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Why You Shouldn’t Try to Prevent Someone from Copying your Blog Posts

There are many websites out there that copy other websites content and put it on their own website. This is usually done because the website owner wants to make money from their website right away, and doesn’t want to spend their own time writing content, so they steal content from other sites. Once they have a good number of posts they apply to an advertising company (like Google Adsense) and most of the time they tend to get approved.

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t spend your time trying to stop these people from stealing your content, and what you should do instead.

Copying a blog post directly from a website is a popular way to copy the post. Some say you should block copying to prevent this. What if someone wants to quote part of a post to use on one of their blog posts, or in a social media post (of course giving credit / a link back is the best). If they can’t copy then most people will simply give up and give a link (or social media post) to another website.

Show that you are the original creator of the post, you can do this in many ways, by having a canonical link (so if someone copies your entire page code then search engines will know you are the one who made the content), having a copyright notice in the caption of each image and / or bottom of the page (this won’t deter the people who really want to copy but at least it will stop a couple of people when they realize you own the copyright to it), post it on your social media (so it’s seen on social media as the first post), have your social media profiles linked to your website profile (if you use social media share buttons or the page code is copied then it will link back to your social media profile) using open graph tags.

If you have limited bandwidth on your website (no hosting company has unlimited bandwidth) then consider preventing hotlinking. Meaning that only your website can show those images and if any other website does then it won’t be shown (you can also direct it to any image of your choice). If you are interested in this, Kinsta has 7 methods you can use to disable hotlinking.

You could get dmca protection (which will cost extra money), but in reality unless you say otherwise you (or your company) are the copyright holder of every blog post you write and post. If you find a copy of your already posted blog post you can file a takedown notice with either the website itself or the hosting provider (you can use a site like WhoIsHostingThis to find out who is hosting it and contact them to file a dmca notice).

The RSS feed could have an excerpt instead of the full article. Which means if someone is following your RSS feed then they will only see an short summary or snippet of the blog post and will have to go your website for the full blog post. This is frustrating those who read your RSS feed and some may unfollow, which will mean less people reading your blog posts. The people who are copying your website could easily just set their system up to go directly to your website to get the full article.

Instead of putting a watermark across all your images, where it will be a disruption to the image. You can put your website name, logo, or url in multiple spots throughout the image. You most likely will have to shrink the watermark you want to use to fit it inside your image. This will also make it harder to remove. If you just have your logo at the bottom of the image it can easily be removed by cropping the image.

Ultimately, if someone wants to copy your blog posts they will find a way to do so. You can’t block them 100% unless you want to block everyone from going to your website.

This blog post was inspired by posts on WPBeginner, Problogger, ShoutMeLoud, and BlogTipsNTricks. You are encouraged to go read those posts to see why some people think you should prevent someone from copying one of your blog posts.

Gregory Hammond

Gregory is the owner of Gregory J Development and he loves helping people with their websites. In his spare time, Gregory listens to music, writes (not just for the blog here), and is trying to read more often.