I hate spammers and thieves. A funny thing happens when your blog starts getting attention. You get traffic and high Google rankings, but you also get all the scum that the Internet marketing industry seems to breed.
Normally I ignore them. Blog posts are being stolen all the time, that’s the reality of blogging and you have to learn to live with it. And it’s easy to do – usually that doesn’t have any negative impact for you. But sometimes it has.
For instance, today I’ve found my blog post that used to rank #1 on Google for its keyword phrase stolen and posted all over the place by various spammers. One of them happens to now rank #1 and my post is nowhere to be found anymore. I’m sure it will come back (especially now that I was forced to rewrite it) but it’s a major annoyance that results in real financial loss.
Unfortunately Google is far from perfect and doesn’t always weed out the spam, on the contrary, it rewards spammers as it happens in this particular case.
So what can we do to prevent our blogs from being robbed? First we need to identify the problem and the culprits.
What is a typical content thief? It’s not a reader who copies and pastes your post on their blog without giving you the due credit. Those are few and far between. A typical thief is using an automated program known as a scraper.
As far as I know, there are legitimate scrapers, a.k.a. article writing assistant programs that scrape the top results on Google to get the content while giving the source website a credit. Unfortunately their users are free to remove the links and leave themselves all the content – that’s pure old-fashioned theft.
I’ve spent all day brainstorming ideas of how this could be done and finally have created a little plugin for WordPress that is supposed to make things harder for the scrapers. I don’t know if it works, only time will tell, but I will not rest until this thievery stops!
If it works, I’ll make the plugin available to everyone to download free.