What to do if your content has been plagiarised

If you take the time to write awesome content that is correctly targeting users with the right intent and you are seeing great results in search engine results pages, there is nothing worse then finding out someone else has just simply copied all your work. Plagiarism is a very real issue in SEO, and you should be on the lookout for it.

The first step is to actually find out that something on your website has been plagiarised. Once you have established that your work has been copied, there are a few different options you can take. There is certainly no “right” way to deal with people that plagiarise your work, but take action that best suits your individual situation.

Have a read on below at some of the things your can do if you find out your content has been plagiarised:

Don’t Go Out Hard

It is easy to become mean and “drop the hammer” to get the website to remove the plagiarised content. While it may seem unfair, you need to take the high road here. By threatening the owner of the website you are certainly not doing yourself any favours, and it could actually make the situation worse.

You don’t know the other person’s individual situation, so escalating the issue so quickly isn’t the best method. Try to remain calm and level headed throughout the situation, knowing that there are places you report this website to and (hopefully) they will take care of it.

Send Them An Email

Without being aggressive or threatening, ask them if they are aware of the plagiarised work and if they could kindly remove it. Sometimes companies will hire dodgy SEO agencies and the owner of the website doesn’t actually know what’s been going on. This is why you should always look for a quality SEO company.

In your email you should let the other person know that there is a law that protects you in this situation, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This law allows you to ask Google to remove the other person’s website pages off the index. So pretty serious stuff! But remember, don’t threaten, just inform.

If approached in this manner, most people tend to eventually comply. They don’t want to run the risk of having their website removed from Google’s index. Some people aren’t even aware that this law exists, so it is important to educate them, maybe even share a couple of links to about the DMCA to show them it’s real and potentially could have serious consequences.

Report to Google

Sometimes people are truly difficult and will refuse to comply. If this is the case, and you feel like you have spent enough time trying to reason with them then you can report the issue to Google. This should act as a last resource because the process can be long and quite tedious.

If you have any further evidence in the email correspondence with the other individual then it is important to include that as well. Hopefully it doesn’t get to this point, but sometimes you will find that if they are stealing content from you, they may be doing the same to others.

With Google investigating, hopefully they will find enough evidence to order the website to take the content down or receive manual action or a penalty. Some people believe that Google doesn’t have that kind of power, which is why it is important to share details and various sources of information from trusted websites to the individual that has plagiarised your work.

Tina Johnson helped bring The Marketing Folks from a-weekly newsletter to a full-fledged news site by creating a new website and branding. She continues to assist in keeping the site responsive and well organized for the readers. As a contributor to The Marketing Folks, Tara mainly covers industry new.