At some point, it has happened to almost everyone who has posted content. Someone has visited your site or your blog and decided to steal your content. When you search for it on the internet, you find that it’s been posted around to several other sites and that they never even linked back to your site or blog. As frustrating as it may be, it’s a fairly common issue for many people who post content online. In fact, it has become so common, there are even programs and apps created to try to prevent it from happening.
So how do you know if your content is being stolen? Some people say it’s as simple as checking out Google. If your content appears in the search but it’s obviously not posted by you, then it’s been reposted somewhere. However, this is where it gets a bit tricky. Sometimes sites that cache information may have links to your content or the entire content itself, but they provide links back to you, so it doesn’t actually harm you in the long run and the content isn’t actually stolen; it’s just a bot that has captured the information so it will show up in a related search in another country, for example.
Other times, your content might be stolen but it’s not showing up in Google. Why? Because Google hasn’t had the time to send out a bot to cache that information yet, so when the cache finally updates, it’ll be a week or two later when you have forgotten that you even posted content. That’s not a great scenario, but it happens. This is one of the reasons why there are now so many programs which actively search to make sure that your content isn’t popping up somewhere it shouldn’t be.
So let’s say someone has stolen your content.... What are you going to do about it? In the best case scenario, you can email them and ask them to take the content down and prove that you are the legal owner. Most of the time, you won’t even have to really prove that you’re the legal owner because the person will feel bad that they were actually caught. However, sometimes it’s not that simple. Sometimes the individual may never take down your content or even reply to you about the problem. If this happens, you can contact Google directly and ask them to at least take down the links to the stolen content away from the search engine. This way, even though the content might still be there, people won’t get directed to it; they’ll only be directed to your original content instead. This isn’t always an immediate solution, but Google is generally fairly good about helping out people in this situation.