Put Your Content Copies Under Control

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We are all being copied. The moment any new article gets published, it is being republished on some crappy blog (more often than not, without any credit). There’s not much we can do about that.

This post is about those content stealing that is done through direct copy-pasting from the page. This is just one way to steal your content but it is used pretty often.

So how do we go about people copying our content?

1. Force a link back to your page

Tracer is a free tool that forces a potential content thief to link back to your page. If any part of your page is copied, it adds a link back to your site to the copied content. Of course, the link might be manually removed but most thieves never care to.

The installation is really quick:

  1. Register
  2. Get the script and put it sitewide before </body>
  3. You are done!


It also offers some nice statistics on which content is copied off your pages and how often.

2. Allow to embed your content (instead of re-publishing it)

EmbedArticle is an interesting service that invites anyone attempting to copy your content to use the generated code to embed the article (with the link back to the original). You can even configure the widget to show your ads in the embed article (to earn from that re-used content).

Just insert the generated code (or use the WordPress plugin) to get it working. The Embed Article widget window will pop open whenever more than 10 words (or whatever number you set) are highlighted and there is a copy command.

Embed article

If you want, you can even encourage embedding your content to other sites by using a handy interactive button:

Embed article button

The site also offers basic stats on who embeds your content and how many clicks you get.

Warning: please test thoroughly before running. For me, the plugin won’t work for some of my blogs. Not sure if that was the theme issue.

3. Forbid copying text

This method seems to be both extreme and low-effective (since it only forbids right-click but not CTRL+C copying) but it is still often used.

WP-PreventCopyBlogs (by Johnu George) is a handy plugin that has quite a few options:

  • Track those who copy your content (you’ll need to grant the addon your data base access);
  • Disable right-click in the selected text (you can create your own message for those who attempt to copy anything from your blog using Right-click option);
  • Disable selecting text all over.

Using the plugin, you can probably request a link back from those who attempt to copy your content:

No copy plugin

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
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  • I have been using Tracer for quite some time and it seems cool. While creative s it may be I'm not sure if I would want to offer an option to embed my posts. This is still encouraging an action that I don't want. Sure a link back is better than nothing but I'm still not OK with people republishing my posts.

    This is the first time I have heard about this WordPress plugin. I'll certain check it out.

    As always, thanks for the helpful resources! 😉

  • Thanks for the tip on the wp-preventcopy plugin. My site is a blog so I'll check it out. I don't know how helpful it will actually be to request a link back though.

    • @ Chiropractic Marketing, exactly my thoughts. I don't think anyone should be happy to get a backlink from an article that is illegally/without permission copied from a blog or website…

      The best option when someone copies an article is to use copyscape. Try to copyscape your articles on a regular basis and check the duplicates. then go to google search and report as spam so that the duplicate content gets removed from google's index, do the same with the other popular search engines as well…

      once that is done, next start contacting the advertisement companies operating on their sites, like adsense, chitika, inforlinks, kontera… and i have had success with getting the copycat banned in all ads network so i know that this works.

      also, try adding a copyscape banner on your site, looks odd and un-professional but scares off a lot of copy cat or content stealer,

      @Ann, i don't really like to mess with user's browsing experience, so stopping a visitor from doing a left click will be a little too extreme…

    • lhasa01

      thanks for sharing great stuff
      I will follow your tips


    Thanks for the good work Ann, your tips are always helpful. I use http://www.copyscape.com/ to check if anyone is copying my work. It's nice to know even if you can't actually do much about it in reality. Sometimes asking people who've copied you to have the decency to link back to you can work!

  • There are many out there trying to copy content of blogs with absolutely no mention to where it was taken from. So I am happy to see a few ways how it can be …slowed down a little.

  • Fantastic tools! Thank you so much for sharing-anything we can do to stop the scrapers is great!

  • Thanks Ann for very good tips……
    As we were suffered with same problem before some time………
    And at that time our one seo member had find out that person who copied our work…..
    But now after knowing about this tool it will definitely help us.

  • Great stuff as usual Ann.

    Especially the Embed Article WP Plug in is something to check out.

  • i do not know which guy invent the tracer. it is too clever.

    but if that thife made a simple modify, can this ware wrok?

    for example, he change the number of two into twice?

  • axelboss33

    Embed Article is pretty awesome.

    The best part is that any embedded article is displayed so that it's invisible to Search Engines. That way your original article on your website carries the highest level of SEO, rather than the person's website who took it competing for your traffic.

    People will take your content no matter what, so at least this way it works to your benefit.

    Excellent post!

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  • Vincent Goombatz

    Here's another solution to help combat content copying –FLIR (Face Lift Image Replacement). It's a bit difficult to implement and not 100% effective. Basically, the server renders text as an image on the screen. You'll need a .php server, and a web designer/developer who knows how to implement it. Also, there's also not much room for applying CSS (text styling). This method would be ideal for sites that sell articles.

  • Helpful tips, Disabling right-click is a good idea to prevent direct copy-pasting from the page.

  • Helpful tips, Disabling right-click is a good idea to prevent direct copy-pasting from the page.