Want to Protect Your Writing From Content Scrapers?


by Joe Wallace

This is old news to some, and a bit of a revelation to others. Google offers writers something I interpret as both an extra layer of anti-plagiarism protection AND a bit of search engine brand recognition with Google Authorship.

It requires you to use Google+ (surprise, surprise) and publish your work on your Google+ profile page, but it’s pretty handy as a way to show to Google who got there first when it comes to your work, content scrapers, or out-and-out plagiarism. Here are the steps to getting started, from the official Google Authorship page:

“You can link content you publish on a specific domain (such as www.wired.com) to your Google+ profile.

  1. Make sure you have a profile photo with a recognizable headshot.
  2. Make sure a byline containing your name appears on each page of your content (for example, “By Steven Levy”).
  3. Make sure your byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile.
  4. Verify you have an email address (such as stevenlevy@wired.com) on the same domain as your content. (Don’t have an email address on the same domain? Use this method to link your content to your Google+ profile)

(Here on the Google page there is a text box where you enter your e-mail address)

“Submitting this form will add your email address to the Work section of your profile, which by default is viewable only by your circles. You can keep your email private if you wish. It will also add a public link to the domain of the email address to the Contributor to section of your profile.”

It’s as simple as that!

You aren’t necessarily promised protection, better search placement or any other perk–I personally interpret what Google has done here as a two-fold means to protect the original author of an online work AND help that work get better Google ranking versus scraped content or copied material. Your own mileage may vary.

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