How do I protect my blog posts from being scraped or stolen off my blog?
 by Casey Markee

How do I protect my blog posts from being scraped or stolen off my blog?

  • I have a pretty popular Wordpress blog that I update frequently with new content. Lately, however, my content is being scraped or completely copied and published on other blogs as original content. Are there any Wordpress plug-ins or other methods you can recommend to help me prevent this from happening?

Answer: Web scraping (also called harvesting and sometimes called theft) is a growing problem on the Internet. As you've discovered, the most common reason for scraping is to copy or steal original content for the sole purpose of republishing it on another site. In many cases, this scraped content can actually harm the original publisher and their site in two major ways:

  1. It can create duplicate content issues if your original content is published repeatedly across the Internet on other sites or blogs.
  2. This republished content could actually out-rank the original site's original content depending on its targeted keywords.

Unfortunately, a growing minority of people falsely subscribe to the belief that, once content is published on the Internet, it's theirs to use freely. If you value your content and believe it should only be published for the benefit of your audience, here are the four main counter-measures being used to stymie the practice of scraping content from your site:

  1. Using CaptchasCaptchas are tiny, randomly generated strings of words and numbers that can be displayed in picture format. This creates a visual check which machines can't easily read but humans can. This is effective in blocking automated scraping scripts but has some obvious drawbacks. The scraper can physically run the captcha themselves and let their scripts run. Also, the captchas are not always user-friendly for your audience and some of them are down-right unintelligible to read.
  2. IP Blocking — Done within...

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