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Blog Authorship: Tools to Keep Your Blog Content Safe from Plagiarists and Duplication

Posted By Guest Blogger 14th of June 2016 Writing Content 0 Comments

pexels-photo

This is a guest contribution from writer Rose Scott.

If you spend days and nights creating the most outstanding content ever, this post is for you.

You know how exhausting writing can be at times, right? With all the effort you put into attracting readers and keeping them glued to your articles, stories, or posts, you’ll definitely want to take some proven steps to safeguard your work.

As a contributing writer, I know all too well how difficult it is to create content that strikes the right chord with editors and readers.

You burn the midnight oil to find the right words to deliver your message, and suddenly someone decides to enjoy the fruits of your labor by using your writing without your permission…Is it fair? Of course not!

This is a good reason to take the necessary precautions long before someone casts doubt on the fact that you wrote it.

Blog Authorship: Keeping Your Blog Content Safe from Plagiarists and Duplication

In this article you’ll find many ways to effectively protect your authorship, avoid plagiarists, and keep track of content duplications elsewhere on the web, so read on.

Things You Need to Do First

The problem with content theft is that stolen articles can be indexed even faster than original ones. As a result, your authorship may be questioned.

How do you avoid this? Be the first to inform reliable sources about your content updates and therefore your ownership. To do this, you should have an XML sitemap of your resources so search engine bots can better understand what website pages need examining.

To test whether web pages with newly crafted posts will be indexed, take advantage of Google Webmaster Tools.

For example, if you want Google to see your updates, use the “Fetch as Google” feature available in Google Webmaster Tools. Another benefit of this option is that you can manually submit URLs for indexing, though the number is restricted to 500 a month. A similar tool is available for Bing as well, it allows for the submission of 10 URLs per day and 50 per month.

With such protocols as the PubSubHubbub plugin, you’ll be able to notify your followers about new posts in real time. This plugin is compatible with WordPress and can be installed for free. Need more alternatives? Take a look at these:

Plagiarism Detectors Can Find Content Thieves

Online plagiarism checkers are very handy. Tools such as the Unplag plagiarism detection engine can check your writing against millions of resources on the web and provide automatically generated reports with spotted text matches. To see where duplications of your work were found, you just need to follow the direct links presented in each report.

One of the best things about automatically generated reports is that an efficient similarity finder highlights all the text matches between your content and any online source. The only thing left to do is to take a screenshot right away in order to prove that the web source really duplicated your content. Then you can use the screenshot as additional proof certifying that the writing is yours.

Every time the report is provided to you, it contains the date when the check was done. This can also help you prove you created the content and not the thieves who claim it as their own.

Claim Your Content with Social Media

There are auto-post plugins for publishing your articles to your social media accounts the moment they appear on your site. Why not give them a try? This way you will not only notify your followers or subscribers about another post worth reading, but also let everybody know you are the original author.

Social Networks Auto Poster (SNAP) catches up with your readers through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Blogger, LiveJournal, and other popular networks. You can use it as a WordPress plugin or PHP API library. Along with commonly offered features, it can repost old articles, allow for customized URLs, and import Facebook commentaries.

Besides the features boosting your social presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Path, Tumblr, and Twitter, Jetpack by WordPress.com provides a commenting system, spelling and grammar checker, and even site stats. It’s up to you what to choose.

Using these hands-free plugins, you won’t miss out on setting up your authorship via Facebook or Twitter. Authorship markups will definitely play a big role, especially if you want to increase your content engagement, reach more people, and at the same time remind everyone of your copyright.

To help writers and readers establish closer connections, use “Author Tag” by Facebook. It will show an author’s name below the post every time someone reposts it. The tag leads directly to the author’s page. The main thing to be done first is to ensure “following” you is enabled. Here’s a link to the post where you can find concise instructions on how to set it up.

As for the authorship markup on Twitter, you’ll need to get a clear and concise bio ready, mentioning your areas of expertise. The next step is to hashtag it. This way your content will have more chances to go viral. Add your blog or website address, and a link to your LinkedIn profile. Now tag the articles. For more details on how to make your content authorship successful, read this article.

Take Care of Your RSS Feed and Make Internal Links

With internal links in your posts, your chances of catching a content thief are higher, especially since most content scrapers pay no attention to these details. In addition, interlinking is always advised for good SEO rankings, making your site structure more solid, and improving indexing by search engines.

Considering how content often is stolen through RSS feeds, you’ll obviously want to take some precautions there as well. One of the strategies suggested by Neil Patel in his article “How to Defend Against Content Theft” is as follows:

You should include images, and then reference those images within the article itself. Statements such as ‘in the image below,’ and ‘take a look at the following image’ are easy ways to integrate written content with visual content.

To have your content properly attributed, there are such tools as Tynt, Yoast SEO, and Kissmetrics. Whenever you fall victim to copyright violations, your site will be pointed out as the original source.

Additionally, you can make your newly crafted posts show as brief summaries. You can do this through your RSS feed settings. This will hinder content lifters from grabbing your entire article. Since they are usually short on time to deal with such issues, they’re more likely to abandon the idea of “robbing” you.

Don’t Let Bots Steal Your Writing

It’s no secret that malicious bots may cause a lot of harm to websites, including content and private data theft, spam, DDoS attacks, and more. With so many services protecting website owners from these fraudulent actions, it’s still impossible to ensure 100 percent security. 

Behind these bots there are people who get paid for “breaking into your territory” at any cost. Some of them even manage to pass their bots off as Google bots.

Nevertheless, you can still take a few precautions to reduce the number of their attacks. To do it on your own, you need to know how to use log files. They contain information about all requests sent to the website.

This recording is done automatically by the server hosting your site. To block the bots, you can choose among the following steps:

Use the robots.txt file to forbid bots from indexing a certain website directory. For that you will need to use the following commands:

User-agent: Indicates which bot mustn’t be allowed to access a website directory.

Disallow: Forbids indexing.

Allow: Lets a bot index a website or directory.

For example, to disallow Slurp, a Yahoo web crawler, to index your website, the code would be as follows:

User-Agent: Slurp

Disallow: /

If you know the exact IP address from which a bot is accessing your website, then it makes sense to block it using your .htaccess file (i.e., your feed directory). To restrict the list of IP addresses which can access your website, mention them after allow from or indicate those you’d like to disallow accessing your blog after deny from. See the examples below:

Allow from 197.143.50.248        

Deny from 193.478.457.10

Please note: .htaccess file instructions may differ depending on a server’s settings.

The commands below will help you block certain domains:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} bannedurl1.com [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} bannedurl2.com [NC,OR]

RewriteRule .* – [F]

</ifModule>

If you still don’t feel safe and want to avoid facing the prospect of web scraping, use Bot Detection and Mitigation by Distil Networks. It claims to be user-friendly and accurate in finding and removing mischievous bots.

Bonus Tip: Should content scrapers get lucky enough to “break into your website” before you have the chance to prevent it from happening, find out how to fight back by filing a DMCA complaint. Here is a set of useful instructions. 

With tools like these, you can achieve content security and maintain your authorship. They do take some time and effort to use, but aren’t you and your writing worth it?

Rose Scott is an enthusiastic literary teacher and writer from Omaha. She believes in the power of words and aims to uncover the secrets of blogging. Follow her on Twitter: @roserose_s
About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  • I once had someone replicate my whole entire website using software. They managed to remove all internal links as will so I didn’t receive the pingback. If it wasn’t for an advertiser notifying me, I never would have known. Submitted a DMCA to their host, that took down the site quite quickly but within 24 hours, they had copied someone else’s whole entire site!

  • Thank you for this! It is so frustrating to spend time on original content, only to have it re-purposed somewhere else. I wasn’t aware of all the options you listed to stop bots- great information!

  • I have been blogging for a year. In my blogging journey, I have gotten many guest content to publish on my blog. But most of the time I check my guest poster content by Copyscape. I think it’s a number #1 Duplicate content checker tool. However, this blog post is really helpful for me.
    Thanks

  • These options are cool actually but what of disabling copy and paste on your blog. Some content thieves would visit your blog, copy the contents and use an article rewriter to spin the content.

    In my opinion, a Plugin to disable copy and paste should be included

    • There are several WordPress plugins that do this. I use an old one that’s no longer available (but works) and there are newer ones, I know. The downside is a few readers who want to copy and paste something, but they generally understand when I explain about stolen content.

  • Great Post, Thanks for the Tools. already am aware about SNAP, and Publicize options on Jetpack. but other plugins and some important points like below
    “You should include images, and then reference those images within the article itself. Statements such as ‘in the image below,’ and ‘take a look at the following image’ are easy ways to integrate written content with visual content. ”
    are awesome.

  • Indeed a great resource for many users. I have been facing a very new issue in my really high competition niche. I have seen some of my competitors copying my data and using content mixers / rewriters to post it on their websites.

    I really need to figure out a way to block this, because in the start it didn’t hurt me, but now it has started hurting my SERP for certain keywords.

  • Verifying blog using Google webmaster tool is giving me a lot of problems. I’m having problems adding meta tag to homepage of blog. Any help pls

  • Stephen

    Thanks for the interesting article. I am about to launch a blog so this article stood out for me. I was and still am somewhat confused with the terminology used in the article, which I thought I should mention. For example …XML sitemap??? For a newbie to the whole tech side of things, you might as well be writing in Sanskrit :-) Anyway, so now I know that I have a big learning curve in these things.