. You might have even experienced it already. It usually happens a bit like this, you start creating some great content for your website, and you post it to some article directories.

And then one day, you come across what looks a lot like the article you wrote. It might be on another website, or a different article directory, or on a blog somewhere. But the only thing is that someone else has taken credit for your article and they are sending links to a different website.

Not happy, right.

I guess the good news is that on the internet it is easier to find the culprits than it can be in real life. Don't get me worng here - I want people to take my articles and repost them on their websites or blogs. I just want them to acknowledge me as the author and leave my links intact.

Here is what I do to protect my content.

1. I create a Google Alert.

When I do this I usually use a keyphrase from the article or the headline of the article. I make it a comprehensive alert, and I request a daily email whenever Google finds the phrase or headline.

I use a specific term for these alerts as I am just looking for copies of my articles. These are different to the alerts that I use to monitor what is going on in my industry on the web.

2. I use Copyscape.

Copyscape have a free version and a paid version. Once you have a few articles out there the paid version is great value for money. Once a week they send me an email with copies they have found for my articles.

And that is about it.

When I find that someone has copied one of my articles without leaving my links I contact the website owner and advise them. Most often they are posted on obscure article directories.

I give them the web address of my original article and the address of the article on their website and request that the copy be removed.

If they are posted on third party websites I follow the same procedure.

Very rarely are they published on the website of the person copying the article because they are looking for backlinks. I usually find that it is difficult to establish the ownership of the sites that the links are directed to but I do use Whois to do this.

Best case scenario for me is that I get the copied article removed from the website and I then repost the original article with my links intact.

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