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Seven Steps to Combat Blog Content Thieves

Posted By Darren Rowse 22nd of April 2016 General, Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments


It can happen to the best of us, usually a surprise, and often undetected – people online publishing your blog content like it was their own.

It’s an incredibly disappointing and frustrating experience – one that listener Grant has recently discovered. He asks:

“I just discovered another blog is republishing my content in full on their site. They seem to be scraping every post using my RSS feed. Can I stop them and is it worth my time to do that?”

Unfortunately the reality is that scraping sites are very difficult to bring to account, and often can’t even be contacted.

If it is another person taking your content and posting without permission, it is a good idea to reach out to them and ask for the content to be credited to you with a link to your blog, or removed completely. Some bloggers really do misunderstand and do it with no malice, but others might not be quite so innocent. You are well within your rights to ask them to do the right thing.

Copyright law is straightforward (you own any content you produce from the moment of creation) but is often misunderstood or ignored. It is not a requirement to put a copyright disclaimer on your blog (perhaps informing people they need to seek permission before using your content) but it doesn’t hurt to have an obvious reminder.

Duplicate content was also worrying in the past as Google frowned upon it, and it was upsetting to think that you would be penalised for issues that were out of your hands. Fortunately Google has gotten better over the years at understanding who the original author of a piece of content is, and I have stopped trying to chase down all the sites that steal mine.

Now, I just do a couple of things to identify that the content is mine when it is being scraped.

  • I include links to other posts in my blog
  • I include a link back to my blog in the footer of my RSS feed

Sometimes though, the thieves go one step further and strip out the links as well as not crediting the source – so I will go after them and at least try to get the content taken down.

In today’s ProBlogger podcast episode I outline seven ways you can outwit and outsmart the content thieves that take your hard-earned work and publish it like it’s their own. Everything from what to do when you first find out and how to check who the site is registered to, to contacting and legal action. Knowledge is power!



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About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Another question…

    Do you believe that reposting your own blog content (from your primary domain) onto WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and Tumblr.com is an egregious mistake?

    Or a great way to get more traction?

    I would love your thoughts on this…


    Stay cool…


  2. Hello,

    Stealing content from blogs is a major problem for bloggers. Sometime we see some of our bloggers friends updates in social net workings sites that their content has been copy by other person. It is harmful for a blog. It’s really a good news that now Google can understand the actual author of a content.

    But we should protect our content, because we have put our hard work to craft it. Thanks so much for sharing this podcast. It can help bloggers to fight blog content thieves. I bookmarked this url. If I face this content stealing problem then these tricks will help me.

    Thanks & regards,

    Moumita Ghosh

  3. Hi Darren,

    I’m such a weirdo. Because I don’t worry about this.

    I think your tips rock around the clock.

    I just don’t give my energy to content theft because I feel – sometimes ;) – we live in abundance.

    As my presence grew this became out of my control. All I could do was release it.

    I recall one guy who took content from my blog; entire post, minus my biz page link, and pasted to his blog. I got POed. Even sent him an email. He did not respond.

    That was 4 years ago.

    From that moment on, I let it go. I knew I’d eventually not be able to keep up with it. So versus protecting, I give away so much free content and eBooks that I can’t summon energy to even ponder content theft.

    I even found doing so attracts more loyal fans who buy my eBooks.

    So yeah, giving freely moves one from worrying about loss to celebrating gain.

    So yeah, I am weird.

    One more point; as my one of a kind voice expands online, more bloggers will spot my content theft. Posturing post.

    They’ll know only that Ryan Biddulph guy was stalked by 2 Thai tranny prostitutes in Bangkok, and that the poster is full of doodoo.

    If you write something unlike anybody on earth, stories that just scream YOU, nobody can take them and pass ’em off like theirs.

    Another benefit of blogging in your unique voice.

    Thanks much for the tips Darren.

    Signing off from pretty darn sunny NJ.

    Ryan Biddulph
    Blogging From Paradise

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