Have you searched the web lately for content that has been copied from your site?
I use copyright checking services and have not had anything reported from these services...EVER.
That's a good thing.....or so I thought!
If you have a website with original content and want to maintain good organic search rankings....read this ENTIRE post.
I was updating some content the other day and decided to try a simple test. I copied a paragraph and pasted it to my Google browser. I was a little surprised when the result showed not one or two but......twenty two (That's 22) sites that had the same exact paragraph text. I opened all of the sites and some did add a word here and there that was there own yet, still my content. The others simply copied and pasted entire pages from my site....images and all!
What to do?
I called and emailed each and every one of the site owners. I have to say that all but 2 were very apologetic and removed their sites immediately. One took a few days. He admitted right upfront that he took the content and liked it so much he had to copy it. The last one took a bit longer. The content was removed, a little piece at a time. Each time took another call and eventually the domain was re-named and all the content re-posted. Directly from our site. Another phone call and a little denial.....the site was removed again.
All in all, a good first step but, their content was showing in Google's organic search results. Not a good thing and will hurt our organic search results and our ranking with Google (Not that Google ranking means everything). To believe that it wont hurt at all would be reckless at the least. Everything helps.
What to do about Google?
We have an analytics account and decided to check what, if anything, they had to say. Lo and behold.....there is a section dedicated to protecting your material. A few short steps. Copy your content, paste it and reference the domains that contain your content. Google verifies the information and....POOF...it should be removed and also flagged for infringement. I filled out the online request and submitted to Google. I assumed it would takes weeks, if not more. Patience is a virtue they say. The next day I received communication from Google that our content was verified, the other sites removed from Google and all were flagged as infringing. WOW........that was easy and worth the effort.
All in all, it only took a couple of weeks and all of our content was removed from other sites and our organic search results improved as well. Original content is very valuable in many ways. I did not think others would comply without having to have our attorneys (costly) formerly request removal of our content. With Google's help, their content was removed from search results and the owners sites sand-boxed. A very good thing (as Martha would say) for sure!
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Christopher Walker - Broker and Realtor with Mission Grove Realty is a proud member of the Active Rain real estate network.