5 Easy to Use Tools to Effectively Find and Remove Stolen Content

If you have a blog, write articles for content websites, or manage an online magazine, chances are you’ve had, or will have, your content stolen at least once. The stolen content then is reposted on other blogs, article websites, and personal websites without proper attribution.

Sometimes articles are copied directly from your site to another person’s site. In other cases, your article is spun or slightly modified, but the final result clearly is based on your original work.

There also could be situations where your content is reposted with proper attribution, but without your permission. While instances of this nature are not always harmful to your site and/or reputation, if you want to keep your original content on your site only, then you should have the duplicate content removed.

The good news is that no matter how or why your content is used without your prior knowledge, there are measures you can take to have it removed from the offending website. And there even are ways to prevent your content from being stolen in the first place. Today, I’m going to tell you about 5 easy tools you can use for these tasks.

How to Find Out If Your Content Has Been Stolen

1. Google Alerts

There are a number of tools you can use to scour the internet and see if your content is being used without your permission. One of the best and simplest tools for this is Google Alerts.

You simply need to go to the Google Alerts website, put in a portion of your article, choose what types of websites should be searched, and then provide your email address so Google can contact you with the results. You can create as many alerts as you like and adjust the settings to be notified on a daily, weekly, or “as it happens” basis.

google alerts

Google Alerts is a great tool to use to search for stolen content.

2. Copyscape

Copyscape is a good option for those who publish a lot of content. Premium results are not free, but they are well worth the money spent. All you have to do is type in your website URL. Then Copyscape will search the web and let you know which sites are reposting your content.

CopyScape

Copyscape is a helpful tool to use to see if your website content has been plagiarized.

Yet another good tool for catching content thieves is trackback notifications. These notifications are provided automatically by well-known website and blog platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, and Movable Type. They will notify you as soon as someone links to your post.

If a particular site is linking to your site on a regular basis, there is a chance the site is copying and reposting your material. In order to use trackback notifications, you simply need to look over the feedback provided by your site (which usually is sent to you via email), and then check any site that you deem suspicious.

How to Remove the Offending Content

Many bloggers and webmasters have a contact page or email address on their sites, so you can contact them and ask to have duplicate content removed. While many content thieves will ignore emails of this nature, others will take down your content as soon as you ask them to, especially if you mention that you will file a complaint against them if the article is not removed in a timely manner.

3. Who Is Hosting This

If your request falls on deaf ears, then contact the website hosting service that hosts the site. You can find the information you need by going to Who Is Hosting This and typing in the URL of the site that has stolen your content. Website hosting services usually are much more efficient when it comes to removing duplicate content than webmasters. Often, they will take down the entire site that has posted your content without permission.

who is hosting this

Who Is Hosting This does the hard work for you. One of the hardest parts of fighting plagiarism is determining the host of a website.

If your article has been republished on an article-sharing site such as Ezine, HubPages, or Suite101, then contact the site administration regarding the duplicate content. Provide the link to your original content, the date it was published, and a statement making it clear that you are in fact the author of the content in question. Article-submission sites are quick to act against content thieves. They may even close the guilty individual’s account.

4. Google Webmaster Tools – DMCA Complaint

You also can file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint against a site that has stolen your content. This can be done via Google Webmaster Tools. It is a bit complex and should be done only if someone else is getting high rankings for your content. However, it is effective in preventing content thieves from misusing your content both now and in the future.

If Google deems that another site actually has been stealing your content, then the site will be banned from Google’s search engines. If the content thief has been making money from your content using Google Adwords, then his or her Adwords account will be shut down and the guilty individual will be banned from opening another one.

DMCA complaint

If you find that your content has been stolen, you are able to report this issue directly to Google.

Webmasters tools

Google’s Webmaster Tools provides a great deal of information on a website. It creates detailed reports about a page’s visibility on Google.

How to Stop This from Happening Again

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent your content from being stolen. However, there are some things you can do to protect your content and reduce the odds of it being copied and posted on another person’s website without your permission.

Create a clear copyright notice and a Terms of Use page. They will let people know that the content is yours and cannot be used without your explicit permission. You can let people know in the Terms of Use if they can use portions of your content with proper attribution.

5. Google Search Authorship

If you post material online on a regular basis, you should set up Google Search Authorship, as this will help you prove you are the original creator of the content. If content thieves steal content under your Google Authorship, Google will note that it is yours and ensure your domain gets ranked over the domain of the content thief. Google has a helpful guide that explains how to go about claiming your original content.

Google Authorship

Authorship is the method to exhibit authorship information in search results for the content you have created. It also is the way Google identifies the author so it knows the content belongs to the author.

KISSmetrics recently noted that it is very easy to add a customized script at the beginning or end of each of your articles. Adding a customized RSS script ensures that the link to your original article is reposted automatically when someone lifts your content and puts it up elsewhere. While a customized RSS link does not prevent content theft, it does ensure that you get proper attribution for your hard work.

In Summary

Content theft on the internet always will be a problem. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to prevent, track, and deal with stolen content. The above-mentioned tools and tips can help you protect your content from being scraped or at least ensure that you get the credit you deserve for all of your hard work and careful research.

Have you ever had your content stolen? How did you deal with it? Let us know your tips, ideas, and opinions about this common problem. We look forward to hearing from you!

About the Author: loves helping businesses by giving them useful tips and advice. She loves blogging about anything business related on her website: http://www.go-esdc.com/.

  1. Some great tips in your post. You work hard to create great original content, and it isn’t right for someone else take it without permission or attribution, let alone profit from it.

    In our experience, there is a lot of confusion about copyright, so to help bloggers and others understand the topic better we offer this free guide:

    ‘The Blogger’s Guide to Copyright Protection’

    http://offers.icopyright.com/bloggers-guide-to-copyright-protection-offer

  2. Hello Olivia. Your post is amazing! I’ve always wondered how best to deal with people stealing my content and so far, I only ever did outreach and that was that.

    Your explanation took it a step further! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Olivia,

    nice article. A couple of other points your readers might like to know. Most services like “Who is Hosting” or “Built With” won’t properly identify the host if services like CloudFlare or Incapsula are used. On the flip side, the Word plug in from http://www.grammarly.com has a plagiarism checker that can let you know if the content you’re writing is elsewhere. It is a paid service.

    Also, I’ve also had issues with the stolen content being images. In that case, people might try TinEye.com or Google Image search.

  4. Some great points here but I would add that if you do not want your content shared then make sure you remove all share buttons. It is an invitation to share (which is what social media is all about). Make sure you have a statement about the conditions of sharing if you do want to allow your content to be shared. Think about your reputation – if you don’t want your content shared then people may not want to visit your site. If they don’t find it with you they will find it elsewhere – after all there are literally thousands of articles on every topic. Reproducing content for profit is not the same as sharing your content and your message. It’s a complex area.

  5. Thank you for sharing these tips, very helpful. Sometimes the only way to deal with this problem unfortunately is taking legal action – if one spends a lot of time and resources in producing content that is then taken by someone else, slightly modified and published as their own, it can be extremely upsetting. We have had to remove the blog page from our own site as the posts were being copied and published on another site.

  6. Copyscape had always been my go-to content originality tool. Thanks for sharing the other ways to find and remove stolen content. Great list!

  7. I believe Google Alerts is by far the most effective. However not many people are using it to full potential. We at any given time have hundreds of alerts that goes down the line as we track and stay top of the news in the Industry.

  8. Hi Olivia

    Wow Definitely worth reading, I know about checking plagiarism using Copyscape, but checking it using google alerts is really new to me. Btw thanks for posting and giving us this information.

    Regards
    Kshitij Jain

  9. hello!

    What would say when author Olivia Rose of this article herself steals work of others!

    See this link https://plus.google.com/104858643838035519891/posts/QFdX9rzqjbq

  10. Google Alert and Copyscape are the best. But you can do other way like searching the few line of your content on Google. If some one copied you content you can easily find that out.

  11. Haremmen Sandhu Sep 21, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I use Google Alerts only for getting know about new posts to write on my blog. That for sharing the information that we can also use it for Checking that our content is stolen or not.

  12. I’m using Copyscape but someone suggested me Small Seo Tools. Is is better than CopyScape ?

  13. Thank you for recommending these helpful tips. I recently found out that my content was stolen and posted on several blogs.

  14. For stolen images, copy your image url’s and go to google images, click on the camera icon in the search box and input the url. You’ll may be able to find your images on other websites.

  15. Steve Wellmeier Dec 06, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Great information. Thanks for posting this again. TinEye.com is also a very useful tool in learning if a photo or image has been used elsewhere. It’s free.

  16. I think Copyscape doesnt give accurate results. What do you think?

  17. I usually use right click disabler to get rid of copy cats :)

  18. I have my contents copied on someone else blog. Don’t know what to do know. Please suggest me any way to remove all these subdomains which have copied contents form my blog.

  19. someone has copied one of our sites content… does this effect our rankings with Google Panda update? can we get penalized for someone else copying your content on your ranked pages?

  20. I finally got success in removal of a content which was copied from my blog.. thnx a lot

  21. Stephen Brian Jan 23, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Today I checked one of my sites through copyscape and found few articles have been copied by someone else. So I have been here for a solution and got some useful tips. Thumbs up. This will really help me now.

  22. Great information :) … Olivia Rose … Just arrived on your page when i was searching about content security :) …

    Thanks for sharing this informative info of stolen content :)

  23. Nice article. The best thing is you covered the topic of not only to identify the stolen content but also how to deal with it

  24. John Fernandus Jan 31, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Nicely written article, thanks for the brief steps which makes it easy to report the stolen content faster.

  25. Please help me some one upload my images from porn web site I don’t know web owner contact detail please help me removed it

  26. It’s a long process. It’s not worth the time. So my sugestion is when someone copy your content, just go ahead and change your own content to avoid any waste of time.

  27. Its sad when we see copied content ranking ahead of your real content.Google should do something to solve this.

  28. Nice post, my website also being copy by other website from content and picture is 100 % copy, i already setup authorship in my website, still being copied. but recently my authorship picture isn’t showing up, is Google will know who have the original content ?, why other website still showing up even if he copied from website with authorship setup

  29. Try to find a sentence in your articles that either has a spelling error or formed using a unique combination of words that people haven’t used before. Search for that sentence enclosed in quotes on Google Blog Search and Yahoo Search (it indexes fresh content quickly than Google).

  30. I’m looking for information about Duplicate of content and how to overcome them. This is what brought me to land on your blog and found very good tips from you. In addition I also found some very good resources to improve and protect-owned content on the blog. Thank you for your dedication to create articles that provide a solution for me.

  31. Great and timely article with helpful places to go. Just had website content stolen so thanks for the information.

  32. Hello,

    Is there any way to remove google authorship from SERP? I have a client that wishes to remove authorship but google doesnt want to remove the photo. All links to google+ have been removed, g+ contribute does not contain related links but it still show an image serp.

  33. I am confused after reading here that we can use Google Alerts for getting alerts whenever somebody copies our articles. I couldn’t understand what you have tried to demonstrate, because in my opinion Google Alerts are meant for search queries and not article content, so how do we get alerts when somebody copies our articles.

    Moreover, I want to mention that you missed out a simple thing for checking if your articles have been copied. And it can be done by a simple Google Search as briefed in the following article:
    http://passionatebloggingpoint.blogspot.com/2014/02/how-to-check-if-your-online-articles.html#.U6xyvpSSyw8

47 comments

Please use your real name and a corresponding social media profile when commenting. Otherwise, your comment may be deleted.

← Previous ArticleNext Article →