Content is the most important part of any online marketing campaign. It increases visitor traffic and retention, thus content is king. It doesn’t really matter what type of content it is either. Online content can be streaming videos, a series of still graphics or even a single, audio file. With WordPress blogs, content generally consists of text via articles or posts. Unfortunately, text-based content is also the easiest to steal.
The problem with content scraping, of course, is that it not only violates copyrights; it additionally steals traffic from websites that provide the original material. Here, we look at how we can prevent scraping and maintain an exclusive, informative presence online.
How Content Scraping Works
Through a series of automated tools, people can scrape content from a collection of websites and present it on a blog as though that content originated from it all along. The most common method of scraping employs RSS scripting (Really Simple Syndication). There are also plugins that will extract content from one site and place it onto a content scraping WordPress blog.
Both use the PHP, ASP, jQuery or some other programming language to scour the web or target a specific news feed for keyword-related content. Once the content is found, the tools save it to a different website’s ftp server or SQL database for visitor retrieval and presentation.
Here’s a few steps to protect yourself against blog content scraping.
Protect Content with Monetization
One way to prevent scraping is to make content unattractive to those who want to profit from it. In most cases, content scraping WordPress blogs belong to affiliates who desperately need text-based material alongside the products or services that they’re selling. When that scraped content is filled with site-specific links, affiliate codes, and other monetized items that point back to the content’s creator, however, it loses its appeal, and scrapers eventually abandon it. Monetized content offers does not provide financial benefit to anyone other than its owner.
Limit Its Access
In an effort to appease an information-hungry society, some sites offer full access to an entire article or blog post through a feed. The problem is that when they do that, they increase the chances of having their content scraped for one, simple reason: Content scrapers love it.
Content scrapers pursue whole articles (in contrast to summarized articles) because they make their blog look as though it were a manually crafted, quality blog. It’s an age-old trick designed to satisfy search engine content standards and maintain a high search engine position.
Limiting access to only a single, syndicated paragraph or less, however, makes content just as unappealing to scrapers as monetized content is. And it significantly reduces the chance that scrapers will pirate it as a result.
Block Known Scrapers via IP Number
Unfortunately, not even limited access to monetized snippets will stop some scrapers from stealing content. In that case, more aggressive tactics require IP blocking. IP blocking is not easy, and depending on your experience, it could require outside expert help. That’s why we recommend installing an IP blocking WordPress plugin for this task.
The end result prevents access to a blog’s content, no matter its type, monetization, or size. Instead of gaining access to someone else’s content, scrapers who encounter an IP block gain access to errors.
As you’ll see, each of the methods above offers a specific advantage of its own. It really depends on the severity of the scraping and how hard a person wants to stop it. The best part about these tips is that they can reduce content scraping on your blog for almost no cost.
Author: Kaumil Patel
Kaumil Patel is the Chief Operating Officer of GreenGeeks and has over 13 years of experience in the web hosting industry working for and owning web hosting companies. Kaumil’s expertise is in marketing, business development, operations, acquisitions and mergers.