Content thieves

From time to time I google “Login Dongle” to see if there are any new reviews of my plugin.

Sometimes I find reviews stolen from others. That’s a common issue these days.

But today, I’ve found a new breed of stolen content that deserves some attention.

original content
How to Improve the Security of your WordPress Blog
published on 2012-08-07 by Amit Agarwal


stolen content
How to Secure of your WordPress Blog: Improving WordPress Security
published on ??? by ???

Usually, a thief steals content by (automatically) copying it from its original site to their own. You can easily find stolen content by googling a short sentence of any post, between quotes. For example, today I see that that content has been stolen 355 times !!

But in this case the thief used substitutions, thus cleanly defeating the above search check. For example, let’s compare side by side the snippets that refer to my plugin in both versions of the content: original and stolen.

Here is the original version.

This plugin takes a very unique approach to protect your WordPress. It generates a bookmarklet with a secret question that you can add to you bookmarks. While on the WordPress login page, enter you credentials and then press this bookmarklet to get into your WordPress – the button on the login screen won’t work.

Here is the stolen one.

This tool requires a very exclusive strategy to secure your WordPress. It produces a bookmarklet with a key query that you can add to you favorites. While on the WordPress sign in web page, get into you experience and then media this bookmarklet to get into your WordPress – the option on the sign in display will not perform.

As you see, the stolen version has been obtained from the original one using these blind (i.e. automatic) substitutions:

plugin tool
takes requires
unique exclusive
approach strategy
protect secure
generates produces
secret key
question query
bookmarks favorites
login sign in
page web page
enter get into
credentials experience
press media
button option
login sign in
screen display
won’t will not
work perform

I’ve used bold to highlight substitutions that don’t work in the context.

There are two interesting reasons that explain why substitutions are highly effective for a thief even if they are not perfect.

The first is that the thief’s purpose is not to publish understandable news but it is to provide fresh content for their ads. And the second is that Google search engine finds substituted content too, so their ads get the same chances to get printed as the content they steal.

For example, in the results of the Login Dongle search, the original content appears at position 30 and the stolen one at 49. Not bad.


3 Replies to “Content thieves”

  1. I’m wondering if the content thief didn’t simply google translate your article to maybe Spanish or German, then back to English.
    I know you work hard on your SEO rankings, so stealing your valuable content this way is outright theft in my opinion.

  2. Content theft is a constant problem that Google admits it hasn’t got to grips with yet.
    Every time I write something, I Tweet it, Share it on FB, Google+ it and update my Google Analytics sitemap.
    That way, at least I have proof where the content first appeared.

    Thanks for the post.


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