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How to find if someone is copying your content?

There are millions of websites on the internet. A site that offers value to its visitors takes a lot of time and effort to perfect and to maintain. For instance, bloggers often spend hours producing quality content that will help their visitors solve a problem, better understand certain information or learn a new skill. A perfect example of how bloggers spend countless hours perfecting a single post can be seen in a recent discussion that sparked quite a lot of interest on Inbound Marketing’s discussion board. Someone asked how long it takes other bloggers to produce a 1500+ word article. Since the community is powered by serious bloggers, it is no wonder to see people posting four hours, eight hours and sometimes even that the article would be spread over a couple of days. A serious blogger may start with a rough draft, take time to think about it, edit it within the next few days and then publish the final piece. If you spend so many hours producing valuable content, you surely don’t want someone stealing it. Unfortunately, there is little control on the internet and people are stealing content from other websites to use on their own online properties.

Determine If Your Copy Is Being Stolen

If your site has been running for some time and/or you are frequently updating it with fresh content, then you may be worried about potential visitors stealing your content. This is a rational fear to have as we’ve seen countless cases where people have stolen the content of others and use it to their advantage – either to push their own properties higher up in search engines or to make some quick cash out of another person’s hard work. Fortunately, you are not completely in the dark as there are several methods that can be used to determine if the content you post on is unique to you, and whether or not someone has copied and republished your content on their own site.

The following is a list of tools and techniques that you can utilize to determine if any websites have content that is similar to yours. Should you find that another site that has similar content, it is vital that you visit that site and read through their content thoroughly. If you find that the site has stolen content from your site, you should proceed with further steps by contacting the webmaster of the site and, should they fail to respond or remove the contact, file an official complaint against the webmaster of the particular site that is copying and republishing your content.

CopyScape

We had to mention CopyScape first as it is probably the most popular and one of the best tools that you can use to find duplicate and plagiarized content on the internet. The tool is extremely easy to use. You can use the free version of CopyScape, but note that this version has limited functionality. If you wish to retrieve more in-depth data, then you should consider upgrading to a CopyScape premium account. You pay around $0.05 per search and the premium version of this tool allows you to enter your primary domain’s URL at which point it scans your entire site and compares it with the rest of the internet.

Plagium

Plagium is another online plagiarism checker tool that is very similar to CopyScape. The tool is, however, a little more complicated as it does not allow you to enter your website’s URL, but rather original text that you want to check. The quick search feature of Plagium is free, but they also have a more extensive quick search function, as well as a deep search and file comparison function, that are all paid options. Using this tool is relatively easy – simply visit different pages on your website, copy the content of the pages and paste it inside the search box on Plagium’s homepage.

Quetext

Quetext is one of the few quality plagiarism checkers that offers free unlimited usage. There is no need to pay the company or the website owner to use the service, and their plagiarism checker system has some advanced features that are especially useful for individuals who want to see if their content is being copied. The intelligent plagiarism detector that has been developed by Quetext will not only compare the text you paste on their dashboard with the rest of the internet, but it will also look for variations and other elements. If individuals are stealing your content in a smart way (i.e. by first using an “article spinner” before posting), a regular plagiarism checker might not always detect the duplicate content.

Google Search Console

If you like doing things the manual way and do not solely want to rely on plagiarism checkers, then you should consider using Google’s Search Console, also known as “Webmaster Tools”, to manually check for potential sites that may be republishing your content. Your website first needs to be added to Google’s Search Console, and you’ll have to wait a couple of days for the entire site to be indexed and processed by the platform. Once processed, simply head over to the “Links to your site” section and search for any domains that are linking to your website a lot. Pro tip: ignore social media sites as there would most likely be a lot of social links to your site if you are doing social media marketing. If you find a suspicious looking domain (ie. one that continuously links to your website), you should analyze their content. The domain that is linking to you might be running on some kind of content scraping software, which means it automatically copies content from your website and then republishes the content without your consent.

Conclusion

Producing valuable content takes time and a lot of effort. You want people to recognize the value you offer them, but when your content is stolen and published on other sites, people will not know that you are the original author. That is why frequently using tools to detect plagiarism is essential and getting any content you suspect to be copied from your original pieces removed as soon as possible. This will help you avoid penalties by Google (for duplicate content), and also give you the credit and authority you deserve.