5 Powerful WordPress Plugins to Help Prevent Content Theft

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In this post you’re going to learn about the different ways in which your blog content is been stolen without attribution for the benefit of others and which plugins you can use to stop it.

The unfortunate truth of being a blogger and content publisher is that there are a select group of people that constantly rip off our content, display it as their own and give us no attribution for our hard work.

Before I go any further I want to be clear; I’m not talking about syndication here which is not a problem in my eyes providing attribution is provided along with a link back to the source.

I’m talking blatant content theft where individuals scrape RSS feeds for new content and then publish it without attribution and publish it on their own properties (sometimes even spinning it into something that looks like a 5 year old wrote it).

WordPress Plugins to help Prevent Content Theft

Below you will find 5 powerful WordPress plugins that will help you put an end to this.

1. Feed delay

Right now you probably have a few bots subscribed to your RSS feed that scrape it for content; if you run a large content heavy website then chances are that you will have more than a few.

Larger sites that get their content indexed within a very short period of time won’t usually experience much of a problem but if your site doesn’t have its content indexed so quickly then this could be a problem for you.

Here is what could happen: you publish a post and a bot scrapes your feed and auto blogs your content without no attribution link and somehow manages to get the post indexed before you do then search engines will see your post as the duplicate and chances are you will never be able to rank that post above the content thief’s blog.

This is a horrible thing to happen and happens to some bloggers without them realizing it.

Feed delay is a great solution for this, you can set it to delay posts from being added to your RSS feed for a set amount of time and you can tweak this amount of time so that you can guarantee that your post will be indexed first.

I must warn you, this plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years now but I run this on a lot of websites without any problems.

Download the plugin

2. WordPress SEO by Yoast

You might be thinking, what? An SEO plugin; how is that going to help? Well it can help you a lot!

WordPress SEO by yoast

Part of the problem with content theft is that auto blogging plugins are reposting content without attribution. The thing to remember about these plugins is that they are not being checked by a person, it’s all on auto. It’s sad to say really because this type of behavior really won’t help them with Google’s recent updates but it still happens.

WordPress SEO by Yoast has an RSS menu which allows you to insert content directly to above and below every post in your RSS feed. The content can be whatever you like but there is specific code available that will allow you to add an attribution link to your RSS feed so that when your post is republished it provides a link to the original on your website so that search engines and readers will know who the original author is.

Download the plugin

3. Copyright Notice

While Feed Delay and WordPress SEO by Yoast weren’t specifically designed to help stop copyright/content theft this plugin was designed specifically for the job.

copyright-notice-plugin

Copyright Notice provides you with a digitally signed and time stamped content certificate that is placed below each post on your website which can go a long way to helping prove ownership.

There are a lot of customizable options here so it’s a very functional plugin and you can also customize the colors of the copyright notice box so that it fits with the rest of your website.

Download the plugin

4. WP Content Copy Protection

This plugin is the swiss army knife of copy protection plugins but there are still a few features it doesn’t have so it would work well with either Feed Delay or Copyright Notice.

wp-content-copy-protection

Some of the features include; ability to disable right click on mouse, disable image drag and drop, disable various keyboard commands.

Personally, I don’t have any issues with people copying snippets of content or using right click options and as a user that sort of thing can get a bit tedious but the main feature that stands out to is the disabling of image drag and drop function.

It’s usually far too easy for another blogger to drag and drop your image into their visual editor and include it in a post and some may do this without thinking and not have any bad intentions at all.

The problem is when someone drags and drops an image into their live editor it isn’t uploaded to your own website and it results in stealing bandwidth which can become a huge problem for the site owner that originally posted the image.

Download the plugin

5. Tynt Insight for WordPress

This plugin doesn’t actually prevent content theft but I wanted to include it because it can give you a lot of insights into what content is actually being copied from your website, whether it be text or images.

tynt insight for wordpress

There’s also some other cool features because you can choose to add a “read more” link back to the page the content was copied from. You can also add a creative commons license, Twitter username and/or a link to your Facebook page.

If you’re comfortable with editing your theme files you can setup this system by using a snippet of code.

Download the plugin

Summary

Be careful out there because there are a number of people that are lazy and like to take other peoples content. If you use 1 or maybe more of the plugins above then you will be able to more effectively protect your content but try to not go so far that you affect the usability of your website.

Have you had any issues with content theft recently or have you been using any of the above plugins or any others to protect your content? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit

About the Author: Adam Connell is a blogger and marketing guy from the UK. He can be found writing on his blog; Bloggingwizard.com where he writes about blogging, marketing, social media, SEO and WordPress.Get more from Adam on  and Twitter.
19 comments… add one
  1. Sandy Appleyard says

    Oh my gosh! I cannot believe there are people out there who would even do this! What benefit do they get from it anyway? I don’t quite understand. This post is excellent in making clear the issues existing out there for us honest bloggers, and how to protect ourselves. Thank you so much; I’ll be looking into these plugins :)

    • Adam Connell says

      Hi Sandy, thanks for commenting!

      I think some think they’re going to get traffic and in turn money at the end of it but the problem is that a lot of people are looking for a magic red button to succeeding online and people take advantage and sell them these products that just don’t work. There are a lot of myths and falsehoods perpetuated online (especially where SEO is concerned).

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the post, it’s my pleasure – the main thing is that it helps you! Let me know on Twitter how you get on.

  2. Rank Watch says

    Adam Collonel, this is indeed a helpful blog. I am sure these tips would help many epople secure their content, be it individual blogging, or company blog posts, or for that matter any kind of content. In my view 3. and 4th ( Copyright Notice and WP Content copy protection) are really good options. Thank you for bringing these Plug-ins to surface. After all, web content is the King in our arena!

  3. Adam Connell says

    Thanks for dropping by Rank.

    I’m sure they will – I’m leaning towards Copyright Notice and WP Content Copy protection too.

    My pleasure!

  4. Lewis says

    Is this a joke?

    If you are serious about the above then I really worry, as the standard content on blogs is generally designed to perform marketing functions for businesses; Nobody writes blogs with Childrens stories, or actual “free” material, if you made something super cool and awesome, and you showcase it, you would generally distribute a version with lesser features to drive a need for a more fulfilled paid version (as done on many blogs, and why not?). Those who genuinely blog about hobbies, and I know some of them, usually end up being given freebies to blog about, or they end up blogging about, (which is product placement in basic A-Level Media). Think about it, you have performed (knowingly or unknowingly) product placement on five plugins, which will probably up-sell additional features after the hook has subtly settled into the readers mouths.

    I for one, would love for people to steal my images, content etc, it would basically distribute me throughout the internet and validate any ideas I put forward…

    • Adam Connell says

      Lewis,

      I actually agree with you to some extent – sure there can sometimes be a benefit to content theft but their is a very negative side to it too.

      If it’s straight up posting of your content that isn’t changed and you’re still referred to as the author then sure that’s great and like you say will distribute you through the internet and validate your ideas but this is something that is often referred to as “Syndication” and it’s something that myself and many others welcome of course.

      The unfortunate truth is that the above is an ideal scenario but it doesn’t very often work out like this.

      These include the following –

      * Someone auto blogs your content but spins it into garbage but leaves the link back to you.
      * Someone scrapes your RSS feed and republishes your content removing any mention of you and your website and then manages to get it indexed first.
      * Someone scrapes an ebook together with your blog content and removes and mention of your and your website.
      * Someone posts your none descript image on their site with no link back to you or mention of your name.
      * Someone reblogs your content on a “bad neighbourhood” website with a link back to your site.
      * Someone posts your content on a de-indexed website with a link back to your site.
      * Someone leaks your paid content and rewrites it with them as the author and removes any mention of you and your website.
      * Your content is distributed to a bunch of sites that has some optimized anchor text for a high value keyword that is bringing TRAFFIC and SALES to your website .. this distribution causes a high majority of the overall links to the page or website to be from that particular anchor text and Google slaps you. (ouch).

      These are just the scenarios that I’ve thought of on the spot, and these are REAL and happening to bloggers all the time.

      Personally I wouldn’t want any of the above to happen to me, and I’m sure a lot of other bloggers feel the same.

      • Lewis says

        Hi Adam,

        Firstly thanks for getting back to me, it’s always appreciated when someone is involved in their blog. Also I’m not saying this is not a great article (by my definition you have ticked nearly every box), but what I am saying is that if you write your blog in the right way (which in IMHO can be done without plugins) then the content becomes irrelevant to any competition or whoring out by other web-users.

        In any case you may be right, but I would be much more enthralled by an article on how to motivate yourself to become a blogger ;)

      • Lewis says

        So if someone links to my content and links back it is somehow deemed better or more polite? Is this even if I have prohibited linking?

        • Meg says

          It’s supposed to depend on the type of copyright you hold. The owner of the image in use allows sharing as long as they are given proper attribution. I don’t think an obscure hyperlink is what she had in mind.

  5. gina valley says

    This is such a great post – a huge help to me. I have a lot of trouble with having my content stolen. I have WordPress SEO by Yoast already, but I didn’t know about being able to add text to the feed with it. Wonderful tip!

    I will be trying out the other plugins.
    Thank you for all of your help!

  6. Dianne says

    Great comments.
    I am going to be uploading video’s and documents that I would like to protect from download. I realize nothing is foolproof from the hackers, but are there security measures I can put in place to keep the “honest people honest” and make it tough for the hackers?

  7. Greg says

    The best one so far is trackment.com It’s not expensive, yet easy and reliable. I’ve been with them for 2 years, highly recomenned.

  8. Mike says

    Man, thanks for sharing this: this will help my clients and myself a lot. Especially with the tons of content that I create for them and for myself. Rock on! :D

    Mike

  9. Jackson says

    I have to agree with WP Content Copy Protection (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-content-copy-protection/) ! This plugin is, simply the BEST! This, in addition to the following plugins, can really make one’s life much easier in protecting against content theft.

    Here are a few new plugins i can across :

    1. CodeCipher : onfuscate your HTML and encrypt your JS source code output (keep source away from hackers) : http://yooplugins.com/downloads/wp-codecipher/

    2. WP Image Copyright notice (adds elegant image copyright notice to image context and can be used to extend WPCCP) : http://yooplugins.com/downloads/wp-image-copyright-notice/

    3. Printoflauge : can be used to extend WPCCP – replaces users printing clipboard with warning message : http://yooplugins.com/downloads/wp-printoflauge/

    4. Pic-Decoy – The BEST image protection plugin for WordPress (in the world) : replaces all your images with invisible blank images and when a user attempts to copy your images (in any way possible), then blank images are served instead of the real ones : http://yooplugins.com/downloads/wp-pic-decoy/

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