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How to Watch for Plagiarism of Your Web Marketing Material

Plagiarism can hurt your brand and your web marketing campaign. Because search engines don’t like duplication, an unauthorized copy of writing on your website can really hurt you. So you should check for folks who are copying your website at least as often as you check these statistics.

Keep another tab on your spreadsheet to record copycats and indicate when you contacted them.

You can find copies by using search engines or you can use a handy tool — Copyscape.

To use the search engine method, follow these steps:

  1. Copy one unique phrase from your website.

  2. Paste it into the search field on your favorite search engine.

  3. Surround the phrase with quotes.

    On the search page that appears, if you see websites in addition to your own, they’re copying you!

To find copies automatically, follow these steps to use Copyscape:

  1. Go to Copyscape.

  2. Paste the address (URL) of one page on your website.

  3. Run the report.

Copyscape doesn’t crawl your entire site, though, unless you pay for the service.

If you catch someone copying content on your website, do the following:

  1. Find the Contact us page on the website.

  2. Send the webmaster a polite note asking him to remove the content.

  3. If the webmaster doesn’t reply, use a WHOIS tool to find the domain owner’s address and send him the same polite note.

  4. If that doesn’t work, contact the web hosting company and let them know, too.

You might end up needing a lawyer. Generally, website owners back down quickly if they know they’ve been caught copying.

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