Should You Let Content Theft Slide if Site is Linking Back to You?

Aug 9, 2007 • 7:50 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO Copywriting

A WebmasterWorld thread asks a question many bloggers and writers ask themselves. What if a site is routinely stealing your content and links to your site as the original source. Plus, in this case, the site that stole your content has a high PageRank value with many internal links.

Should you let it slide or should you do something about it?

Why would you want to let it slide? Well, you are getting links from a site that has high PageRank with many other links pointing to it. Those links might boost your site's popularity.

Why should you stop the theft? Well, this site can easily outrank you for your own articles because it is more popular than yours. Also, do those links really pass that much value? Over time, those links may get so deep into the site that they are buried.

I feel, as a long term strategy, you have to stop the content theft. In the long run your content will should be represented fairly in the search results. Letting people steal your content, when your site is not all that popular, may not be a wise decision.

Member, Quadrille, explained from "experience,"

Whatever "SEO" benefit you'll get from an article farm, you'll almost invariably get more by exclusively self-publishing.

If you believe you will get actual human referrals from the article farm, then consider it - and you can judge that likelihood by the quality of the stuff already there.

This goes well with Tamar's recap on Combining Thousands of Duplicate Pages Without Penalty from yesterday.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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David Wallace

08/09/2007 04:55 pm

I guess it depends on how much content they copy and how often they do it. If they copy an entire article or blog post, I'd have a problem with it, even if they do link back. However if they copy a snippet and give proper credit, then that is fine with me.

Ian Mansfield

08/10/2007 08:43 am

Am I the only one to think it is ironic for Bloggers to complain about people stealing content, when you consider that most blogs are just people copying content from other news sites and adding a tiny amount of pithy commentary. Engadget - I am looking in your direction.

Jonathan Bailey

08/10/2007 09:14 pm

I have to agree with the overall opinion of this article, letting content theft go unchallenged is rarely a good move. One problem that isn't discussed here is the "secondary source" problem. I've discovered that, once your feed is scraped, the site that scrapes it often, in turn, gets scraped. Suddnely, copies of your content exist that are pointing to a site that is not your own. The long-term effects of widespread scraping and content theft can not be good.

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