How I Dealt with RSS Scrapers And Stopped Content Theft From Blog
RSS Feeds of your blog makes it easy for scrapers to fetch articles and publish on their blog. Thanks to sophisticated plugins and easily available script, Auto-blogs are made and run smoothly. I was annoyed by one such content copier using RSS Feeds to publish his posts.
So, here are those actions which helped me get rid of RSS Scraper.
1. Limit RSS Feeds to Summary
Instead of giving out Full Post content in RSS Feed, limit it to one paragraph giving the reader just a teaser of your article. So, when this spam blogs publish your RSS, only one paragraph is published and to continue reading complete article, Link to original article i.e. your blog is given.
How to Limit Blog RSS to Summary
If you are on WordPress Self hosted Blog, then go to Settings > Reading > For each article in a feed, Show: Summary. Save it and you are done.
For others using Feedburner for RSS, you can enable it by activating “Summary Burner” option under “Feed Optimization”.
It will be applicable to Email subscribers too and prevent content theft using Email subscription to generate content for their spam blog.
2. Enable Hotlinking / Image Protection
By saying, Spam blogs publish content in your article, it includes Text and Images. Yes, they publish images hosted on your blog.
So, you should enable Hotlinking which prevents displaying of your copyrighted images on any other domain. Along with it, show alternate image saying that this image is taken from <Your Blog Name>. This will make the reader know about the original source of article and hey, you get Free Advertisment!
There are certain rules and procedures to be followed to enable it which are explained on Ampercent.
3. Delay Publishing RSS Feeds
RSS Feeds are updated the moment you publish article on blog. So, at the same moment, that auto blog will be pinged about new entry and post will be published.
By delaying publishing on RSS, what we are doing is giving time to Search Engines to differentiate between timestamps of two Blogs. This way, there are chances that Crawler will give priority to the one published earlier and mark it as Authority site.
This is helpful not only when dealing with content thieves but also Social Bookmarking sites which publish your article as stories at the very moment.
4. Write DMCA Complain
Before Implementing above steps, if some of your content was already published on spam blogs then take action first to remove it. We can submit DMCA notice and remove that content index from Search Engines.
For writing DMCA Complaint, Google provides a simple online form that you may use to report copyright violations in web search.
Google will take into account your request and will let you know after they take action on such spam blogs.
I personally took these steps to combat plagiarism. If you have some more ideas in mind or the above mentioned help you in any way, please let me know by commenting.