About 30% of the web pages on the internet have duplicated or highly similar content. Several million posts get copied and shared on social media platforms daily. You work hard and pay good money for your law blog content, so the last thing you want is for someone to steal it and benefit from it. This guide will help you understand why it’s important to protect yourself and how you can make it harder for someone to plagiarize your posts.
How Do People Find Your Content?
The whole point of publishing content on your website and adding blog posts is to help people find your law firm’s website. Unfortunately, that top-ranking position also makes you more visible to those who are looking to “borrow” your content for their own purposes. A simple Google search and your post pops up. Another method for stealing other’s content is through an RSS feed. In a matter of minutes, they can scan your entire library of published posts and publish them somewhere else.
Why You Should Care About Online Plagiarism
Google has become wise to the repurposing of content. This has led the search engine to raise its standards for what will and will not rank. Content that is too similar to previously published pieces will not rank as well or at all. When deciding what ranks, Google considers the authority of each of the websites. The result is that the plagiarizing website could rank well while your website with the original doesn’t rank at all.
Plagiarism also lowers the reputation and credibility of your website. Visitors to your site won’t know or care if you published it first. All they know is that you have the same old content as everyone else. This makes you look lazy, unoriginal, and unauthoritative.
How to Protect Your Content
Unfortunately, you cannot fully protect and prevent people from stealing your content. However, you can stop the majority of it by making it harder for someone to copy your content. Without any protections in place, someone could visit your website, highlight all of the text, copy it, and paste it anywhere they want.
Block Text Selection
The most simple and easiest method is to prevent someone from highlighting and selecting text on your web pages. If you have a WordPress website, you can add a plugin like WP Content Copy Protection. This lightweight plugin prevents someone from right-clicking, selecting text, drag and drop or text/images, viewing source code or using keyboard shortcuts. This will prevent the vast majority of people. It will also make it just hard enough for people to not bother with your content.
If you use another service for your website, you can check to see if they have a similar service. Custom built websites require you to have your developer update the coding to enable this type of feature.
Watermark Images You Own
You need to protect more than just the text on your web pages. Images are also stolen and used in other places. Adding a watermark to the images that you own can prevent most people from taking them. While someone with experience using Photoshop can erase your watermark, the vast majority of people won’t go to these lengths. Instead, they will move on to an easier target.
Limit Your RSS Feed
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that someone could crawl your RSS feed and pull all of your content within minutes. One way you can prevent this from happening is to only publish pieces of your posts. This can work to your advantage by enticing readers to click through to your website to read the entire article. While this may frustrate some readers, the benefit of plagiarism protection outweighs this. Requiring someone to click through makes it harder for someone to scan your feed and steal entire articles. The majority of people looking to plagiarize won’t want to go through the work of the additional step.
You can also use a WordPress plugin to protect your feed. The plugin Copyright Proof creates a digital time stamp certificate attached to each post published. You can also customize the plugin to combine copyright and licensing rights. While these measures can’t stop someone from taking your content, it can alert others that the content was taken from your website.
Monitor the Web For Your Content
The second half of protecting your content is monitoring the internet for your stolen content. This can help you identify weak points in your protection strategy and help you prepare for the possible negative consequences. You may also be able to confront the person behind the website with the stolen content and convince them to take it down.
This online plagiarism service lets you enter a URL from your website and it searches the internet for websites with similar content. There is also a premium paid service that can provide you with automated surveillance of your content.
This tool may not be effective for generic terms, but you can use it for specific firm-related terms. This will catch plagiarists who are sloppy and don’t bother changing the firm-specific information in your posts.
Paid Tracking Services
You’ll find a variety of paid tracking services that claim to monitor the web for your content. They will each promise total protect and make big pYou’ll find a variety of paid tracking services that claim to monitor the web for your content. They will each promise total protection and make big promises. Keep in mind that they all have their weaknesses and none of them are perfect. You may find these services aren’t worth their cost. However, if you have a specific problem with plagiarism, they might be a useful tool.
Create Original Content
The first step in protecting your content is to create original content. The content on your blog needs to be unique and not just a repurposing of the same old content that’s on every other lawyer’s website. That’s where I can help. With my knowledge and experience, I can help your blog succeed by adopting a unique voice. Let’s work together to build a strong SEO strategy for your law firm’s website.