How To Prevent Copy Paste Bloggers & Auto Bloggers From Stealing Your Blog Post Content

With every post I publish, I do my best to provide you a well researched, actionable blog post that’s useful and has a fresh perspective. Often, I spend about 2-3 hours on each post I publish at Better Blogging Ways. So it’s really frustrating, annoying and heart breaking to notice that some bloggers directly scrape off my blog content and publish in their own blog without any due credit!

I know “bigger” blogs tend to be the much sort after victims of blog content plagiarism. I guess to a certain extent it’s comforting to know that I have content worth stealing!
Either way, I still think it’s unfair and unethical that someone can use various “mechanisms” and run a niche blog without any effort, on their part!

Has this ever happened to you?
Have you observed that your original blog content has a less ranking than the scraped content? !!

Naturally, I was “motivated” to learn more about how people scrape content and ways to prevent it. I hope this post will be an “eye-opener” and useful post for those of you who are in a similar predicament.

Online content plagiarism is really board topic and I don’t intent to cover everything in this post. For the scope of this post, I will focus on how we can prevent or reduce content theft. Also most tools recommended here are WordPress specific.

Understanding HOW blog post content can be stolen

Having things stolen is not limited to online content. Some of you (I hope not!) could have painful experiences where your valuables got stolen from your apartment. To get their hands on the valuables, they first need to “get into” your premises. How did the thief enter? Was it by breaking in through the front door, window? Did someone forget to lock the door? etc Did they use a hair pin to pick the lock? Use a tool to break the window glass?

Well, the same underlying “process” applies to online content as well. To prevent your content from being stolen, you NEED to be aware of HOW it can be stolen in the first place. Then, see what can be done to safe guard those “entry points”.

1. How to prevent Copy Paste Bloggers from stealing your content

Blog post content can be stolen by directly copy/pasting your blog content.

1.1 Disable Copy/Paste within your blog

If you can prevent copying text from your blog, then this method of content stealing can be reduced. The idea here is that you try to make it near impossible for others to manually select and copy your blog post content by disabling right click and copying.
For WordPress blogs, there are several plugins that can be used. Here’s a video of how I use a plugin to stop content being copying.

Effectiveness : Around 90%. While this might reduce and discourage, the really determined and “technically skilled” Copy Paste Blogger might be able to find alternative ways to by-pass this.
Impact on YOUR audience : Low. I don’t think your blog audience will care too much if you disable right click. Why would they want to right click anyway? What are your thoughts?
Time to implement : About 5 minutes

1.2 Auto insert “due credit” to your blog post

If they don’t add a link back to your blog, you make sure whenever your blog content is published elsewhere it’s automatically linked to your blog.

WordPress blogs can easily use WordPress INK. It will automatically add a link to your post every time someone tries to copy past your content.

Effectiveness : Will guarantee a link back, provided the no one “manually” removes the link from their post.
Impact on YOUR audience : none
Time to implement : About 5 minutes

2. How To Prevent Auto Bloggers From Stealing Your Content

Auto blogging is simple way to automatically republish (someone else’s)content using RSS. There are plenty of auto blogging plugins and other software that can tap into your RSS. So we know the “source” is RSS and need to see what can be done about it.

2.1 Don’t publish a RSS feed for the blog!

Effectiveness :As far as I know if there is no RSS, there is no way to auto blog (leave a comment if there are other ways you are aware of)
Impact on YOUR audience : Very high. Could be unacceptable my most. I don’t recommend removing your RSS feed, just for the sake of avoid content stealing.

2.2 Publish partial RSS feed for the blog

Effectiveness : Only summary or excerpt of your blog post will be published.
Impact on YOUR audience : High. Most RSS subscribers prefer full content. At least I do! The whole purpose I subscribe to someone else blog is because I can easily read the entire content via my RSS feed reader without having to visit the blog.

2.3 Add copyright message and link back to your RSS footer

WordPress blogs can use a RSS footer plugin to insert a short by line which will link back to your blog.

Effectiveness: You won’t prevent your content being re-published but you can get due credit by inserting a link back to your blog.
Impact on YOUR audience : None. Your RSS subscribers will see a copyright notice or a link to your blog. It shouldn’t be that concerning.
Time to implement : about 5-10 minutes

2.4 Delay the RSS feed update

By default, RSS feed update is instantaneous. So when auto bloggers use your content, there is a possibility that their content can be index first in Google. However, if you publish the RSS feed may be about 1 or 2 days, then you can be sure that your original content will be index first.

Effectiveness : none, with regards to content theft.
Impact on YOUR audience :High – the RSS subscribers will get feeds late
Time to implement : about 5 minutes

3 How To Prevent Yahoo Pipes Users From Stealing Your Content

Yahoo pipes can also be used to rip off your blog content. See how to block yahoo pipes.

Effectiveness : 100% By blocking yahoo pipes, there is no way others can extract your content via yahoo pipes
Impact on YOUR audience : none
Time to implement : about 15-20 minutes.

Now that you’ve read all this, it’s time for you to take action.

      If you have a WordPress blog

    1. Take about 5-15 minutes to implement the plugins mentioned above.
    2. If you don’t have WordPress blog

    3. Read up on what can be done with your blogging platform to prevent others stealing blog content from you.

Final Words…

Even with the best of alarms and security, thieves still manage to find their way to the valuable in “real life”! Sadly it’s not that different in the online world either.

You should be aware and protect your blog post content. At the same time, try not to reduce the user experience for you blog audience.

At the end of the day, your blogging audience trusts in you and what you have to offer. We have got to continue doing what we love to do without being afraid of blog post content theft.

Having written all this I must say that I am not security “expert”. This post is based on my research as well as a few things I’ve tried out on my blogs to prevent my blog post content from being ripped off! Please feel free to leave a comment with more ideas and helpful tips.

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19 Responses to “How To Prevent Copy Paste Bloggers & Auto Bloggers From Stealing Your Blog Post Content”

  1. Great tips Shamelle…

    I have had my car broken into a few times, back when I had a little sports car. My first reaction was shock and then hurt and then I cried because I felt so violated. Luckily for me, those are the only things people have broken into of mine.

    I’ve been checking my blog every so often and have yet to have it scraped, that I’m aware of at least. Like you said, we should be flattered they think our content is good enough but still, I prefer not even having to deal with it.

    I prefer not adding any more plug-ins then I need so I guess until this happens to me I’ll just stick with Tynt. At least I know how many people are copying my content but since I’m not locating it on other people’s blogs, I prefer thinking that they’re just sharing it with their friends. Oh, and they’re leaving the links in tact. One can only hope right!

    Thanks for taking the time though to explain how we can go about preventing this is we choose.
    Adrienne recently posted..10 Ways to Drive Your Content to the Next Level of Blogging ExcellenceMy Profile

  2. This is a really well though through piece Shamelle. I’ve been keeping my head in the sand thinking that my content probably isn’t worthy of being scraped. But if it only takes a few minutes to install simple protections then why wouldn’t you? I really need to look at this.
    Debbie @ stay at home mum recently posted..Blogging for Business: Why I use CommentLuv PremiumMy Profile

  3. Really nice tips though copy paste thing can still be achieved even after disabling it.However, I really liked the delaying the RSS feed tip. That makes sense because in many cases it does happen that copied one gets indexed faster than original.
    Maninder @ Akash Computer recently posted..Mobile Application to Send Printed PostCards to Anywhere in WorldMy Profile

  4. Nice post. I have seen a lot of blog with the same content recently, maybe because many bloggers don’t realize about this.

    Thanks for share the post
    Okto recently posted..How to Sell Your Content in Social Networks : an Interview with Mavis NongMy Profile

  5. Extremely well done Shamelle, you really gave me a lot to think about along with some great resources. Appreciated.
    Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills recently posted..Sailing on the Sea of LifeMy Profile

  6. Very well said Shamelle. The worst thing that can happen to a blogger is that his/her content gets copied which he has written after so much effort. These plugins are surely helpful.

  7. I thinking breaking right-click is lame. First breaking the normal function of someone else computer is lame. Also if someone want to quote and respond to your blog post in their block you will make their lives difficult. You should make their lives easy. Commenters are wonderful. Those providing links are even better.

    Breaking right click also breaks open in new tab (which is also annoying).
    John @ Singapore Living recently posted..Transportation from Singapore to Johor Bahru MalaysiaMy Profile

    • The chances are much higher for blog content to be ripped off than being quotes by someone else :-)
      You can still use Ctrl + Click to open a link in a new window. Right click is not required.

  8. Shamelle, these are some awesome tips and I see that you have done your homework :) Good job.

    One thing I wanted to mention though is about the RSS (your #2.1). Every blog has an RSS by default but most people will create a FeedBurner RSS feed for their blog. The problem is, if you don’t have one, there is nothing stopping someone else from creating a FeedBurner feed so please keep that in mind.

    I use a plugin called @Feed, which places a string of random characters in each item in my feed. Then I use Google Alerts and YoLink to search for that character string and send me an alert when/if it shows up.

    I found out from a friend that there are some resources over on a site called CopyScape and another one called Stop Plagiarism if you find that your content is being stolen.

    Talk to you soon Shamelle!
    Ileane recently posted..Top 5 WordPress Plugins for Fashion BlogsMy Profile

  9. Hi Shamelle,
    I thought about your blog how you disable the right click but now you share it with us.
    so thanks Shamelle for preventing our unique content from copying…..
    Prakash recently posted..Computer Tips And TricksMy Profile

  10. Blog Protect the plugin is what I use but I have had this problem multiple times. I would suggest all bloggers find a way to protect their valuable content.
    Walter Martin recently posted..Philippine Peso PHP to US Dollar USD Exchange Currency Conversion on March 1 – Current 2012 Rates Stable for TouristsMy Profile

  11. All this is useless if you disable Javascript followed by a page refreshing. Besides right clicking is necessary in order to correct comment misspellings.

  12. wordpress has a reliable system. but I want to do it on blogspot, and I think the article has a good content for me to make reference.
    aditya subawa recently posted..Auto Menu List Blogger WidgetsMy Profile

  13. I was really afraid to start blogging because i was afraid my content will be stolen….now i see blogging is worth a shot :) Thank you are a miracle to the blogging world

  14. Great tips Shamelle. Thank you for your descritive post.
    e okul recently posted..E Okul Yönetim Bilgi SistemiMy Profile

  15. Thanks Shamelle. I’ve implemented a plugin on my blog that prevents copy and paste. The only down side to this that I’ve noticed is not being able to place the cursor where you want while posting a comment. It just means you have to backspace all the way to your mistake and retype everything.

    It probably creates a little frustration to your audience while commenting, but I think the benefits outweigh by far.

    Thanks for a great post, blog plagiarism is a vast growing problem and I think we should all do our part to prevent it. :)

    Best Wishes,
    Robert Tuttle
    Robert Tuttle recently posted..Interesting Facts and Remedies for FleasMy Profile

  16. From long time people were stealing contents of my blog, that’s why i was looking for such kind of solution for long. And my search end here. Thanks for writing this informative article to make us aware of this great info.
    Shayan @ PNR Status recently posted..Indian Railways Ticket Abbreviations ExplainedMy Profile

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