Steal this content please!

Recently some of my posts have been showing up on sites I’ve never heard of, particularly that post on Linkedin group management. How did I know? Easy, some of the links in the post go to other pages in my blog, so when the article was posted on the other site the links showed up in my listening tools. Some of the references are from sites that asked to re-post or where I’ve added my rss feed to share content with members, but the ones that take it without asking sorta bug me. Sure, it’s good for SEO if there are incoming links, and I’m certainly not stingy about my information sharing, but still they could at least ask!

If this kind of content “borrowing” bugs you there are a couple of sites that can help you both track it and tag your content with a license or attribution.

FairShare searches for sites using content from your feed and comes back with statistics on where it’s being used, whether they used the whole piece or not, if there were links back and even if there are ads generating revenue next to your content. If your content is licensed through Creative Commons they’ll show you if the license is being observed or not. Reports come through an RSS feed you can easily view with Google Reader or other feed readers.

Copyscape finds duplicate text on other blogs or web sites and offers a service to watch for plagiarism called CopySentry that emails you alerts for copied content. I found this one to be quite thorough, though some of the references were simply the titles of applications or quotes. If you’re an academic or journalist, this level of detail might be useful.

OK, so maybe your content isn’t so precious that you mind sharing, or you like the extra visibility that re-distributed content brings, but at least you could get attribution right? Tynt Tracer simply adds a link to your post so when it’s copied (at least by a scraper) there’s a link displayed at the bottom of the post linking back to your site to read more. It also creates that precious back-link to improve your search ranking. Tracer also has a nifty dashboard to show you what content is being used and some statistics on traffic and images copied.

Even if you don’t use one of these tools, it’s always good practice to cross link on your posts. It’s good SEO and you can bring older posts back to the surface and share them with your readers.

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