Today, the role of content in Internet marketing in general and in website promotion in particular is difficult to overestimate. Moreover, the role of content will undoubtedly increase further, and much faster than it seems to us. Fundamental developments are underway at the junction of linguistic analysis and mathematics, new ideas are quickly picked up.
In the year 88, for the first time (on paper), the principles of probabilistic latent-semantic analysis, which underlies machine learning, were fixed. Today Matrixnet is a reality, whether someone likes it or not. And in the "era of the Matrix," as you know, the role of any one factor participating in the ranking of sites is very much leveled. Content becomes the way to attract LF (and not only LF!) - a traffic that is available, in general, to everyone (even if theoretically, in practice, this is far from true).
All this has led to the fact that today many companies have begun to seriously engage in the content of their web offices, evaluating content spending as a long-term investment. What is important is that investments that pay off regardless of changes in search algorithms (in general, it is clear why: a large amount of high-quality unique content is, first of all, low-frequency traffic, and it suffers less from changes in search algorithms).
And the question arose - how to protect your content? In general, he did not get up now. But if earlier only Internet market participants and a small handful of the most advanced media (recall the sensational Vedomosti case against RBC) dealt with this issue, today all commercial firms, whose success depends on search traffic, have taken up this issue. Over the past six months, more people have phoned to us at Texterra, the content-writing agency, than all the time before. Everyone called - from owners of small online stores to e-commerce directors of large retailers. They called with one question - how to protect your content, which was spent sometimes quite decent budgets.
What are we protecting ourselves from and what are we protecting from?
As many of us know, they steal everything: design, layout, code, illustrations. This, of course, is not good. Apparently, it is necessary to fight this (someone and for some reason), but to be honest, I don’t see much point in this. Maybe my opinion will go against the majority opinion. Stole your design? Rejoice, you are recognized. Stole your photos? Yes, let them see as many people as possible! I do not urge anyone to do this, but I also cannot condemn it somehow. As a rule, the thief is ridiculous in itself, only by his fact of theft, this, IMHO, is already a sufficient punishment.
There are two fundamental things that make me treat the thieves of text content quite differently. First: textual content affects promotion. There is a direct proportional dependence: the more high-quality unique content on the site, the topics are higher search traffic on low-frequency queries (this is at a minimum, and, in general, this no longer requires any proof; but the point of view is becoming more and more popular, and I adhere to it, that high-quality unique content today is capable of changing the situation inside the TOP-10 and according to quite competitive inquiries). In general, high-quality unique content on the site (not “eroding” at the same time the theme of the site, if the site is narrowly thematic) is an absolute blessing.
Second: search engines, unfortunately, are not perfect, and quite often they incorrectly determine the source of the content. These two things - the influence of the texts of the site on the ranking in the issue and the imperfection of the definition of the source - are the cause of the evil that we see firsthand: one site (albeit young, less "trust", etc.) is embedded in the content, and the second site steals and is determined by Yandex as the source of the content (and, accordingly, the traffic gets the site that is defined by Yandex as the source). I would like to talk about the fight against such phenomena.
Simple steps that nobody performs
Self-rescue of the gallows in the loop, as is well known, is impossible. This is a medical fact. Having entered the Internet not only as a "surfer", "user" and "chatter", but also as the owner of an Internet site, be prepared that your content will be stolen. Especially, if you have high-quality content, and you spend a lot of money on attracting content agencies or freelance journalists. The content will be stolen from you, and, therefore, it is impossible to try to prevent this by some kind of software. I am writing this for those who still think (and there are quite a few) that you can prohibit copying texts and illustrations from the site with some scripts.
The only prevention of theft that I know is the copyright icon on every page of the site. This is, indeed, a means of prevention, but in no way a guarantee that the text will not be stolen from you. A copyright sign, as you know, does not create and does not recognize any additional rights for you, it is just a declaration of your rights to the content.
But what measures should be applied after your texts were left without your knowledge on a certain site?
The first. Write a letter to the owners of the resource (preferably by “regular” mail on company letterhead, in the corporate envelope of your organization), where you report that from the page (or pages) of your site they partially or completely copied the material to which you belong, and you ready to defend their rights in court. It is better to order the writing of such a letter to lawyers, believe me, they knowingly get their bread.
Banal advice? Oh yeah! But you will not believe, at this stage you can solve most of the problems. In fact, not always on the "that end of the wire" sits evil dwarf, who dreams to withdraw from your site as much content as possible. Sometimes "copy-paste" on a competitor's site is engaged, without the knowledge of his superiors, a hired employee whose task is to create this content. Sometimes the practice of borrowing content is simply not considered in a particular structure especially criminal. But such letters, believe me, very quickly and efficiently "reset the brain." The main thing is not to be lazy, but to keep track of "copy-paste" and methodically send them letters.
The second. If the first step did not work, then with a similar letter you can contact the hosting provider, where the plagiarist site is located. Domestic jurisprudence with respect to hosting providers (we say this without a value) is rather unsteady and unclear. In Russian judicial practice, there were cases in which the hosting provider was declared responsible for the content hosted on its servers, while there were cases in which the hosting provider was not recognized as responsible for the content. And there were even those where the hosting provider was declared responsible and sentenced to a fine, but the appeal filed with the Supreme Arbitration Court overturned the decision (recall the case: "Content and the right" against zaycev.net and Masterhost).
This lack of clarity of the position of the state in our case turns in favor of the content owner. The official address to the hosting provider solves the problem - it has been checked on its own skin repeatedly! The main thing is the text of the letter, of course. No need to frighten anyone, no need to threaten the court. Refer to the hosting provider as an arbitrator, while clearly expressing your position that if you ignore the appeal, you reserve the right to go further on instances to defend their rights. Here it is important, on the one hand, not to go too far, on the other hand - you should feel for yourself the right to go to court and be sure that you will do this if necessary. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the hosting provider is easier to resolve the issue of what is called “on the spot” and with his client.
Third. We sincerely wish that the first two steps will allow you not to bring the matter to court proceedings. But if all the same it comes to this, then it is necessary to take another step. And make it better in advance. In court practice there are certain difficulties with the proof of their rights to the content (we recall that a copyright sign is not proof!). But there is such a thing as proof of time of title. In other words, if no one side can prove the fact of writing the content, then the court will consider the question of who previously had the disputed content. In this case, the date of publication on the site, of course, will not be considered by the court.
There are two ways. Difficult path: print your materials on the printer and take them to a notary. The notary certifies not your authorship, but time - when they were brought to him. In other words, thanks to these documents, you will be able to prove in court that you had the disputed content on such and such date. Will such a document be able to provide your opponent?
Second option - essentially the same. But he will save a little your time and money spent on a notary. Print the documents and send them to you by "regular" (not email) in an envelope to your home address. The main thing: get the envelope, do not open it. The sealed envelope has a stamped mail with the dates of sending and receiving the letter. These dates will also testify in court in your favor.
Here, in general, and all. Simple tips? Yes very. Many already know about them. But for some reason, not everyone wants to perform. Meanwhile, these simple steps are able to remove most of the replicated content that belongs to you from the index. You ask, and what to do with those on whom this simple steps will not work? And do nothing. Minus to karma has not been canceled. And for content theft, karma falls very quickly :), believe me, we know what we are talking about.
Welcome replication of the material with an indication of the source.