You might have a mundane B2B business & you may be wondering how to prevent website from being cloned. Well, website cloning is pretty common because of the popular myth that if something is on the web; it’s in the “public domain” & henceforth can be used by anyone.
There’s nothing more irritating than learning that the product & technical details that you mentioned, or the pictures that you took for your site have been copied & used on someone else’s website. Ar times, the cloning is so blatant that the other site looks absolutely like yours!
So, if a competitor copies your site content, it can do severe damage to your business. And it could also be done by
- Attackers attempting to steal your traffic
- Third parties who might like the content or details you put on your site
Here, in this guide, we will mention all the details regarding how cloning works, how to protect your business from website cloning/mirroring, or how to remove a cloned website! Stay tuned with us to get all this information!
Wondering What is content theft?
If your content has precise information, more likely than not, y6our competitors may want to use it on their own site for their own benefit.
It has usually come to be known that media sites have severely struggled with content theft since the dawn of the internet. And content aggregators scrape & repurpose media content generating traffic & getting revenue for themselves, without taking the hassle of writing & editorial work. Media monitoring firms also scrape editorial content using it in the tools & reports they sell, usually without any retribution to publishers or authors.
And in case of the classified ad & e-commerce sites, content thieves usually target product descriptions, customer reviews, & prices. The motivation is pretty obvious: for a competing site, copying the content is a lot simpler than doing the painstaking of building their own.
So, for content theft to be actually profitable, but, it needs to be done at scale. And the simplest approach to efficiently copy big volumes of content is to utilize scraper bots, also called as web crawlers: an efficient software that scans your website at frequent intervals & copies all the content they are interested in.
The most reliable scraper bot operators will go to amazing lengths in order to disguise their bots as human users. And they are therefore pretty complicated to detect, & site administrators usually have no idea how much automated traffic they actually have.
How do you understand if your content is stolen?
So, if you suspect that your content is being stolen, then there are a number of tools & methods that you can use in order to find out if your content is indeed being published on another site without your permission.
For instance, you can add an extract of your content (select something that will be unique) to Google Alerts. And Google will send you a notification automatically if an identical is published somewhere else. And the whole service is free.
Well, copyscape is a good option, which has been designed particularly for this purpose. Its Copysentry monitors the whole web for copies of your content, & sends you alerts via email as soon as they appear. And other duplicate content detection services involve plagiarism tools like Plagiarism Checker & Unicheck, along with the image search & recognition tools like Tineye.
But, all these tools have essential limitations:
- If you’ve a large number of content, the implementation effort can be prohibitive
- They might work well for editorial content, However they will not assist you recognize scraping & theft of dynamic content like prices
- Most essentially, recognizing content theft is only the very primary step — none of these tools will assist you protect your business from website cloning / mirroring & prevent scrapers from stealing your content.
How bad is your website cloning problem? Find out today.
So, do you suspect that your website content is being cloned, However lack the data to prove it? If you need content theft protection, you can begin with a 30-day free trial of the online content protection solution, & determine exactly what you are up against. Well, it takes only a few minutes in order to set up on your own, & you do not require a credit card.
When you have activated the free trial, the dashboard will display all bot traffic to your site in real time. And you will be able to check out how your traffic compares to an industry benchmark, & find important details about all the different types of bots that come to your site, involving scraper bots
Start your free trial now
The consequences & risks of content theft
The majority of the online business owners are aware of web cloning & content theft, but few measure the complete impact that this activity can have on their business. So, here are some of the most dire potential consequences or risks of content theft.
So, companies that scrape your product listings & prices can show the same offer as you with a very small amount of effort, & assure you to always keep their prices lower than your own.
There are a number of leading price comparison sites, which discovered that some merchants dropped their prices almost immediately whenever a competitor changed theirs. So, it was actually unfair to the merchants who played by the rules.
Certain online businesses invest significant amounts of time & money in keeping large online product catalogs up to date, just to see competitors piggybacking off their efforts by just cloning their website & stealing the content.
There are a number of industrial distributors that offer catalogs of millions of references, which they continuously update & enrich. Providing efficient and effective product data for every reference is a significant competitive advantage, there it will come as no surprise that all these distributors were plagued by content scraping before they installed an effective & reliable bot protection solution & website cloning protection. So, intellectual property theft represented an actual business risk for the firms.
Duplicate content & lower SEO rankings
So, if your site is cloned and the content is stolen by scraper bots & republished on their own websites without your consent, it might pose a major to minor impact on your SEO rankings.
So, duplicate content still represents a major challenge for search engines — & by extension, for content creators.
When there are various versions on the web of “appreciably similar” content, as Google calls it, search engines have to determine which version to rank for query results. As they usually prefer not to list various versions of the same content, they should always choose one. And although Google is comparatively good at identifying the original source, they aren’t always perfect.
How to protect your business from website cloning / mirroring?
We always will suggest defense in depth to assure that cloners put in as much effort as possible with a certain amount of advantages. And as a preventative measure, you need to l improve the ability in order to identify clones & make it pretty simple for your users for identifying your website:
- Try to make links between your own articles. The cloner might not change these links which would mean that even the visitors that reach at the clone, can hit a link in order to arrive at your site. It is actually helpful for you!
- Become aware of the clone through your site analytics solution as you will be visiting traffic from the clone. They will possibly purchase a domain name that is pretty similar to yours which will make it simple as well as straightforward to notice
- And win back your readers pretty quickly and efficiently after they reach on the clone
- Try to make links between your different domains. It’s trivial to read the links & replace the internal with URLs in the clone. But, if you buy a website on a different domain, the links to that domain will possibly not be replaced by the cloner & will warn you about the clone.
- Make sure to invest in your branding. The more memorable your logo, the very first choices & visual layout of your sites, the better your visitors will remember it. Thus, they might be less possibly to be confused by cloners when they reach a domain that is different from yours that incorporates your material.
These assist you identify as soon as you get cloned. So, here’s how to deal with a clone when you determine one:
- Make sure to block it from crawling your site. So, these are worth attempting but will not stop decent cloners so don’t spend too much time with these actions:
Try to make a trivial change on your site and check the clone in order to see how frequently they can refresh their clone. And if it is a static clone, then move to the next step since there isn’t much you can do to take it down through technical measures. And if it’s a dynamic clone
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Determine the IP of the clone website, there are a number of free online tools for that
And block its IP if it’s crawling your site. But, if the crawler is based on another server, it might not work. Then, it might be worth looking at IPs that frequently crawl your site & block them. Of course, you don’t want to block search engine bots or legitimate users so tread with caution in blocking.
- Contact each provider the clone site relies on involving its domain provider, CDN or host. Send them a takedown request & directly explain the attack. So sharing all your copyright & trademarks along with the takedown request will expedite the entire system.
That’s all about website cloning. Hopefully, now you have all the details regarding how to protect your business from website cloning / mirroring. If you need more details about the most effective ways to remove a cloned website. Visit our site for further details! We would be happy to serve you back!