How Not to Steal People’s Content on the Web

1 comment, 12/02/2013, by , in General

Steal ContentWe often find interesting information and concepts on the internet, and it is simply nature to wish to share them. Whether we are sharing links, photos, emails or blog posts, content is often widely distributed around the internet and many things end up far beyond their original realm. Because of this, webmasters over the years have become increasingly concerned at what this means in regards to keeping their content safe and unique without jeopardizing its ability to aggregate across various mediums. Nobody wants to be a thief, so we have put together several tips that will help you share content without appearing to be using it as your own.

Citing via Social Media

Depending on the exact social network you are using, there are various ways in which to give credit where credit is due. If you are using Facebook, then be to sure a tag that references either the group, page or individual who is responsible for the individual content. Likewise, on Twitter you would simply include their handle (@username) as a way to provide credit. If you are using other social media platforms or are simply using your own social media profile to aggregate content, then consider linking to that company, website or person’s Facebook page as a way to at least provide some form of recognition.

Citing via Blog Posts

Using the traditional blog format for citing original authors is a much more familiar process to many, mainly because so many already do it. When you are pinging lists of articles and blogs to search engines, you want to be sure that credit is given and that the appropriate SEO-related functions are taken care of to prevent websites and other people from thinking you are a thief. Whether you are sourcing an entire article or simply giving credit to an individual using one of their quotations, be sure to leave credit for both the individual and the website from which it originated.

Citing Graphic Content

While citing images, photos, infographics and other visual representations of information may seem to fall under the same set of criteria as any other form of content, many bloggers make the mistake of not properly verifying and subsequently giving credit to the person who created or captured the image. Citing graphic content should work just the same as any other form of content: provide a short description of the image in addition to the name and/or website that created the content that includes a hyperlink.

Citing Guest Bloggers

This element of giving credit is often easier than the others, in the sense that most guest bloggers and ghost writers create their own credit lines at the end of each article and submit them. Usually when dealing with guest bloggers, you give them a link and a shout-out in addition for their contribution. It is not as if you have to be pinging lists of information about each writer to search engines; by simply including a few dozen words that accurately gives credit to the writer while also promoting their project, you will have more than met the prerequisite criteria of giving credit where it is due.

One comment

  1. February 13th, 2013 4:42

    The big G’s Matt Cutts suggests always giving credit to the author and using block quotes when citing. Also, you want to add your own input to the content and not just copy/paste even if you’ve given credit to the original author. Great blog post, thank you!


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