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Should I prevent my users from 'stealing' my content by adding a link as a source when a text is copied?

I am just wondering, because I see a lot of spammy website using my content. If I would do this, I am afraid that those websites will now be linking to me (because of my source) and negatively affect my ranking / SEO.

What would you do in my situation / what is best for SEO?

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I would not do this because as you mentioned, it would be a negative signal for your site to be linked to from a lot of spammy sites. Furthermore, there isn't any guarantee the site will keep the link.

The good news is that generally speaking Google can tell which is the original. As long as you produce quality content and your site is of sound quality, your content should outrank the copied content.

Interestingly, just a few days ago Google's John Mueller addressed this topic. He stated that it is possible for copied content to outrank the original, but in those rare cases it is typically because the original site is a low quality site.

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    Thank you, Jake. I appreciate this! I won't do it (for now). Cheers!
    – Siyah
    Jun 28 at 7:43
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Genuine sites (which respect copyright laws and know what fair use is) either provide a link or at least mention the source.

Spam sites mostly use scrapers. And scrapers don't usually execute JavaScript including the one that you employ to add a link to the clipboard.

Either way, I don't think automating link addition to the clipboard is going to help.

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What would you do in my situation / what is best for SEO?

Set in your website content:

  • Comprehensive information about the publisher and the copyright holder of the content.
  • Copyright license in the content of your website.
  • Comprehensive information about the author of each article.
  • Date of publication and modification of each article in ISO 8601 format.
  • Relevant structured data for the article.

Read more of Google:

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Search engines do not punish you for bad sites linking to you.

The reasons are numerous, but simple: first, web spammers have many sites which they cross-link... and to avoid the appearance of "sites only pointing to bad sites", they make a point to link to many good sites also. But also is the problem of the "Joe Job": a competitor, trying to "take you out of search engines, could pay web spammers to point all their bad sites at you.

As such, no competent search engine would ever punish a site for who links to them. The site has no control over it.

Scammers also copy other web sites

So again, the fact that you have the same text as scammy sites is not, itself, a condemnation of your site.

And better search engines will certainly try to track who created content first, so they will recognize which is the creator and which are the imitators.

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Why not try to make it difficult for normal users to steal or “use” your content?

I’ve added oncontextmenu="return false" onselectstart="return false" ondragstart="return false" to my body tag:

body oncontextmenu="return false" onselectstart="return false" ondragstart="return false"

This at least stops most of them able to right click or copy sections of the text, and will deter most causal copiers. Also, it needs no scripts for it to work, so was very easy to roll out and did not affect page score or web vitals

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