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November 27, 2007

Web Content Theft – How To Find Out If You’re A Victim

If you are someone who has spent much time as an online publisher you may have had the experience of seeing your content show up on another website without your permission, and without any links to send its readers your way so that you might at least have a shot at getting their business. If so, you are most definitely not alone.

There are hundreds of thousands of prolific web content creators who are more than happy to share their product with others as long as their links go along, but all too often see their efforts simply hijacked, copyright laws notwithstanding. You may, in fact, have two or three favorite Internet authors without realizing that some of what they present may not be their work at all.

While the problem of web content theft may not have been going on too long at this point, there is a strong chance that it could grow to epidemic proportions as more and more advertising dollars in search of successful websites pour into the Internet.

It’s far cheaper for a website owner to simply search for well written copy to place on his or her site or blog, than to try actually pay for a ghost writer. If you’re a web content author, wouldn’t you like a foolproof way to keep track of where your content is being used, so that you can keep it out of the hands of those who want to present it as their own?

If you gave an emphatic Yes! in answer to that question, then you will definitely want to pay attention to a few tips on how to turn Google into your very own Sherlock Holmes and go on the offensive against content thieves.

* It’s an unfortunate truth that it takes a thief to catch a thief, so if you want to know where you copy has gone without your permission, you’ll have to learn to think like a plagiarist. When you enlist Google’s help, take it for granted that anyone who has borrowed your content without a library card will be smart enough to make a few changes in it to fool Google, and they will begin by giving it a new name.

* What you need to do is recall one of those splendid turns of phrase which brought a big smile to your face, or tear to your eye, when you first entered it on your keyboard. Hopefully it will be distinctive enough that your plagiarists will not have wanted to change it, and if they didn’t, Google will lead you straight to the den of thieves.

* One thing that may work in your favor is that if you have recently begun to publish on the web, Google will probably not have found you yet, so your early content will be safe from getting hijacked. But if you write as well as you think you do, you will eventually be discovered by an audience, and Google will notice your traffic.

* When that happens, anyone who happens to search on the topic of your writing might very well get directed to your work, and before you know it, your content will be showing up in the most unlikely places. If Google happens to return you search results with a message saying that it decided to omit those pages with similar entries, you have almost certainly stumbled into some of those places.

Hit the Google like to get to the unlikely places, and see if the writing on their walls isn’t very like the writing on your home website. Your home away from home, so to speak, except the owners would really prefer that you hadn’t dropped in!

* There are, however, limits to what Google will look for, and one thing it won’t look for is message board posts. Their content is simply too voluminous and changes too rapidly. If someone steals your incisive message board posts, you may simply have to let them go. So why not save your best work for your blog or website, where you’ll have a better chance of keeping tabs on what happens to it?

The web content theft issue, while it may not have been going on too long, and may not mean as much in dollar value just yet, is very similar to of the early days of Napster and MP3 music file sharing, when record companies and recording artists were being deprived of millions of dollars in royalties which were rightfully theirs.

If you’re writing web content, you deserve to get the sole credit for it, and if you’re paying to have web content written, you deserve to reap the full profits from it. So learn how to get Google on your side in the battle against web content theft, and when you catch a thief, don’t be afraid to take the next steps in protecting your rights!

Author:  Matt Garrett © 2007 | Protect Your Web Content Free automated website copy protection system! Web Content Protection