Branded copy scrapping a big crime

There is a growing crime that is aggravating and frustrating business communicators around the globe and unfortunately one of my companies fell victim to this slimy act.

It’s called content scraping.
Your content is basically copied and used on someone else’s site for their search results and credibility benefit. This can be accomplished by a lazy human who cuts and pastes your words into their site. Or it can be done with automated software, owned by equally lame people. Without lifting a finger, your branded, search engine-optimized content appears on some bogus URL or website.

The first type of crime happened to us. Restaurant Branding Roadmap blog is a site that Jocelyn Ring and I run. Our focus is to help restaurateurs build brands. As part of our marketing, Jocelyn was on the social media site LinkedIn, posting discussions about a recent blog article she wrote. As she was reading other posts to learn about what people were having conversations about and what topics of interest were trending, she stumbled on a discussion with the same exact title as her post. So she clicked through… and to her shock, she saw her post verbatim on someone else’s blog with no mention of her name or credit to our site. In fact, the byline was the owner of the site and his blog was also based on restaurant marketing/branding.

Jocelyn immediately reached out to inquire. “Mr. Blogger, your content is a striking resemblance of ours, word for word.” Mr. Blogger was quick to reply saying that he was so sorry because he had interns working for him on social media… and they obviously messed up.

Yeah. . . students thrown under the bus, because he got caught.

So how do you prevent this from happening to you?
There are monitoring methods and software that can help. After doing some research, this article by Kissmetrics.com sums it up well and provides a good list of helpful tools. Don’t be a victim of content scrapers.