I am the webmaster of a very successful blog in a fairly small niche. Recently our success has started to bite us with people copying posts on the site without consent and trying to pass them off as their own work.

Most sites stop as soon as you contact them but there is one in particular that is a blogger site which persists in passing off our content as their own. Every post we find we report to Google and they have been fairly good at taking the posts offline within a day or two but this isn't good enough or a long term solution.

Given the nature of what is being blogged about after 24 hours the post is pretty much useless so I need some way to just stop them from taking our content?

Any ideas? I don't want to go down the route of using a third party for people to get our RSS feed but I guess that is one option?

4 Answers 4


Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just make sure the benefit of stopping them outweighs the time spent trying to do it. It can easily be a losing battle, even if you win. That said, there are a few options available to you.

  • Find out if they are copying from your RSS feed or scraping your page. Add an user-friendly excerpts with links back to the original article and other articles on your site within your text. If they're scraping from RSS, just do that for the feed. You can also put your affiliate links, your products, your services, and your ads in the body text.
  • Use .htaccess to prevent hotlinking of your images or to put your chosen image in place instead (think: this article was stolen from mysite.com or something to that effect).
  • Try to isolate the IP address of their scraper and block it.
  • Continue reporting to Google. Also, if they are serving AdSense or have any form of advertising on their site, report them to their advertiser and hit them where it hurts.
  • Find their host and try to contact them about it.
  • Get a lawyer.

Of the options above, pick the low-hanging fruit, the one-time things, first. A lawyer should be a last resort.

  • 1
    Our readers have noticed it (no idea where from) and the guy who writes the content (he spends hours every day on it) is justifiably annoyed. Cheers for the options, I will look into them.
    – Toby
    Oct 7, 2010 at 22:52
  • It's probably at least worth reporting to Google so you don't get penalized for having duplicate content. But you'd think that after some point Google would just ban users who blatantly steal content. Oct 7, 2010 at 23:32

Two additional ideas.

If the posts are being automatically scraped from your site, consider including a standard footer within the body of your post - a footer that contains the name of your site, your site address, and a copyright notice. Then, your site ends up being promoted by the pirate.

Alternatively, if you can work out the IP address of the pirate, you could block it entirely, and stop them from browsing your blog.


I'd personally do a whois on their domain name, which will give you the name of the offender's host. Contact the host and inform them that they're hosting stolen content, preferably with a cease and desist on the letterhead of the meanest attorney you can afford. Problem solved.

There is software that could mess with his efforts to copy-paste. For instance, you could simply do a javascript disable on the right mouse button and the "c" key while they're on your site which would make life difficult, but not impossible. Tyny (http://www.tynt.com/) is a piece of software that appends urls to the end of copied content, which I bet could be done by hand with javascript if you were decent at writing code.

Of course there's always that time-honored and not-entirely-legal tradition of striking back. Post some of --his-- content on your site with a big highlighted note that you're sick of his site's constant ripoff of your work. Or, put up a page that tells why he's a hack and is unethical and then SEO the living daylights out of it so it becomes the top rank on google when you search his site....tell the whole story and prove evidence to shame him with your readers.

Unfortunate that hackers are never from little tiny outposts that you can just block outright.....

  • 1
    Messing with copy and past would annoy our genuine users who maybe copy excerpts for their own use.
    – Toby
    Oct 8, 2010 at 8:49

In addition to the great ideas already presented here, keep in mind that in the long run, Google knows where content is originally posted. So the offending site(s) will likely earn duplicate content penalties that will damage their reputation.

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