Although somewhat introverted, bloggers, for the most part, are an affable bunch. But if you want to watch their eyes bulge as their foreheads pulsate with rage, then steal their content. It gets them mad, and oh, is it personal!
When I discovered some jackass posing as the author of dozens of my blog posts, I almost lost my cool. With the criminal’s phone number and address in my hand thanks to a WHOis record search, I hopped in the car, ready to take the half-day drive to confront the thief.
Thankfully cooler heads prevailed. As difficult as it was, I had to face the fact that I had no choice but to let it go. I did, however, make a commitment to myself that I would never let a content thief violate me again. Here are some tools that have helped.
The free version of the world’s leading plagiarism checker allows you to enter a full URL to see if any of the contents on the page have been illegally duplicated elsewhere. Starting at five cents a search, you can compare two pieces of content or even check an entire Website at once.
Set up a free account and enter a feed URL. Sit back and wait about eight hours. That’s it. You can even sign up for RevShare, a co-op of ad networks who will compensate you when people place ads on your original work.
Copy and paste a snippet of text and the system will yield a “Text Usage Timeline” that shows when and where your content was likely re-used. An advanced search lets you expand to other languages such as French, German and Spanish. Checking by URL and setting up e-mail alerts are other Plagium options.
After sharing the URL of a page or a feed, you will be shown other URLs that share the same content. By clicking on each instance an A/B comparison that features “collisions” will appear. You’ll learn what percentage of the content has been re-used. Add a snippet of code to the boby tag of your blog and the Copygator engine will ping your blog to continually check for thieves.
Free to use and a cinch to set up, this is my first line of defense. On a daily basis I receive emails that list Web addresses that include a specific word or phrase that I’m looking for. Nine out of 10 times the e-mail from Google is not relevant to me, but it is important to remain vigilant and check them on a daily basis. You might only get one tip-off that your content is being swiped – don’t miss it.
Manual Google Searches
I set aside several minutes a week to see in full sentences originally published on my blog are appearing elsewhere. I choose content at random. Odds are if they are stealing one post, they are likely to steal others. If you nab a content thief, be sure to check their site thoroughly for other copyright violations.
Learn more about defending your written word at Plagiarism Today.
And remember, if you come across a thief, before you move a muscle, step away from the situation. It’s like getting kicked in the stomach, but it does pass. Well, almost.