10 Powerful Tips to Leverage Content Theft

Last Updated: June 3, 2020

Content theft has been a real pain in the butt for webmasters/bloggers for as long as the web has existed.

There is no foolproof way to stop content theft and it can even become detrimental for the original source when it gets outranked or filtered from Google for its own contents.

So what can you do to prevent content theft? You can make it increasingly difficult/annoying to copy content and at the same time leverage it. The more difficult stealing content becomes, the less likely it will be targeted by scrapers. Here is how:

1. Truncate your RSS feed

Don’t provide full content in your feeds. This is because scrapers are generally lazy and they need tons of content as quickly as possible. Copying content from RSS feeds is much easier than manually checking each and every website for full content.

2. Leave digital fingerprints

Leave digital fingerprints on your RSS feeds, like copyright notice or links back to your site at the end of each post/article in your RSS feed. You can use the WordPress RSS footer plugin to automatically add digital fingerprints to your RSS feeds.

Here is how this digital fingerprint might look on your RSS feed:

rss footer

The digital fingerprint contains a link back to my post and site, as well as copyright information.


There are two advantages of this digital fingerprint. One you can easily detect content theft (like by setting Google alerts for @2010-2020 optimizesmart.com). The second advantage is that you may get a link back to your site when the content is scraped, especially by scraping software.

3. Use Embed Anything technology on your web pages

This forces scrapers to copy content with a link back to your site. So whenever a scraper tries to copy text from your web page (which has more than 10 words) an embed article widget window will pop up that will force him to copy contents with a link back to your site.

 embed article

A scraper can of course remove the links from the copied contents later. But now copying contents from your web pages (without link attribution) is hard work.

You can see this technology in action on this site Optimize Smart. Try to copy the text on my blog. You will see the ’embed article’ box as in the image above. To use this technology all you need to do is create a free account on embedanything.com and then copy past their Javascript into all of your web pages.

I also use the free script provided by Tynt. So even if the scraper ignores my ’embed article’ box, he will still get a link back to my site on scraped contents. So I recommend using both Embed Anything and Tynt technologies. Here is how the copied content from my blog may look on a scraper site:

copied content

The scraped content contains a link back to my post and blog


Note: There is also an embed article plugin for WordPress sites.

4. Disable right mouse click on your images

This will make stealing your images difficult. There are many scripts available out there, like this one to disable right mouse click on an image. There is also a WordPress plugin for this.

5. Provide an alternative to stealing images

If you want to do link building through images on your site, then you can make some of your images available for free use but with link attribution.

To enforce link attribution, copy-paste the embed image script from embedanything.com into all of your web pages. Whenever a scraper will mouse over your image, he will see an ’embed image’ box that will encourage him to embed the image instead of stealing it. You can again see this technology in action on my blog.

embed image

Mouse over this image to see the Embed Button

Here you are offering the scraper to embed your image on his site instead of stealing it. Since grabbing the code and copying and pasting it easier than saving the image and loading it on the server, the scraper may use this code. There is also a WordPress plugin for this.

6. Take advantage of hotlinking

Allow hotlinking of the images for which you want to get backlinks. If bandwidth is not an issue, this can be a very good way to rank your images.

This old post from Search Engine Journal can guide you in leveraging hotlinking. The lazy scrapers may pick up your code for hotlinking your images.

Check the blog post: image optimization tips that will help you tons for more image link building tips.

7. Take advantage of contextual links

Add at least one link (back to your website) within the content. The more the better. So in the case your whole article got scraped, your contextual links will also get scraped along with the article and you will get attribution in the form of links.

Use this tactic especially on the content you provide through RSS feed or for syndication through creative commons license.

8. Cloak your RSS feeds

It means providing different RSS feeds to known scrapers. Check your server logs to find the IP address of the person/site who scraps your RSS feed/contents all the time and then serve him different version of the RSS feed. You can find more about this method on this post on the Plagiarism Today website.

9. Induce fear in scrapers by adding strong copyright notices at the end of each post

For example:

“This post is copyright protected. We are very protective of our contents. We use copyscape and other technologies to detect illegal copies of our contents on the internet and make sure that the scrapers are prosecuted to maximum extent under the copyright laws. If you wish to syndicate our contents, please give due attribution in the form of a do follow back link to our site.”

Note: You can get plagiarism warning banners from here and buttons and badges from here.

10. Get your work registered

If you are really serious about protecting your content then learn about copyright, patents and trademarks and register your work. You can copyright your website, its text, and images just for a one-time fee of $35. Circular 66 is used for registration of online work.


11. Create pages optimized for the content thief (name, company, bank, ISP, …) and make them rank for [scraper-name caught stealing] and you know what else.

Other Posts you may find useful

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.


My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and BeyondSECOND EDITION OUT NOW!
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder, OptimizeSmart.com
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade

Get My Step-By-Step Blueprint For Finding The Best KPIs (32 pages ebook)

error: Alert: Content is protected !!