Protecting Your Content from Content Scalpers
Plagiarizing internet content or violating copyright policies online has proven to be an issue across multiple platforms. Content scalping falls into this category, and the practice threatens more than just your intellectual property. If an entity scalps your internet content, your SERP ranking will surely drop, to no fault of your own.
How can you protect your platform’s SERP ranking?
What is Content Scalping?
Unlike plagiarism, content scalping requires automated software. Scalpers will “scrape” content from a platform like yours, leaving it untouched but copied. Then, they’ll repost the content in its exact same format on their own platforms.
Snippets, for example, are easy scalper prey. If you search your own snippet and find another platform profiting off your hard work, then you’ve been the victim of a content scalper.
The Negative SEO Impact of Scalping
When a crawler algorithm such as Google’s notices that there are a significant number of similar snippets on its platform, it sets off a red flag. The stolen content registers with the crawlers as spam or nonsense.
Once a crawler has identified the copied content as nonsense, it’ll go on to flag your original content as spam-equivalent. As such, your SERP ranking will drop considerably, even though you’re the original owner of the content.
Content Scalping and DMCA Violations
There are numerous ways to prevent content scalping, one of which involves legal action.
Content scalping violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the DMCA. This law was first put into place to protect content creators such as yourself, as well as other hosts and domain name registrars, from those individuals who would copy your work.
The DMCA also puts legislation in place that advocates for the removal of stolen content. If you can contest that your work has been scalped or plagiarized, then you can have it wiped from a search engine’s SERP and the internet as a whole.
While legislation is useful, there are downsides to the DMCA. For one, it can get expensive to appeal copyright violations. Smaller businesses or independent business owners may not have the long-term funds to track down every scalper that violates their website.
Working with the DMCA is also a slow process. Thus, even though the scalper will be punished legislatively, your SERP ranking and internet credibility may suffer for much longer than you’d like.
Alternatively, you can use several different plugins to protect your work. Wordfence, for example, identifies scraper software that butts up against your site and blocks scalpers from your platform for a time block of your choosing.
reCAPTCHA Enterprise, via Google, also works to block scalpers along with other ill-intended bots.
If you notice your content appearing on other platforms, then, or notice your SERP ranking dropping without warning, keep content scalpers in mind and take the necessary security measures to keep your content safe.
Image attribution: carlosrojas20 – stock.adobe.com