If you haven’t been convinced by now to become a Twitter user, maybe this story will entice you. . . . By using Twitter you can monitor specific keywords, phrases, user names, etc. One of my searches is set up for general health related topics.
Last week, someone had tweeted that they had just written a new blog post titled, “How do I become a Health Advisor or Health Coach?”. I saw this tweet because it showed up in my search list. I thought that was really interesting, because I wrote an article last year called “How to Become a Health Coach”. And at the time, it was the ONLY article on the internet with that title! Hmmmm. . . So I clicked the “blogger’s” link to check it out. It turns out that “their” article was almost exactly the same as mine! A few words were changed, but basically, it was my article thinly disguised!
There are a few options to deal with content thieves. First of all, I left a couple comments on the blog that their article was very interesting because it was exactly the same as mine. This was really just for my own amusement because they had to approve the comments before they would be published.
I could choose to ignore the situation, but duplicate content could potentially affect the search engine status of my article, although I don’t think that’s too likely. (However, it might steal traffic from my article which is on a site that pays me). Another option is to email the thief directly and ask them to remove the stolen material immediately, but this is unlikely to be an effective strategy.
I decided to report the bogus blog to Google, who takes harsh action against copyright infringement. I feel that it’s important to stop them from continuing to steal from writers who don’t deserve to be so blatantly stolen from unknowingly.
If you run into this situation, follow these guidelines that Google recommends: http://ow.ly/HntP. (Special thanks to my friend @BrianHorn for sending me this link! Brian is an SEO guru: www.HornDogSearch.com)