It’s inevitable. Your content will get stolen. Not only will your content get stolen, it’s also possible that the website hosting your stolen content will outrank you in the SERPs. If they’re outranking you with your own content, you may then be penalized by Google because they will think that YOU are the one stealing and re-publishing duplicate content.
There are hundreds of articles detailing methods to prevent your content from being stolen. Preventive measures range from software solutions, htaccess rewrite rules, Google alerts and a handful of other techniques.
So why am I writing this article you ask? Because my approach is free, simple, effective and I believe it works better than anything else out there. I’m sure that once I share my secret, others will try it and then eventually write about it too. You’re welcome!
Let’s get started!
Disable your RSS feed. I wrote an article on how to disable your WordPress RSS feed that has easy to follow instructions. When I create new content to publish on any of my affiliate or client websites, I don’t want to alert the wrong people that I have new content for them to steal.
Disable automatically rebuilding your XML sitemap. Are you running a WordPress plugin named Google XML Sitemap or something similar? Generally these plugins are set to automatically notify Google, Bing and Yahoo when the content of your website has changed. I have disabled that functionality so that someone cannot monitor my file for new content and then steal it from me.
Speaking of the XML sitemap file. Another technique I use to lower my risk of being scraped/outranked is to give my XML sitemap a name other than sitemap.xml. No need to make it too easy for someone to find my sitemap.xml file containing all my articles wrapped with a bow.
Now lets cover my procedure for publishing new content in an effort to minimize content theft and being outranked in the SERPs with your own content.
How I Publish Content
My 10-step process for publishing content is below. Don’t worry, this is simple, quick and thus far has been proven to be very effective.
1. Write the article
2. Publish the article
3. Go to Google Webmaster Tools and click on Health -> Fetch as Google
4. Enter the URL of the page you just published into the text box. (see image below)
5. Click on Fetch
6. Once the page has been fetched, click on ‘Submit to Index’
7. Go to Bing Webmaster Tools
8. Dashboard -> Configure My Site -> Submit URLs
9. Enter the URL and click on Submit
10. Go back to Google and enter the URL of your new article into the search box. Once the URL appears in the SERPs, wait 24 hours and then promote the hell out of your article on all your preferred marketing channels.
If you are active on Google+, I would start there first. Next I would submit the article to LinkedIn, Twitter and finally Facebook. My tests have shown that posting in that order gives me my best chances of solidifying my ownership of the new content.
That’s it! You’re done. This is working well for me and I would suggest all smaller publishers giving this a try.
I recently received an email from Google indicating my acceptance into the Google Authorship program. I believe that this is yet another tactic one should employ to help solidify their online presence.
I’m a believer that shadow authors used in affiliate marketing have their days numbered. My online presence and expert areas have been greatly reduced over the last 18 months and I’m seeing positive signals by being more transparent with my online activities.
Good luck. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.