Picture this scenario: You’ve enlisted the help of expert web content writing services, crafted some engaging and exciting blog posts, and now you’re ready to share this great content with your target audience. The only problem? As soon as these offerings hit the web, you find out that some shady site has outright stolen this content and claimed it as its own. While this definitely isn’t an ideal situation, with the right understanding of your plagiarism rights, as well as the ability to act quickly and decisively when the time comes, you can put an end to this issue before it snowballs into a serious content marketing problem for your brand.
Is Stolen Content Really a Problem?
Of course, it’s fair to take a step back and wonder if plagiarism and other forms of content theft is really a problem. According to Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today, there’s no denying that the potential for theft continues to grow – especially as web content writing services and other content programs become more and more prevalent.
Essentially, the allure of a quick jolt in search engine optimization (SEO) prospects leads plenty of digital outlets to incorporate this decidedly “black hat” approach into their online operations and eschew unique content. Unfortunately, without marketing experts and brands like your own keeping a constant eye out for these offenders, it’s all too easy for stolen content to slip through the cracks.
Keeping a Keen Eye out for Plagiarism
So what can you do to remove this threat from your digital marketing future? As Business 2 Community’s Helen Nesterenko points out, it all starts with simply searching out key terms found within your content. Often, if someone has stolen your commissioned content word for word, then chances are this copycat version will show up on the same ranking pages as your original offering.
If you’re interested in digging a little deeper, free services like Copyscape help scour the web for any traces of plagiarism – as will the WordPress Plugins “Plagiarism” and “Proofread Bot.” In some cases, delving into the world of paid duplicate content detectors can add a little extra peace of mind to the picture.
Regaining Control of the Situation
Should the time ever come that you have to fight to reclaim your stolen content, the Content Marketing Institute’s Andy Crestodina notes that your response can come in a variety of forms. To start, simply try and reach out to the offender in question. While it might be unlikely that you ever reach one of these notoriously slippery outlets, it doesn’t hurt to fire off an email or a phone call and kindly ask for the post to be taken down.
Should this approach not work, it’s time to bring out the big guns and fire off a “cease and desist” letter. Additionally, reaching out to your local Chamber of Commerce, as well as Google and the rest of the search engine leaders, can help get the ball rolling in terms of an official industry response. Finally, if nothing else works, connect with your trusted content expert and legal team; this way, you can gather all of the documentation and paperwork needed to initiate a legal case that aims for the restoration of any damages incurred during this event.
Hopefully you’ll never have to put what you’ve learned here to use. However, should the day come that you encounter a site that’s blatantly stolen the content crafted by your trusted web content writing services, at least now you’ll have a strong and effective response ready and waiting that turns this unfortunate event into a manageable situation.