How to Easily Find and Remove Stolen Content in WordPress
April 8. 2021
Having decent content on your website has its good sides and bad sides. The good side is that having quality content is one of the best ways to promote your website and see it rise in SEO rankings. The bad side is that other websites will look to copy your content. Luckily, copied content is hardly a new issue. There are some quite effective ways to find and remove stolen content in WordPress. So let’s take a look at the ones that are easiest to implement.
Different ways to find and remove stolen content in WordPress
The method we will outline require little-to-no experience with WordPress. So, even if you are new to website management, know that you shouldn’t feel frightened or overwhelmed.
Use Google Alerts for theft notifications
A good first step in ensuring content protection is by using Google Alerts. With it, you can check brand name notifications and see whether anyone is using your content without your permission. Using it is fairly straightforward. You simply open Google Alerts, enter an aspect of your website that you feel was stolen. This can be your URL, your website name, or a specific piece of content. If you tend to mention your website name in every post or use the same, well-thought-out CTA, you will have an easy time finding stolen content, as you have a clear “stamp” to follow. Once you set up your parameters and click on “Create Alert”, Google Alerts will automatically send you emails if they find stolen content.
If you have a hunch that a specific blog of yours has been stolen, you can always manually check. The easiest way to do so is with Copyscape. Simply head on to it and enter the URL. If you have a free version, you will get up to 10 results, which are usually enough for smaller WP blogs. For a larger website, you may want to opt for a premium version. It gives you up to 10000 different results. If this seems like a lot, know that a large website can easily have thousands of different stolen content. So, by using it, you can check your whole website at once, and not go blog by blog.
Another great tool to use is Grammarly. The premium version comes with a plagiarism checker, which will automatically notify you if the content you are writing has been mentioned on some other website. This will also be best utilized if you have a piece of content that you regularly post, like your brand or a specific CTA.
Using DMCA tool
If all of this sounds complicated, you can always opt for using an all-in-one DMCA tool. Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) tool is an all-in-one scanner and takedown tool. With it, you can find duplicate sites across the web and then deal with them in an effective way. All you have to do is to open the tool and enter your URL. Afterward, you will get a list of all the sites that have stolen your content. For any and all instances of content theft, you can start the takedown process by clicking on the “Launch Managed Takedown”. The tool will then proceed to discredit the content or try to outright remove it. The beauty of it is that it is all-in-one. Meaning that it alone can be your solution to all of your plagiarism issues.
Contacting the offender’s host
Let’s assume that you’ve used the methods we’ve outlined and that you’ve found an offender. What now? Well, there are a couple of things you can do. You can opt to file a DMCA complaint against the website. To do so properly, you should utilize the IsltWP lookup tool in order to find where the domain and website and hosted. Simply open the tool, enter the URL of the website. and click on “Analyze website”. IsltWP will show whatever information is available about the website in question.
Your main goal is to find the hosting company supporting the website. The hosting company has to recognize that the website is fraudulent and that it should get taken down. All of the decent hosting companies take these issues quite seriously and will do their best to help you out.
Submitting a takedown notice to Google
Another way to handle stolen content is to contact Google. Keep in mind though that while this can be effective, it does require a fair bit of proof. It is not uncommon for a website to try and flag one another simply to take down the competition. So, if Google thinks that you are trying to hurt another website, and not reporting actual stolen content, they are going to punish you. While there are different ways to submit a DMCA complaint to Google, the safest one is by using Google Search Console.
First, you need to link your website to the GSC. Once you do so, you can use the Google Search Console Copyright Removal Tool. The tool itself is surprisingly straightforward to use. Simply click on the “Create new notice” and fill out the next screen with the necessary information. The more info you can provide, the easier it will be for Google to verify that the content was actually stolen. A good idea is to use Wayback Machine to create a clear timeline of posts. That way you can compare dates and show which content is original, and which is copied.
A final piece of advice
Know that while you can find and remove stolen content in WordPress, it doesn’t mean that you always should. If you warn the website owner about potentially taking down their site, they will often be more than happy to give you a mention and alter their content. So, instead of being too strict and trying to takedown every instance of stealing, try to use it as leverage.