It may be your biggest professional fear (aside from your business going under!) – spending all of your time and energy on a great product only to become the victim of content theft.

Unfortunately, the more popular your content and the greater its visibility, the more likely it is to be stolen. However, it doesn’t mean you safeguard yourself.

content theft

Not only is content theft damaging to your branding and SEO efforts, it could hurt your company’s reputation. Here are three easy ways to protect yourself.

1. Google

It is important for you to let Google know you are author of your content. Edit your personal and professional Google+ pages.  Inform Google you are an author for the websites featuring your content. Add the website URLs to the “Contributor to” section.

Create links from your content to your Google+ page.  Visit the Google Plus Authorship page to enter your email addresses.  You can also use the following HTML code to the text of all your original content: <a href=”[your profile URL]?rel=author”>Google</a>.

You can also report spam and stolen content to Google.

2. Include Calls To Action

Always include a few internal links to other relevant, original content on your website.  This way, if a carbon copy of your content gets posted on another website, the call to action could still generate leads and links back to your website.  Additionally, the links you include in the original would be tallied as inbound links for your website, which is beneficial to you.

3. Use Analytics

Analytic software packages can help you identify shady uses of your content and uncover the IP addresses associated with offenders.  Be on the lookout for website visits with a high page-view count and low time on each page, which arrive by direct traffic.

Don’t let your good name (and time!) go bad. Spend some time investigating to see if your brand has been the victim of content theft.

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