Copy Content – Get Penalised!

on November 17, 2011 | Blog | Comments (0)

One of the frustrations many bloggers face is their content being copied by other blogs and websites, without permission.

The internet and its many tools allows for people to share and distribute content very easily, but with this comes several ways for people to steal your content automatically every time you post a new article. This is mainly done by people adding your RSS feed to some blog import program/plugin/script.

For this website I have put a copy right notice in place and also attributed my content to a Creative Commons License – do you think this stops people from stealing my content? No..

You should know better!

One of the reasons I get this site to rank well in search is because I don’t have any duplicate content on the site, at all. No copying and pasting, no press releases. If someone does send me a press release I work with that company to reword the article to a format I am happy with.

What surprises me is how many ‘established’ bloggers, SEO companies, Social Media agencies copy my content word for word – You would think these people know better than to have duplicate content on their website?? Surely…

Unless you are a highly trusted website by Google (with in my opinion a pagerank of 6+), copying content is just going to hurt you every time you do it (maybe only a little bit, but it does hurt).

How can we stop/reduce our content being stolen?

So besides writing a copyright notice and signaling your Creative Commons License, how you can you stop people stealing your content?

1. FeedBurner

Firstly, convert your RSS Feed to a FeedBurner feed. This will give you many more configuration options over your feed.

Once you’ve converted you feed, goto the Summary burner section and only allow your RSS Feed to display a summary of the post – something like 100-150 words is good.

This means if anyone wants to read your article they will have to click through to your website to read the whole post.

2. Plugin: RSS Footer

With WordPress install the plugin RSS Footer –

This plugin allows you to put a link at the start or end of your RSS feed, ie a link back to your website.

I’ve done this and added a link to my homepage at the start of my RSS feed, and this is set for every single post. If people are going to steal your content from your RSS feed, you can benefit in some way by getting links out of them! And links to your homepage. Think of it as an automatic link building program – thanks very much, I’ll take that! 🙂


So whilst we will never be able to totally stop people stealing content online, these couple points will help reduce the problem and in some cases you will be gaining backlinks from all sorts of related sites.

Any further tips you can think of? Let us know.

David Cowling : Editor and Founder of I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and Social Media Management. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at