By Joel Mandre

The content on your website is incredibly valuable as you use it to drive traffic. With it fully keyword optimized, it will help to boost ranking and ensure you drive better traffic, so you can sell your goods and services. This is one of the reasons you need to do what you can to safeguard it from theft.

Unfortunately, there are individuals online who steal content and will repost it without giving you proper credit. They may steal sections of information, or simply spin the original article to create some minor differences with the hope they can get away with it.

But once you have found your content has been stolen or compromised, you may feel at a loss. However, it is possible to protect yourself and have the offending content removed right away. The process is relatively simple.

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Routinely Check for Plagiarism

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for you to be on top of theft at the moment it happens and combing through every website online isn’t practical. But what you can do is utilize plagiarism checking websites that will let you know if a section of your post has been stolen or if a complete piece has been copied without your consent.

One of the best tools for this is Copyscape. This premium service will look through your website and match up your posted content to other areas of the web. This is the fastest and most effective way to determine if your content is being stolen even if they are slightly spinning your content to bypass certain words in an effort to make the content look original.

Always Ask First, Before Taking More Severe Action

Sometimes, if you ask a website owner to take down your content from their website, they will do so. Simply contact them and allow 24 – 48 hours for them to contact you back. If you find the content is still up and they are not responding, you can escalate the process.

Removing Content That Violates Your Rights

While you may be prepared for a full out war when attempting to remove stolen content, you will actually find it is easier than that. To begin with, most webhosting providers will provide you with the ability to submit a complaint. Online, you will find a number of websites that can help you with this process. They include Who Is Hosting This and WhoIs, among others. The goal is to contact the hosting provider so they can communicate with the website owner and demand the content be removed. In some cases, they will take down the website until the content has been removed. That makes this an effective approach to take.

For article publishing websites like Ezine, you will need to take a different approach. These article-based websites will require that you provide proof the content was stolen. You need to certify you are the original provider of the content and links to the original content on your website, showing the date it was originally posted. That way, the content can be removed and there is no question you in fact were the original author.

Websites like Blogger that host blogs will also be willing to help you with the process. In many cases, you just have to certify you are the owner and they will restrict the page until the file has been removed or the claim has been properly reviewed. It is important you do include contact information for yourself so they can obtain additional information as needed. In most cases, your information will not be shared with the owner of the website you are filing a complaint about.

Having Google Step In

There may be times when you have tried everything else and you have no other option but to file what is called a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint. Often, this is a last resort for people when they have tried to have their content removed after trying the simple approach.

Google can review the content on the other site and have it banned from their search engines. If it has been determined that an Adwords account has benefited from the use of stolen content, the account will be banned and the owner will not be allowed to open up an additional account ever again. Google takes piracy claims seriously and they will do all they can to help you protect your website. The ability to file the complaint will be found in your Google webmaster tools.

Your content is incredibly valuable and you need to make certain you are properly protecting it. Take the first step and copyright your work and inform visitors you will routinely check to make sure your content isn’t being used anywhere else. When something does come up, be proactive and take action right away. That will let you put an end to problems with stolen content before they get out of hand and be certain no one else is benefiting financially from the time and effort you put into writing your content.

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