You need web protection for your website. Web piracy has many forms, but what will affect your business is content theft. Learn how to stop it.
This is part 5 of an 8-part website development series on making sure your website has a strong foundation for success.
Have You Got Web Protection? Are Spammers Using Your Website?
The web is all about content and content includes any type of proprietary text, images and digital resources. In fact everything on a website is digital. As with all things you need web protection.
Before you continue reading I want you to see this LIVE representation of global bot activity here. Just take a quick look, it only takes 30 seconds. It’s literally like in a movie.
Then you’ll understand why web protection is so important. What that representation shows, is live attacks happening from recognized bots (it also just shows a summary!), and that’s why it’s critical you make sure you have web protection.
As you know Google is a very important search engine and they place a high value on unique quality content. So you DO NOT WANT to be a victim of web piracy and have your content stolen with the result that someone else’s website to get the credit/ranking for your content!
What Is Web Piracy?
It would be similar to buying a bestselling book, copying the text and images, and republishing the exact same book with your name as the author!
Web piracy when someone visits your website and takes your content (text, images, design, etc) and uses it on their own website without your permission.
It’s a lot harder with a book, but for a website it’s extremely easy to copy content. You just need to right click, and copy and paste and this is easily automated! This is a major reason it’s so prevalent.
When Web Protection Fails. What Happens If Your Content Is Pirated?
It’s a headache to be honest. Firstly, you need to keep track of where your content is appearing on the web (no small feat!) and once you’ve found a pirated source, then the hard work begins.
I don’t want to go into all the steps, but the first step is to find the right person to contact to ask them to remove the pirated text and images.
The owners contact details are often obfuscated and tricky to find, so it’s not always possible to find the person to contact! Smart spammers are almost impossible to track down so this is a very tricky step!
If that doesn’t work, you need to contact the hosting company that is hosting this ‘pirated content’ and ask them. They may or may not assist depending on who they are and their reputation.
Many hosts will refuse to take any action unless you have legal statements requesting them to do so, and this can cost thousands of dollars to obtain.
You might try the legal route, and obtain a ‘cease & desist’ judgement, but if you can’t contact the person how do you even get it to them?
Can You Do This 1000 Times?
While the above may work, if your content has been stolen using an automated bot and posted 1000 times on the web on different places, how long will it take you to do the above process 1000X!
How are you protecting the content on your website against web pirates, spammers and bots?
What’s The Solution?
If at all possible,
You should protect your content from web piracy in the first place.
It’s much easier and FAR CHEAPER to prevent than to recover once it has been pirated as mentioned above.
Go onto the web and check if your content is a victim of web piracy and if not, be grateful that you still have time to sort this out!
I’ll cover a bit more about how to make sure your content is protected in another post, but I just wanted to start raising awareness… This is a very real and serious issue! If you’ve got a moment, it’s well worth your time to read this article: ‘Protect Your Content From Being Copied‘.
Without Web Protection, Learn How Black Hatters Can Use YOUR Content To Rank
It’s a well known black hat (spammer) ranking technique, that as soon as a website publishes new content, they quickly copy/steal that content using automated tools, place it on a website that they control, and get Google to find the content on their website first.
As a result when Google visits YOUR website later, Google will already have seen the content on the other website first and may PUNISH YOU since to them it will look like YOU stole it! In their eyes you will look like the thief.
You need to prevent this happening to your website. Once it’s happened it’s too late!
Who Steals Your Content?
The first group, is either people and competitors who find your content when they browse your website, who then manually copy and paste it into their website or presentations or whatever it is they want it for.
Automated bots that scrape your content and then push it out to the web in-numerable times.
What Can Be Done To Make Sure You Have Web Protection?
The best way to reduce this risk is to ensure that your content is protected. It get’s very technical on HOW it actually works but suffice it to say you can take steps to prevent content theft.
How can you make sure that your website content isn’t being stolen by spammers and black hatters?
For example, one of the many protection techniques to stop people stealing your content is to disable the right click and the ‘save as’ option. However, this doesn’t stop the bots, and people who ‘print screen’ your content and then copy it, so we use another technique to prevent this type of theft.
Your Next Step
I won’t go into too many details but if you want to minimize this risk, then take a look at our ‘Content Guard’ app that assists with content protection.
As always, if you have any questions, just get in touch and we’d love to help you!
Read our next article in the website development first steps series: