Content theft: My iphone 3g display post stolen…

Have you ever experienced seeing a ranking for one of your posts that has been copied and is being hosted on a different website?

That’s what has happened with the iphone display post I wrote on the 18th October, 2008.

I discovered the problem when randomly checking for rankings in Google for SEOgadget. I keyed in “iphone 3g display problem” and got these serps:

iphoneadmirer.com has taken the original content of the post, and is now out ranking my site for the terms I targeted!

What to do when you’re worried your content has been copied:

1) Check with copyscape – a highly useful website plagiarism checker. Key in your source url and copyscape will give you a reasonable idea of any duplicate problems out there.

2) You could double check the Copyscape results by doing a check in Google on some of the body content written in the post:

I had my first iphone 3g “fault” today – at least I thought it was a fault. The display screen wouldn’t activate and stayed blank even when I pressed the sleep/wake button on the front of the phone.

Google search revealed that iphoneadmirer.com is the only site to be displaying my content. I’ve been dropped into the supplemental results…

What to do when you know your content has been copied…

3) Find the offending webmaster’s contact details and email asking them to consider taking the page down. If that doesn’t work you could follow these instructions which talk you through a detailed approach to contacting the webhost, and what to do if that approach doesn’t work.

I found an even better post on dealing with stolen content on SEOmoz. Highly recommended reading, great post!

4) You could also report the offending page via Google’s webmaster tools authenticated spam report form. It will be really interesting to see how this one pans out, and how long it will take to resolve, if it ever does get resolved.

5) You could rewrite your content. I know how that sounds but, you could turn the experience of content theft into a positive by seeing it as an opportunity to improve the original. If the content improves, evolves and adds value on the original idea, then it’s quite likely you’ll be back in the index in no time.

Update: I contacted the webmaster of the site involved asking them to remove the page. This was the response:

Mr. Baxter,

We did not screen scrape your blog. Our site is a news aggregator for iphone related articles. We are not claiming this is OUR content, just displaying iphone news. The link to your blog has been removed.

Have a nice day.

I recieved this response reasonably quickly and the page hosting the duplicate content now returns a 404 error. I have got to say though, there was no link to my blog. If you check theimage below you’ll also see that the post author is recorded as “iphone3g”. Hmm…



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3 thoughts on “Content theft: My iphone 3g display post stolen…

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your problem but I’m glad it was resolved. From the sound of things it was just a spam blog scraping certain keywords, likely iPhone in this case. I’m glad the resolution was easy and didn’t take long.

    If you have any further cases that you need some help with, let me know, I’m happy to assist any way that I can.

    Just let meknow what I can do.

  2. I had a quick look at their site and it appears they are just scraping content from Digg.com now.

  3. Thanks for the update Hayden – I’ve noticed that site doesn’t rank too well anymore… :-)

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