So, you’re seeing your post on scraper blogs, and want to know how to avoid them outranking your content in Google?
When my daughter watches Dora The Explorer, they stop the thief, Swiper, by simply raising their hands and saying, “Swiper, no swiping.”
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy in real life.
It makes sense to want to go after them. After all, it’s your hard work put into those posts and this lazy person just copied and pasted.
Let’s move beyond the blame game you find that Google isn’t removing these blogs and differentiate you from those copycats.
1. Brand your blog.
Stand out from your competition and copycats by branding your blog. If you’re a company, create a logo and color scheme to identify your blog from all the rest.
Even if you use an out-of-the-box WordPress theme, have the header changed. If you’re a solopreneur, put your face on the blog, preferably in the header.
Copycat blogs typically use a free or minimalist theme. Most are highly disorganized. It’s hard to even read the content amidst all the blinking and Google text ads. By putting your face on your blog, readers will know the real deal right away. Most importantly, they bond with you better.
2. Craft your RSS feed content to avoid making it easy for content thieves.
Michael Martinez published this post about how scraper blogs exploit RSS feeds like Feedburner by sending out links to blogs on a buy list. It’s useful for traffic to submit your RSS feeds and still encourage you to submit your blog to popular RSS lists. However, I do agree with his suggestion to post just a paragraph and not the entire article in your RSS feeds.
3. Start video blogging more.
Video blogging is getting bigger and bigger. It’s an exciting time to do it because so many people view YouTube each day, about 100 million on YouTube mobile, to be exact. If you’ve got a video camera and a few minutes, you can create one on the fly and post it on your blog.
Not sure what to say? Just focus on one point you want to make during your video. Keep it simple and smile.
4. Let them have it.
Yes, just give it to them, with style, of course. Post a creative commons license on your content and a byline at the end. In the byline, write that it’s okay for them to grab the post as long as they don’t edit it and leave the byline with a link to your site.
A friend of mine did this for her posts. I thought it was a brilliant idea because if anyone wanted to repost the content, she’d get links back to her blog and traffic.
5. Create internal links to more of your content.
We’re counting on these scraper blogs not paying attention to the actual post. Let’s believe they’re lazy and just copy and paste content without even reading it. Despite the copycats stealing your stuff, having links to more of your content will drive visitors to your site.
6. Put a copyright on your stuff.
Use a plagiarism warning via Copyscape on your blog to scare them off. Copyscape has a program, for instances your content was stolen, you can use to monitor the web. By pasting this banner on your site, you warn any potential thieves that you’ll be tracking them down.
7. Go after them.
In a thread on the WordPress forums, some users mentioned visiting Stolen Content to report content thieves. It’s happened to other blogs and they’ve posted some information about who they contacted. Copyscape also has a post about responding to plagiarism that includes filing with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and contacting the blog’s website host company. Wouldn’t it make you smile to check the scraper blog in question and see, “This blog has been shut down for abuse,” in place of their website?
8. Build your network.
A strategic way to build your community on your blog is by networking. Having an online network of marketers and peers will help you position yourself above copycats because you’ll have comments on your hard work and a thriving community that knows where to find you.
9. Put your personality in your posts.
No one can duplicate your personality. Make yours shine through in your posts. You can insert humor or a snippet about yourself. By being yourself, you give your audience a chance to bond with you.
A scraper blog that’s stealing your post can’t keep that up over time. They’re just going to grab someone else’s content and paste it as their own.
10. Don’t participate in copycat stuff unless you’re an Elvis impersonator.
Unless you copycat famous personalities for a living, you just have time to be one person, yourself. One of the best ways to get clear from copycats is to adamantly state that you refuse to participate and write a blog post about how you loathe copycats.
Spin Sucks even named their blog with their mission to end the spinning of lies. By stating your view on stealing content, you send a clear message to any copycat thinking of swiping your stuff.
Stealing is another form of lying. If a scraper blog isn’t crediting you for the content, they’re stealing.
How do you set up your blog against copycats? Or do you let it not bother you? Share your approach in the comments.