You’ve worked hard to write great content and make your site a go-to destination. Unfortunately, all that great content and traffic also makes your site a prime target for scrapers to steal it. The Google Penguin will thump you on the head if you don’t ensure the search engine knows who wrote the copy. A great way to do that is to put a little piece of code in the footer of your RSS feed. Here’s how.
How Scrapers Get Your Content
Folks who scrape, or steal, super content from popular blogs do it the easy way. They have it delivered to their doorstep via the RSS feed of the target site. It’s the same feed you encourage your readers to subscribe to.
Foil the Scrapers
You can’t stop folks from scraping your content. What you can do is make the most of it. Here are a few easy steps to ensure Google and readers both know that you are the source of the content.
Link the heck out of your content with more of your content. Inside your blog post, include links to more of your posts and/or to other pages of your site. You’ll get two benefits. First, folks will read more content while visiting your site. Second, if your content gets scrapped, all of the links in the copy will take readers back to your site.
RSS Feed Footer
Since scrapers use the RSS feed version of your post, drop a little content into the footer of it to ensure that readers know the post came from your site and you are the author. There are two super simple ways to automate this process using plugins.
The WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast offers a section where you can easily place content in the footer of your RSS feed. This is a super duper plugin that also includes best-in-class SEO settings, and XML sitemap, and puts the rel=author code on your site in the proper place.
It even has built in variables so that the title of the post and your site name are auto-generated for each post. Plus, you can include your own text and links.
The RSS footer content for BlogAid looks like this:
You’re reading Harness the Power of WordPress Categories, originally posted on BlogAid – WordPress for Non-Geeks and copyrighted by MaAnna Stephenson. Chat with MaAnna on Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn
If you’re already using another SEO plugin, or the SEO options in your theme, Yoast also makes a plugin that is singularly for adding this content and is titled RSS Footer.
Get the Code
Make your life easy. Get the plugin then download my RSS Footer Code to produce the same type of RSS footer in the example above that I use on BlogAid. The download is in a .txt file and you’ll want to leave it in that format. Do not convert it to a word document processor or it will goof the code. Edit it to your liking in the .txt format using something like Notepad (if you’re on Windows). Be sure to scroll all the way to the right to see all of the code. Simply change the text around the titles (things marked like this %%POSTLINK%%) and then input the URLs to your social networks. Copy and paste the code into your RSS footer (not the .txt file). All done! Now you’ll foil the scrapers too.