In 10 Seconds or Less, Your Report Is Filed

Silly Putty is a Copying Tool
Credit: Nancy Sims (pugno_muliebriter on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

You Can Keep Up

to the Thieves Online

It's truly upsetting to create something unique and useful for readers only to find it copied elsewhere online. What's even more disturbing is when the stolen content outranks your own.

For the last couple of years, I've been filing Google DMCA copyright complaints the long way. It involves about a dozen steps that requires sifting through a few pages of information.

The time taken to report just one plagiarist seemed like too much work and soon I became discouraged by the process. Those stealing my content (I'm sure) were spending only seconds to scrape my work. I was spending hours reporting them.

The thieves were rewarded in many ways: they didn't have to create the content, they could automate the process, they put ads or whatever they were selling alongside my work, and they were profiting from doing nothing.

It was enough to make me want to quit writing online. In fact, there are some articles I haven't published online (yet) because I poured my heart and soul into them. I simply cannot bear to see them copied by thieves.

I'm sure it's emotionally upsetting for many writers who are creating unique content. So for those of us who needed an easier way to report the content thieves, Google created the Scraper Report.[1]

Bravo Google!

All You Need is Three URLs

Google Scraper Report Form
Credit: Screenshot by RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

You Can Help Out Other Writers

I have the perfect example to share with you. Just this weekend, I was checking for scraped copies of my work and came across a friend's article that was stolen.

Since I've found quite a few copies of my articles translated into other languages over the years, I've come to learn that searching for my pen name is a simplest way to track my work which includes my own cartoons, videos, or photos. 

Here is precisely how I found my articles and those of another writer:

I entered "RoseWrites on InfoBarrel about HubPages" in Google's search field.

On the second page of my search, I found the following Google entries (shown next as a screenshot). The last one is by another writer on InfoBarrel. I granted DebW07 permission to use my cartoon in her article The Online Giant Squid Becomes 'Hub' Sushi: Squidoo Lenses Turn Into Hubs.

It Would Be Incredibly Time-Consuming

To Translate It; RoseWrites & InfoBarrel Stands Out

RoseWrites scraped content in another language and DebW07's
Credit: Screenshot by RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

I Told Deb About Her Article Too

And, I found out that I could let her use the same URL where I had found my work. What's great is that if you collaborated in some way on an article (I granted Deb permission to use my cartoon and she gave me credit for my work), you can report the stolen work for both of you.

So, in the above example, here is all that Debw07 (or you) need to do:

1) Put the URL of your original work in the first entry field.

2) Put the exact URL of the scraped copy in the second entry field.

3) Copy and paste the Google URL where you first found it in the last entry field.

Check off the "I confirm" box and click on the "Submit" button.

That's it.

Next is a screenshot of the information filled out before "Submit" is clicked on.

I've Been Able to Report 50 in 20 Minutes

Screenshot of Scraper Report Filled Out
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Other Reasons I Feel This Tool Is Useful

Earlier this year, Danny Sullivan wrote a thought-provoking article for Search Engine Land titled Someone Outranking You With Your Own Content? Use The New Google Scraper Report. His last paragraph summed up all we know about how Google's scraper report works:

Google might not be using it for removals per se, but as a way to "harvest examples in order to improve its ranking system, so that original content shows up first."[2]

In my experience, some of my scraped content has been removed and some not. I have to hope that Google will get around to removing the copycats eventually, though. But if it doesn't happen as soon as I'd like, I think there may be an additional benefit to submitting these quick reports.

For the sake of maintaining or gaining author rank or a positive website status.

If you are aiding in the never-ending battle to keep plagiarists at bay, I feel Google might reward your site or your status as an online author. I can't prove it, but I am convinced that Google grants some profiles online more clout than others.

On the scraper report it does state: 

"Confirm your site is following our Webmaster Guidelines and is not affected by manual actions. Our Webmaster Guidelines are located at: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769. For information about how to check if your site is affected by manual actions, see: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2604824."

I would think if you are trying to help clean up the web, and you are already following "best practices," that Google would be apt to take you and your site more seriously and probably keep it ranked above those who have been (or are) less virtuous.

Carving
Credit: Jon Olav Eikenes (jonolave on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

People Who Create Original Content

It's overwhelmingly clear to me that those who create original content become the most protective of their work.

Frankly, I don't know how some writers can even sell their accounts or articles.

It's not the payment per article that I have a hard time understanding. (I get paid per word on Paw, Mane 'n Fin and Environment 911). It's giving up authorship that would bother me.

Why? Because if a reader had a question, I'd want to be the one who answered it. Every article I write only represents about 20 percent of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into it. I'd like to be able to explain myself further if a reader had a question.

I think Google recognizes these patterns in authentic authors online. It's time we took back our work. I hope you find Google's Scraper Report just as satisfying to use as I have.

Thank you for reading and sharing my article.