Due to the fact that Seth’s last post content on my blog was kind of stolen and ranked before my blog, Seth wrote this post about what to do if this happens to you!
Dealing with Detrimental Back-Links using Google Webmaster Tools the Right Way, and Understanding the Idealization Behind the Duplicate Content Penalty.
If you’re somebody furiously telling yourself someone copied my website content, have ever been in this type of situation, or wish to know what’s needed to be done in these types of situations; you might want to read this. Ever since the creation of the web since Tim Berner’s Lee, with the creation of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) and the world-wide-web server we popularly call the internet, a lot of wrong-doing and mischief have come into being. Although pro-active measures such as the creation of Google, website platforms, and computer programs have been created for the purpose of making it easier to co-exist as an online community; there will sadly be people who have been taught wrong and pursue its destruction.
This leads me to talk about how to stop others from copying your website content and them potentially ranking on YOUR content, at least just temporarily before the duplicate content penalty kicks in, on Google.
My Recent Conversation with Sylviane
Normally when I make a post on her website, she usually sends me a message on my Facebook account saying the post is now live. Being who I am, I normally check the keywords that I targeted within the post and check Google on how they were ranked, especially since it’s a guest blog post made by me on HER website. While I was checking for the keywords that I ranked for on my previously published post, I noticed another website actually copied her content, partly since that website was actually ranking on Google for a couple keywords at least for the time being (while Sylviane was not). Given Sylviane’s plan to submit a DMCA request for it and other pretty obvious reasons, I’ll go ahead and show you a picture of it without linking to this sad excuse of a website. (The permalink is found on this picture if you want to see it in its current state.)
Click on each of the pictures below to view them in full size.
Click the back button on your browser to redirect yourself back to this post.
So because of how this person potentially took advantage of Sylviane’s and my hard work, a DMCA request was written up by Sylviane.
We all know Sylviane’s been blogging online ever since around the year 2006 and is very familiar with how the world-wide-net works today. Despite this, she had little knowledge on how to submit a DMCA request, what it even was, and how this could be used to stop wrong doing online. Shoot, even I’ve never had to submit a DMCA request partly because of how I’ve been WORKING on a massive gaming site, but haven’t really opened it up to Google Bots and other search engines.
Because of this and the issues presented here; I feel it’s important that it be common knowledge on how DMCA requests work, how to correctly syndicate articles for the benefit of the original author and the borrower, and how to use Google Webmaster Tools to notify Google of ignoring certain (detrimental) back-links to your blog.
What is a DMCA Report?
For one who may be wondering what is a DMCA Report, it’s a pro-active measure taken by Google to stop web spam, simply put. I could easily go into a lot of the arguments and theories behind how it started and the whole purpose of it in light of intense debates over how it worked especially when it came out, but I’ll save you the expense.
I feel the DMCA report does a great job TODAY on quickly getting rid of web spam largely due to reports I’ve read on how fast they usually respond, and how I’ve read about 97% of what’s submitted is immediately taken care of.
There are many different requests that can be submitted through the DMCA report, but since text makes up bulk of our work, here I’ll show a simple walkthrough on how to submit a DMCA request for a copyright violation of text.
1. First, go to the website @ Removing Content From Google – Google Help.
2. Second, you’ll need to click on the circle by the words Web Search.
3. Third, you’ll need to click on the circle by the words I have a legal issue that is not mentioned above.
4. Fourth, you’ll need to click on the circle by the words I have found content that may violate my copyright.
5. Fifth, you’ll need to click on the circle by the words Yes, I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
6. Sixth, you’ll need to read the following box to ensure you’re the actual owner of the content (are you really!?) and then click yes if you are.
7. Seventh, you’ll need to click on Text since this is the main issue people deal with when it comes to copyrighted content. (If your case has to do with images, a video, or another more concentrated issue; choose that one instead.)
8. Eighth, you’ll need to click on the link with the words this form ensuring this is really a problem you have and that you’re really ready to go forward with this.
9. Finally, you’ll need to login to your Google + account (I hope you have one! – If you don’t, you can create one HERE) & then fill out the appropriate information for your specific issue before clicking the submit button.
From what I’ve learned, you should get a response pretty quickly from the Web Spam team, usually in about 3 days. This is something Google is very serious with, and I think you’ll have no trouble doing what you need to do here.
Please note that if somebody copies your content way later on well after your content is already ranked in Google (in the case of text) and hasn’t taken advantage of immediate rankings a little bit, you could just wait it out until the Google penalty sets in on their blog instead so as to not waste any of your precious time. It’s ultimately up to you and what type of action you’re willing to take.
* So now that we’ve taken care of what people shouldn’t do, let’s talk about how to correctly use other people’s content across the web through syndication techniques!
How to Syndicate Content on the Web
For one wondering how to syndicate content on the web, there are 2 ways that I personally would syndicate content. The 1st way would be to put the same exact text on an article or post, and make DARN sure that page or post had a no-index tag for all the search engines while leaving an original source link towards the bottom. Doing this would ensure Google Bots and other search engines didn’t rank that stand alone page.
What is a no index tag?
For one who wishes to know what is a no index tag, a no index tag is a tag that’s applied on a webpage whether it’s a page or post. What this special tag does is tell other search engines, including Google, this page shouldn’t be ranked. You have the option of installing a plugin on your site that allows you to put no index on certain pages (I prefer the all in one SEO plugin) or you can manually put it into your page. If you’re wanting to manually put a no index meta tag in your page or post instead, you can do so with the following line of code:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow” />
In case you’re wondering where to put that code, towards the bottom is probably best. You could try putting it in between text or just somewhere where it’ll not show up to. It’s really up to you. I’m not exactly sure about the extra blank space it might generate on the visual end of it, but I’m sure you can do a little tinkering to get it how you want.
It really shouldn’t be too complicated, and it’s pretty easy to do. For ensuring your post or page is actually not indexed, you might want to check back once or twice in the next day or two to make sure it wasn’t indexed. If it’s indexed even though you attempted to put a no index meta tag, you’re still held accountable. In that case, I would recommend deleting that webpage and trying anew.
- Matt Cutts, current head of Google web spam team, wrote a pretty thorough article on his personal blog about no index meta tags back in Feb. of 2008.
In all honesty, I don’t know a whole lot about different plugins you can use for syndicated content (largely because of how I haven’t had much need to do so thus far). But I do know it’s not hard to create a platform or plugin that allows you to input a source article URL and have that original article displayed on your site to where it doesn’t get indexed or used inappropriately via your blog.
Even though you have all these cool little ways of displaying syndicated content for your websites, its way better creating your own content and doing your own work. The reason being is when you display syndicated content instead, you aren’t really leveraging the search engines to your advantage.
I think more importantly, you aren’t building an actual website that people will want to flock to and read from. If you visited a website with a bunch of plugins and syndicated content by other websites, would you want to regularly visit it? I wouldn’t, except maybe to visit the original author of who wrote it… and then leave a comment on THERE site instead, and then maybe even buy from the original author instead.
I think the only time you should really display syndicated content is when you see an EPIC article by another very big website that’s highly related to the niche you’re in. You could display this important newsfeed via a widget or maybe even a webpage along with your own personal opinions and thoughts. Still and yet, it’s all really up to you and the basis you use for your strategies. I just want to help steer you towards being on the right path.
* So now that we have a good understanding of how to correctly display content on the web that doesn’t belong to you, let’s move on to our final topic over how you should tell Google and other major search engines to ignore hurtful back-links!
Google Webmaster Tools Backlinks Report
For one looking for information concerning the Google Webmaster tools backlinks report, there’s actually a way you can use Google Webmaster tools to notify Google of ignoring certain backlinks. First and foremost, you need to setup a Google Webmaster account with your website(s). You’ll need to make sure these sites are inputted into your own account and are keeping track of what incoming and outbound links are going to and from your sites along with information about your traffic, current Google pagerank, how many pages and posts you have, and so on. If you notice a lot of bad backlinks pointing to your site that you don’t want, there are two things you can do:
- You could ask the owner of the website(s) to get rid of the links they’ve posted.
- Submit a report to Google saying a site is submitting backlinks that you don’t want to be involved with on your site, and for Google to ignore those backlinks.
The #2 option is by far the best solution since this ensures all the links are removed immediately and so that Google knows what’s going on with your website. Realistically, you shouldn’t have much trouble with this issue unless somebody was using a program like Xrumer, Scrapebox, or something else ridiculous literally spamming your site links all over the place on like blog comments, forum posts, social media profiles, and anything else imaginable.
Otherwise, you really shouldn’t have much to worry about in this area. It’s really easy to keep track of what backlinks are pointing to your site with Google Webmaster Tools and I highly suggest this to any serious webmaster today partly due to how this can be used to cut off bad backlinks.
What is the Duplicate Content Penalty?
For answering our big question over, “what is the duplicate content penalty” this is a very peculiar answer largely due to the fact Google doesn’t want people knowing exactly how to maliciously attack the signals that are used to determine the original content.
Pretty much in a nut shell, Google immediately scans for the original owner of the content by using certain signals and immediately indexing that in their search engines. So when somebody copies your content and your article is already indexed in the search engine, the person who copied your content will simply be blocked out of the indexation part since that’s already indexed in the search engines.
They just won’t show up. The only time they MIGHT show up on a few keywords is when they publish your own content somewhere else almost immediately after you’ve published your content. This is the main time frame it’s preferable to submit a DMCA request to ensure nothing awry goes on, despite how you’ll pretty much always attain the articles worth anyway. I wouldn’t worry about this too much though because Google uses a highly sophisticated use of signals to determine the original publisher of that content especially in light of the available use of the DMCA request anyway.
- There’s a good article about duplicate content due to scrapers by an article back in June 2008 by the Google website.
For the most part, most people don’t really understand the duplicate content penalty thoroughly. It’s important to know these things, however, so you can be a benefit to the whole online community and help teach others with what one should do in these situations.
I hope this article has answered a lot of your questions about how DMCA reports work, effectively using syndicated content on your blogs, how Google webmaster tools can be a huge benefit, and the duplicate content penalty. If you have any further questions or have anything to add to what was said here, I’d love to hear what you have to say. Thanks again for stopping by.