Stolen Posts & Duplicate Content Penalty Anxiety


website placementIs someone stealing your content? I have a couple blogs that pick up my content and plop it on their own blogs. Luckily they leave in my links (I think) and give me credit. But on the flip side, I keep reading about the post-Panda & Penguin duplicate content penalty that can negatively affect a website’s search engine rankings.


I wrote in more detail about this perplexing experience here.


Is someone stealing your content? Are you sure?


Now, if you run a blog and provide helpful content, you may be going through the same experience of having your content ‘stolen’ or what the marketing arena calls ‘scraping’. It could even be happening to you and you don’t know it.


How to know someone’s scraping your content


One way to tell whether your content is being scraped is by checking your trackback notifications on your WordPress dashboard.  Trackbacks look like this:


improve search engine ranking


But if your links and author credit are being removed, you’ll have to a bit of investigating. You can do a quick check by copying a sentence or two from one of your posts and pasting into Google or Bing’s (or any search engine) search field. Make sure to encapsulate the copied text in quotation marks. Then see what comes up in the results.


If anyone else’s URL shows up, click it and investigate. If you did not give this site permission to post, then you’ve been scraped.


2 Kinds of Scraping


Two kinds of scraping exist:


  • Theft scraping. Flat out steals your content and removes all links, including any credit to you as the author. They pass off your work as their own, which infringes on your copyrights.


  • Curation scraping. Scraping your content, but leaves in all the links, as well as your credit as the author. This is a better scenario and stems from the current curation trend, although this is not the proper way to curate content.


Scraping of your content CAN BENEFIT you


Despite all of the bad press on content duplication, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have your content scraped. A lot depends on your site’s credibility in the search engine’s eyes.


This is explained further in the short video below that addresses my concerns of the possible negative effect this scraping may be having on my blog’s search engine rankings. (This video is a result from the free Ask an Expert service offered by Slingshot SEO, a reputable search engine optimization company.)



As explained, search engines take into account lots of other criteria before penalizing you for duplicate content.


The Key Is To Focus On Your Own Site


So if someone is scraping your content, take a look at your blog before getting in a huff. Is your blog providing quality? Is it sociable, engaging, personable (about page)? Then, don’t worry so much. Scraping in this case can potentially improve your search engine ranking.


And remember…Imitation is considered the highest form of flattery.



Do you have any questions? Do you worry about someone stealing your content? or incurring a duplicate content penalty? Leave a comment.


extra reading:

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11 Responses to Stolen Posts & Duplicate Content Penalty Anxiety

  1. […] Approximately two weeks later, I received an email with a link to a Youtube video that spoke directly to me and my problem. They didn’t forget about me. Talk about feeling special!!!(I’ll share that video in another post.) […]

  2. Valuable information Louise. Thanks for the follow-up post about this important issue.

  3. Thanks Louise. I have had my stuff duplicated most with the links some without. I figured it goes with the territory.

  4. Yep, it does. As long as you have the key indicators like some social media accounts linked with your site and about page and some relevant content and traffic, you shouldn’t have to worry about any negative effect to your blog.

  5. Thanks Krystal. Glad to help!

  6. Thank you so much for this article, Louise. I’m rather new to blogging and would not have known where to even begin checking on this! I’m wondering, however, if “proper blogging etiquette” would be to contact the person, thank them for finding value in your work, and asking them to please give you credit.

  7. Gladys, you can definitely try & contact them. Some may have copied and pasted without realizing the potential damage. And as such, may actually add a credit link. I don’t know if in this case there is a proper blogging etiquette as they didn’t ask to use your content, in the first place. And removed your links. It’s much more effective to just focus on your site instead. Make sure it is well connected, informative and publishes frequently (like yours does), then you don’t have much to worry about if others are ‘borrowing’ your content. Thanks for the feedback!

  8. Recently, I have started blogging and once decided to check if someone is stealing my content, I took few sentences and put them in google, and yep, I saw MY article in other blog with no reference at all. Then I decided to read about such things a little, and discovered that there are duplicate finders, I quite like duplicate content checker ‘Plagspotter’; it’s free and fast, but there are some paid checkers available on the internet.

  9. Hey Rhonda thanks for that checker suggestion! I would just caution not to get carried away with others stealing your content. But focus more on building a noteworthy & valuable blog instead. This way Google will see you as the authority and you don’t have to waste time and energy on the wrong thing.

  10. Great article and very helpful. There is so much to learn about all this blogging and such. Whew!!!

  11. Yes Diane, there is lots to learn. But, if you are focused on providing your market with quality and relevant info they’ll eat-up, you don’t have to lose any time tracking down the ‘imitators’. Although, you’ll see lots of articles that say otherwise. Just keep focusing your own blog. Thanks for stopping by!