Stolen Posts & Duplicate Content Penalty Anxiety
|October 6, 2012||Posted by Louise under SEO Strategy, Website Traffic (and Customers)|
Is 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:
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: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/content-scrapers/
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