Is There Anything You Can Do When Someone Steals Your Content?

23 replies
I created a post on my website on May 3rd and just got around to submitting it to Ezine Articles with a lot of other content of mine, thinking I could get a bit of traffic from it.

Well I got an error message from Ezine a few days after submitting that article saying my account has been suspended because they found that exact same article word for word not on my site but on someone else's blogspot site. Someone stole my website's content word for word 11 days after I posted it to my site (I checked the dates). Of course they changed the URLs I included in that post, as well.

I feel like as it was a blogspot site, someone was using some sort of automated tool which steals content/copy and passes it off as their own on blogspot and similar 2.0 sites.

Is there anything I can do or is there anything I SHOULD do, would this have SEO repercussions in Google's eyes on my content, should I be concerned at all?
#content #steals
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by trentonlaura View Post

    Is there anything I can do or is there anything I SHOULD do
    Yes.

    You need to explain to EZA that you're the original author (send them a link) and that the content was stolen from your own site by someone else (give them a link to that, too, in the same email). It's tiresome the way EZA suspends people's accounts until they explain this, but they do understand that it can happen to entirely innocent people, and your chances of resolving it with them are very, very high. If you can check the dates, they can check the dates.

    Originally Posted by trentonlaura View Post

    would this have SEO repercussions in Google's eyes on my content, should I be concerned at all?
    Not unless the thief has a site with much better than SEO than yours (unlikely, because they're often autoblog people who have no idea what they're doing at all). But in any case, that's going to be temporary when you serve a DMCA take-down notice on them. You do need to do that, regardless of the situation with Ezine Articles. In fact, probably better to do that first and mention to EZA that you've already done so. There are details and a specimen DMCA notice on Suzanne's site, here: DMCA | Domaining Diva

    Sorry to hear that this happened to you, Laura. There are plenty of thieves and idiots about, unfortunately.
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  • Profile picture of the author mbacak
    I was going to reply but noticed Alexa already gave you sound advice. :-)

    I hate to see that it happened to you, it happens to the best of us.

    Your not alone.

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    The only sure way to make sure that no one steals your
    work is not to publish it.

    Otherwise Alexa has given you some remedial actions
    you can take. The same happened to me except
    my articles were bring sold in a PLR package.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author GobBluthJD
    DMCA Takedown!

    It works. It's a pain, but it works.
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  • Profile picture of the author CollegeCEO
    I can't stand people who steal content. If you don't want to write your own content then outsource it. Sorry to hear it happened to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    You should get one of those "page protectors" so that people can't copy the words on your site. They can't scroll over the words, nor do a ctrl+c (copy) command.
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  • Profile picture of the author eugenedm
    This is really sad but it happens a lot of times. I agree if you can't come up with your own content then have someone else make content for you. The thing is stealing someone's work on the net is really common and at this point I don't think there's nothing much you or anyone can do about it. Hopefully, in the future it would be easier to track those people who copy someone's work.
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanLow
    Sorry to hear that, trentonlaura. Really hates that when it happens to me before. These people should have outsource their writing instead of blatant copying.
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  • Profile picture of the author successpaving
    Yes, I agree, if you use page protector then it would really be nice idea!
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    • Profile picture of the author Lex820
      Does anyone have a link to a decent page protector?
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      • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
        wow this kindof answers the question of to ping or not to ping.

        what are you using for seo?
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        • Profile picture of the author andrewm
          I had a similar issue except that I offered an article as a guest post to another site but did not include my author name, only a link back to my website.

          I submitted that same article to ezine articles for publishing but was refused because they said that the article was posted some where else without my author name.

          I eventually proved to them that it was my article by telling them to compare the article with my writing style of the other articles that they had approved for me.

          Eventually they send me back an email accepting the article as my own but told me in the future to include my author name on all of my articles, if offered elsewhere before offering it to them.

          Hope this helps, but Alexa has given even better advice in her posts above, as usual along with other members.

          Andrew
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        • Profile picture of the author gatorx
          No I don't think Google will penalize your SEO rankings for that, as the content you published on your site is most probably indexed by Google before it was indexed at the blog of the person who stole your article. Therefore the content on your site will be registered as original content, so you need not worry ( Tell me that content is original!!??)
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Mood
    We have run into this problem so many times that I built a tool specifically for making DMCA Notices quick and easy. A lot of others have had this problem so we put the tool up on our site for anyone to use free. I don't have enough thread posts to put the actual link in here, but if you go to wpformarketers.com and click on the Free Resources link you will see it.
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    • Profile picture of the author trentonlaura
      Thanks Alexa and everyone else for all your support. It's on someone's blogspot blog, so who should I send it to in this case? The only link to the author/owner of the blog himself seems to be through his Google Plus account. I don't see an email address for him.

      Originally Posted by Matt Mood View Post

      We have run into this problem so many times that I built a tool specifically for making DMCA Notices quick and easy. A lot of others have had this problem so we put the tool up on our site for anyone to use free. I don't have enough thread posts to put the actual link in here, but if you go to wpformarketers.com and click on the Free Resources link you will see it.
      I grabbed your template and filled out the corresponding information very quickly so thank you, now I just need to know where to send it.
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
    Banned
    Alexa's suggestion is good, really good. Don't be surprised if others will recommend you to just focus on writing new content instead of spending your time tracing the thief. I read a similar discussion on other threads not so long ago and that's what some people recommended to the OP.

    #justsaying
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  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    Google takes such issues seriously. If you saw your content on a Blogspot blog, report it to Google using the following link and giving all the details:

    Report alleged copyright infringement: Blogger - Google Help

    Don't bother trying to contact the blog owner because they didn't contact you while copying your content.

    Just a couple of days ago, I found a Blogspot blog that had one of my old articles on it and it had broken image links pointing to my site which is not active now. I reported it to Google telling them that my site was inactive at the moment but the broken image links were proof that it was my original content and in about two days I got an email from Google telling me that the article was removed. When I checked that blog again, the article was really removed.

    If it is not a Blogspot site, find their host via who.is or a similar site and report them to their host. If they are a good company, they will remove it.
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  • Profile picture of the author trentonlaura
    I do spend most of my time creating original content. I wouldn't have minded it if it didn't cause trouble with Ezine which annoyed me and cost me some of my time, so I figured why not get some opinions here.

    I may just go ahead and contact Google via the link, thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by trentonlaura View Post

      I may just go ahead and contact Google via the link, thanks!
      I would. It's kind of "their own DMCA notice procedure for sites they host". And good luck. (I'd also mention to EZA that that's what you've done - that will sort it out with them, I think).
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      • Profile picture of the author trentonlaura
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        I would. It's kind of "their own DMCA notice procedure for sites they host". And good luck. (I'd also mention to EZA that that's what you've done - that will sort it out with them, I think).
        I did, we got it all sorted out. Thanks Alexa!
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  • Profile picture of the author wfrunner
    Awesome timing on this topic!

    Last Friday, I spotted a WF member (sad, I know but I'll refrain from calling him out here) copying articles from my website and lightly re-writing them (i.e. changing the introduction and synonums, but none of the actual content or even the images or order of the content) and that of another collegue I know well.

    I contacted him and he's taken them down for now, but I doubt it will continue. His response was :

    Going forward, what I won't do is avoid any given topics that exist on any other website, performing keyword research for ranking terms (as I am sure you do and title your posts accordingly that is just good SEO). Nothing is directly plagiarized as you have claimed as Google penalizes sites with very similar content that follow any original publishing of it. In this case you would have nothing to worry about as I would be killing my own site if I copied others work and passed it as my own. Google's algorithm would delist it. Every 'new and original' idea comes from that of others before with your own added take and perspective. The very fact we both write about running is copying from what we have learned from those before us with our own take from our own experiences.

    Pissed me off to no end.
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  • yeah - go squeeze their head.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardwork7
    sorry to hear !!
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