I am sure you guys must be aware of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act aka DMCA. If not, let me explain.
Let’s say that you found a blog that is republishing your original content without your permission. I would like to call such blogs or sites as scraper sites. Such sites will copy someone else’s work and re-publish it. Now, you have found one such spammy site and have sent numerous emails to the owner to remove the stolen content, however your repeated requests were ignored.
So, how can you take down the copied content from such spammy sites ? You file a DMCA complaint via the Google Webmaster tools – DMCA dashboard. If your complaint is found genuine, Google will remove the pages of the offending site from its search results . Also, a copy of your DMCA takedown notice will be shared with Chilling Effects – which makes the complaint public. This is a great way to expose the content thieves.
A few days back I came across one such spammy site and was shocked to see my original content republished there without my permission! I sent a couple of emails to the site’s owner to take down the content but did not receive any reply. In the end, I was left with no other option but to file a DMCA complaint against the content thief.
To give you a background, the copied content was from my SEO guide on Increasing search traffic. And you know what’s the funniest part in this whole story ? The person who copied the content claims to be an SEO expert !
How to write a DMCA takedown request
1) First things first, navigate to Copyscape and enter the URL of your original content. Click on Go to search for copies of your page on the web.
2) View the results to verify if your content has actually been copied and republished.
3) When you click on the offending link, you will be able to see the match percent. In my case nearly 650 words were copied from the original post!
4) Once you have confirmed the offending URL, navigate to Google’s DMCA dashboard and click on ‘Create a new notice’.
5) You will have to fill in your personal details along with the description of the copyrighted work as shown below.
6) After filling in all the details, you can submit the Copyright removal request. Once the request has been submitted, you will get an acknowledgement.
7) Now you can check the DMCA dashboard for progress on the DMCA takedown.
If your request is accepted, the offending page will be removed from Google search. If the request still shows under ‘Pending URLs’ you need to keep checking back for progress. It may take a while for the request to be processed, so you need to be patient.
I submitted the request more than 15 days ago, but it still shows pending. So, I sent another email to the content thief informing him of the DMCA complaint that was filed. On receiving this information, the person agreed to remove the content from their website immediately. I have checked and can confirm that the content has been taken down. 🙂
I could have shared the offending URL and the other details in this post but I refrained from doing so. It won’t do any good to the reputation of that particular website or to its owner. We really work hard to write unique content and it feels really bad to see scrapers not respecting your hard work.
How does Google know that my content is original ?
The original content should be indexed by Google first (in most cases) which can prove that you are the original content owner. Another way is to check the date and time when the post was published. But in some cases the content thief may change the timestamp as well. In such cases DMCA complaint is the only way out.
This video by Matt Cutts explains how can you make sure Google knows that you are the original content owner.
I hope you guys will check for plagiarism for your original content as well and will not hesitate to file a DMCA complaint to protect your hard work. I would love to know your experiences in the comment section below.