As a blogger or content creator, or even a SEO, you always run the risk of getting your online content ripped off and copied. It's a risk because even though search engines might be getting smarter at detecting the original source of some duplicate content, it isn't always easy. And there's no guarantee that the original source will be determined every time, and the duplicated content penalized. Not only do you end up competing against your 'own content' so to speak, search engines also try to eliminate duplicate copies of some content, which could result in your content's elimination altogether. Here are a few ways you can check for multiple copies of your content elsewhere on the internet.
There are many ways to find duplicate content. But doing so isn't as easy as it might seem. For one, there's the sheer number of websites that might be copying your content, and for another, search queries are often limited to a certain number of words, with the less significant prepositions like "in" "or" "and" etc not counted. So simply copying a piece of your content and pasting it as a Google Search query won't always do the trick. Here's what you can do.
Quoted search queries
Many beginners don't know this, but if you enclose a search query in Google Search with quotation marks, Google will specifically search for that whole string. Ordinarily, it only searches for keywords. For example, if I search for find duplicate content on Google, it will show me most relevant results that have all three keywords, or a combination of them in any order or any number of them. However, if I search for "find duplicate content", it will search for results that have the exact string "find duplicate content" in them.
Using this technique, you can copy some text from your content, and paste it in Google Search (enclosed with quotation marks). This way, you can find exactly matching content. Doing the same thing without the quotation marks won't be any good, because Google will only search for any combination of the words in the search string.
Use the intitle operator
If someone is blatantly copying your content, then chances are that they might have copied the title tag as it is. You can search Google specifically for titles by using the intitle search operator. For example, if I were to search for duplicate content of this very post, I'd use the following Google Search query.
intitle:"How To Check For Duplicate Content Copied From Your Site?"
Now in all fairness, some webpages might coincidentally have the same title as yours with different content. But if there are any rogues out there copying your exact content, this is where you'll find them.
Google Webmaster Tools
Sometimes, when Google indexes pages that it detects contain duplicate content, it notifies the original author about them. But you can only avail this feature if you have a verified Google Webmaster Tools account. Once verified, you will start receiving messages for critical issues, such as problems found with your site, or duplicate content discovered elsewhere on the internet. In theory, this is very good. but in practice, Google isn't the best for this job. It might take some time for Google to discover duplicate content, and it won't always send you a message. But for starters, it might be a useful features. Just don't put much stock into it.
The inurl search operator
Just like the intitle operator, the inurl operator can be used to search for duplicated content. For example;
This is a sure way to catch bots, because content copied automatically will mostly also include similar or same URL structure. People might sometimes change the title of a post after a bot has copied it from somewhere, just to throw the original content creator off-trail. But they won't always change the URL, which makes them easy prey!
Got any better techniques that are fast and simple, yet effective at finding duplicate content? Let us know in the comments section below. Peace :)
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