08 Jun 2009

Content Stealers – Link or be Gone.

We were speaking on the phone today to a client who has such good content, that she’s found that several other websites copied her content, even though there’s a copyright notice on every page of the clients site.  One of the biggest problems has been people using this content in Yahoo Answers, and these yahoo pages showing up above the client in google search results. If you run a manual check for duplicate content (taking a unique ~7 words in a row, and putting quotes around them in a google search), show often yahoo answers #1, and client site #2.

In this case we’re pretty lucky…in that the site that’s beating the clients is Yahoo Answers, and Yahoo has a “report abuse” button on on those pages… so the client will start filling out abuse forms…

but normally… do I mind if other site steal my/or clients website content?…we’ll, so long a Google always knows who had the original content, and that ranks first…then I have no problem with people stealing my content…especially if I can get them to steal a link too… will the link have any value?.. probably 97% won’t have any value… but if 3% do, and if I didn’t pay for them..I’ll certainly take em.

With this client we talked about those possible solutions…including adding link(s) in the text of the pages going to other internal page(s), and making an image a link as well (some are taking the pictures with the text), in the hopes that people copying it, will grab the link(s) too. We could also add an rss feed with a link in that too… but not sure how relevant putting an rss feed on these pages would be….

There’s also this code which can assist with image “borrowers”. (Thanks Wiep)

On the other hand…if the client were sure that they didn’t want anyone copying their content, then here’s some resources to help slow down the copying.

but again, perhaps it’s best if we don’t stop people from copying… here’s a  Case against disabling right mouse click.

The above may be good for most cases of websites taking your content (don’t worry, or try to get them to link…or fight)….but I’m disturbed that a big site like Yahoo can beat my client in rankings by hosting that content….luckily, in this case, Yahoo answers has a “report abuse” which I believe will solve those issues…but if some other site were hosting pages with our clients copyrighted content, and those other sites ranked higher than the client, then we’d have a real problem… to fix this on our own we’d have to get a lot of sites to link to the clients pages that others have copied, then we might be able to switch those results around so that google realizes these pages are more important than the copied pages …but are other ways beyond using the might of the link sword…

3 years ago when I last talked about content stealers I also got some great feedback…including:

Graywolf said: Filing a copyright is really easy and you don’t need a lawyer. It’s one form 2 pages and $30, it’s really pretty simple, even I’ve done it http://www.copyright.gov/register/literary.html For the stuff that I really care about I lump it all together into one big document, (from more than one website) and register the whole thing.Takes longer to merge the  copy than to fill out the forms. $30 a year never had to go after anybody, but pretty cheap for some piece of mind.

Greg Said: preface this with – i am not a lawyer. however, i have been down this path more than once, so i am fairly well versed. copyrighting is such an easy thing to do – cheap and quick. if you apply for your copyright quickly enough (i think within the first 30 days of publishing) then you can sue for legal fees as well.also, you don’t have to actually have the copyright to sue – you simply need to have applied for one. with an hour and $30 you at least have some form of defense – as long as the perpetrator doesn’t live outside of the US.
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So WBP Blog reader… What resources have you used? Do you feel it’s best to stop people from copying… or best to try to get them to give a link if they are going to copy.. if so, what methods do you use to get them to link to you?