Duplicate content – how to deal with content thieves?

23 April 2013

In one of the previous articles entitled The most common reasons for content duplication? how to deal with them? I described the problem of duplication of content within one website, e.g. an online store. I showed ways to detect repeated content and explained how we can avoid this phenomenon. Today I will deal with a topic that, like internal content duplication, is unfortunately a very common phenomenon.

Many of you probably run valuable blogs or thematic websites that attract "content thieves". On the Internet you can find many blogs and mini sites created exclusively from content downloaded from other authors. In most cases, such a phenomenon should not pose a threat to our website, but it may happen that our articles are lowered in the search results in favor of plagiarism. This is because when determining the ranking, the Google search engine takes into account not only the content of the article, but also the entire content environment and many other factors, such as backlinks or signals from social media. There may be a situation in which the robot decides that the page with the copied text will better answer the user's query, and therefore it will appear in the SERP before the original. How to check if someone is copying my content?

(1)    GoogleThe easiest way is to simply search for copies of our articles using Google itself. In the first example, we use an exact query using the entire title of our post. This query will allow us to find all pages that contain the title of our article in the content or title of the page.

In the second case, we search for fragments of our content. Just randomly copy a few sentences (up to 32 words) and check if there is a similar text somewhere on the Internet. Repeat this several times for one article to make sure that someone has not copied only part of your post.

(2)    Copyscape.comI don't think I need to write much about this website. Probably each of you bloggers, authors, editors, copywriters has had contact with this simple search engine. Just enter the address of our website and within a few seconds you will receive results showing the places where copies of our content have been detected.

(3)    Google AlertsI use this tool in Bluerank every day, not only to monitor the network for content duplication, but also in link building activities. If you publish content regularly, you should definitely be interested in this tool. Just create an alert for a specific query using the title of your article, e.g. ?The most common reasons for duplicate content? how to deal with them?and choose the remaining options.

If you have many alerts, I suggest setting the frequency to: once a day. We don't want to receive a dozen/several dozen messages in our inbox every hour. 

(4)    CopyLink for WordPressA plugin for WordPress that allows you to add text with a link back to our website to the copied content. We have a similar solution implemented on our blog. After copying the text, the following entry is attached to the content: Text comes from: This is just an example, and with this information you can promote yourself or your accounts on social networking sites. The big disadvantage of this solution is the fact that the person copying our article can easily remove the pasted content before publishing the text on their website.  The CopyLink plug-in also allows you to track the URLs from which the content was copied.

How to deal with content theft? As in the case of detecting content theft, we also have several options here. Some are more and others less effective.

(1)    Contact the website administratorThis is the first step we should take, but unfortunately it is probably the least effective. In the case of low-quality websites with stolen content, created solely for the purpose of website positioning, we cannot count on a response from the owner. Of course, there may be a situation when our article will be copied by a large website. Then we can try to contact you and obtain an active link to our website, if one does not already exist. Sometimes this solution will be better than deleting the article. 

(2)    Contact the domain registrar/hosting provideru If the website administrator does not respond or for some reasonyou are unable to contact him, check the domain details in Whois. Write to your domain registrar or hosting provider and inform them that your content has been stolen by one of their clients.

(3)    Removing content from Google? DMCAGoogle provides us with the ability to report theft of our content using this form. We can quite easily report a website that has copied, for example, our article. If we prove that we are the author of the copied content and if our report is approved, the pages we reported will disappear from the SERP. And the following information will appear in their place.

Finally, a short video in which Matt Cutts answers a rather interesting question: Google crawls site A every hour and site B once in a day. Site B writes an article, site A copies it changing time stamp. Site A gets crawled first by Googlebot. Whose content is original in Google?s eyes and will rank highly? If it?s A, then how does that do justice to site B?


  1. Well, can the fact of subsequent indexation of the article on our website result in our article being treated as duplicate content?
  2. What happens if our article is copied by a better quality website?
  3. What can we do to help Google attribute the content to us?

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