If you have ever written about technology, programming, or data science: content scrapers have been stealing your articles.

How to find out if it has been happening to you — and what to do next

Keri Savoca

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

If you have ever written about technology, programming, data science, machine learning, or a related topic — content scrapers have been stealing your articles. I promise you.

This is a quick, no-nonsense guide for how to find out and what to do about it.

Screenshot by the author. Here is an example of an article I wrote that Google took down upon my request.

What to know

If you wrote something, you own the copyright to it. If someone else publishes your work without your permission, they have violated this copyright. If content scrapers have scraped your work, they are earning ad revenue on it.

How to find out if this is happening to you

  • Google your name, or Google “your name” + “author”. Scroll. Scroll. Keep going. Go a few pages deep.
  • Set up a Google alert with your name. If your name is common, set up a Google alert with the names of your most popular articles. You’ll receive an email when new content that matches the alert parameters appears on Google.

What to look for

Look for your content appearing on a website that you didn’t submit it to. Here is an example.

Screenshot by the author.

What to do

Yes, you can sue and try to recover money. It will take years and it will cost you. Assuming you don’t have an attorney, here is what you can do instead.

  • Take screenshots. You can take a full-page screenshot using GoFullPage.
  • File a DMCA takedown notice with Google. This is a direct link to the form. Note: You must include https:// before any URL you post here. (Check the status of your existing takedown requests here.)

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