10 Ways to Fight Back Content Thieves

Sports car viewed from the year with a funny sticker on it.

Content thieves “make money online” off your content. This expensive sports car could be yours instead.

You can use search by image on Google to find who uses your photos and Copyscape for your written content.


When content thieves strike

One day two of my blogging friends were struck by bold content thieves. I do not speak of automatic content scrapers who also are a pain in the back.

I’m dealing here with lowly and greedy copy cats who only manage to find out which posts are very popular on social media and to copy and paste them in their entirety to their blogs.

You must fight content thieves at least to prevent Google to drop you assuming that you are the duplicate content.

Maybe some automation is used in these cases too but I’m sure there is some human behind it who will notice if you get angry.

Of course getting angry is not enough, you got to strike back to make them feel the pain they inflicted on you.

Lawyers and police do not help much on the Internet. The Web on the other hand, especially of the social media kind has plenty of self-healing aspects which are very supportive in these cases.


How to deal with content theft

Here I present to you 10 ways to fight back content thieves. Yes, it’s not only about noticing somebody uses your text or image.

  1. Comment below the stolen content if possible, make ’em feel you know about them!
  2. Tell everybody and expose the content thieves publicly by just writing “The x blog is a content thief”.
  3. Contact their blog hosting service: wordpress.com e.g. is very quick and supportive Lid of Blog Well told me.
  4. Contact their ISP. Run a who is search and report the content thief to the ISP they use. Unless they have a server in the basement, it breaks the TOS.
  5. Contact their advertisers. Content thieves want to “make money online” by cheating so fight them where it hurts most. Again, most advertisers do not allow content theft.
  6. Use social media like StumbleUpon to give them a bad review and add the original source where-ever they have been submitted instead of you. Also contact the social site admins to remove the copy and take the original URL of yours.
  7. File a Google spam report.
  8. Find other bloggers whose content has been stolen and act together.
  9. Use only freely available content either under a Creative Commons license or free to use altogether as the images on Unsplash are.
  10. Write a post making others aware of the ways to fight back content theft.


Do not make it worse and prepare upfront

Do not provide additional publicity for the thieves, as they do not care how they get traffic or links, they only care that they do.

Do not link them – not even using nofollow – as people will still click the links.

is the best way to deal with content theft, there are few easy measures that will at least make the content theft a two edged sword:

  • Add internal links to older blog posts to your list posts, thieves are lazy and will not in most cases edit #21, #37 and #54 of your list.
  • Write from a personal point of view, “my friends a, b, c think” and link your blogging peers. These friends will also notice that they just got befriended by a content thief and at least alert you.
  • Mention your name or your blog in the post.

These techniques do not make the content thievery go away but you aren’t and you do not feel powerless in such cases.

Last updated: June 19th, 2017:

  • Added subheadings and white space.
  • Added new image.
  • Removed suggestion to take revenge on content thieves by taking their content.
  • Added links to Copyscape and search by image.