The appearance of duplicate content could adversely affect your website search rankings, making it more difficult for prospective students, alumni and the community to find you. And as we all know, good content rules. So, why let others break them (the rules, that is)?
HOW TO IDENTIFY STOLEN
CONTENT AND TAKE ACTION!
By. Jordan Lowry
Digital Marketing Analyst
Imagine you and your team have worked hard to research, brainstorm, and
produce stellar content.
Only to find out that unscrupulous webmasters have scraped content without
It can be inevitable that your content will get copied and repurposed, often
times without a link.
STEPS TO DEAL WITH STOLEN CONTENT
We have compiled a set of easy to follow steps for getting
back at the thieves who stole your content.
STEP 1: VERIFY YOUR SUSPICIONS ARE CORRECT
Perform a quick Google search to determine where else your copy may be
showing up across the internet.
Randomly select a piece of copy from a webpage (copy and paste a few
sentences in a Google search box) to run a query.
VERIFY YOUR SUSPICIONS ARE CORRECT
The search results will provide you with a list of webpages where that content
As you can see in this example, there is another website using content I wrote
without my consent (see the red arrow above).
STEP 2: INVESTIGATE THE EXTENT OF THEFT
Check to see if your content has been copied verbatim.
INVESTIGATE THE EXTENT OF THEFT
You’ll want to check if this is an isolated event or if the website in question has
copied multiple pieces of content.
However, in our example above, you will notice multiple instances of stolen
It’s time to take action!
REACH OUT TO THE WEBMASTER
If the webmaster’s email contact isn’t readily displayed, check the about or
policy sections of their website.
The webmaster’s address is often hidden within these pages.
Once you have found the address, notify them immediately that you are aware
of the offending activity and request they remove the stolen content.
REACH OUT TO THE WEBMASTER
Should the webmaster voluntarily
remove the stolen content, have a
latte your job is done.
However chances are most
webmasters will ignore your request
STEP 4: CONTACT THE HOSTING PROVIDER
It’s time to perform a who-is-
lookup. This will provide you with
the webmaster’s identity and their
Let them know that a site they are
hosting is blatantly infringing on
STEP 5: FILE A DMCA REQUEST
If the hosting provider fails to respond then its time to take more assertive action
Its now time to file a DMCA request
*It is important to note that you will need to have the authority to act on behalf of
your organization to do this
You have the option of drafting your own DMCA takedown request or you can
download a sample DMCA template to customize however you like.
STEP 6: REQUEST GOOGLE REMOVE CONTENT
Log into Search Console. This will
take you to the copyright removal
section within Google.
Simply follow the instructions and
be sure to clearly describe the
nature of work being copied.
Make sure to include URL’s where
the copyrighted work can be
The DMCA request tends to work pretty quickly so you want to keep an eye on
how many pages are currently indexed and compare it over the next few days or
You can easily run a search query to double check if the DMCA request is
If you are successful in your attempt at protecting your content then you will
notice the indexed pages dropping off over time.