This is something that each of us think about from time to time. We’ve all asked this question in our heads, or even vocalized. “What if someone steals your website content?” I certainly am included in the ranks of people who have asked this!

If you’re like me, you have many precious publications around the web. The last thing you want is for someone to steal your same blog post or web page and use it as their own. But also, we’ve all heard the rumors that it hurts your, original content’s, ranking.

If someone steals your website content, does it really hurt your ranking?

The majority of the time when someone steals copy from your website, it will have little to no affect on your ranking or Google’s “opinion” of the quality of your content. Why? Because most people that share duplicate content aren’t going to rank. They are normally small websites or something that is not SEO ready.

Related Post: 3 Steps for Getting More Visitors to Your Blog

However, if someone has stolen your content and they have a bigger website with lots of traffic, it will hurt your ranking and Google will view your website as lower quality.

Scary right? How on earth are you going to track down these thieves? The internet isn’t just some small neighborhood.

Thankfully, Google has made this pretty simple for all of us! Our friends at Google have set up a certain search tool that will crawl the web for specific search terms and rules.

Search for some of your most popular content on this tool that Google is freely providing. See if anyone has in fact stolen your content. It’s a little bit confusing at first, but here is a video (Sorry, it’s long, not made by me) on how to use google alerts:

Side note: I recommend only searching through “Only the best results” because if it’s not listed here, it’s not going to affect your ranking.

What if you find someone who is stealing your content?

If you do find a company/individual who is stealing your content and you don’t want this to be taking place any longer, you can use this Google Webmaster Tool to stop it. It’s called DMCA Compliant (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Here’s the link:

As an additional resource to learn more, check this link out:

I decided to begin managing this process. I kept it very simple. All I did is set up a weekly reminder to go do some random checks of my popular content. I recommend that you do the same – It’s important to know if someone steals your website content; this is a simple way to make it happen.