Content protection is crucial for your site
Your site is a marketing channel for your own organisation, on which you can enable visitors to purchase products or to take out a (trial) subscription. The commercial success of your site is therefore primarily dependent on the number of visitors that you are able to attract with your content. Sites that copy your content without permission do more than free piggyback on the efforts of your organisation. They appropriate traffic and thus income that – if there was no copy available – would have gone to your site. That’s why duplicates harm your online business.
In search engines, original content competes with copies
Internet users are looking for information. It is of secondary importance to them where that information is found. That means that your online content competes with the unauthorised copy for the attention of the consumer. Once the internet user has found the copy of your content, there is little chance that the same article will be viewed on your own website. Because the information is identical, it will not be immediately visible to the user – and to a certain extent irrelevant – whether he will be confronted with the original or the copy.
Almost everyone on the internet uses search engines. It is therefore likely that a high ranking in Bing and Google contributes significantly to the find-ability of a certain site. The way in which ranking is established after a search query on Google is complex. The influence of the search results has meanwhile become the domain of a specialised field, but it is going too far to go into detail now. What is important to you is that Google and Bing do not know for sure the authenticity of the information provided.
Creating the content is no guarantee that you are at the top of the search results
So it may just be that the site with your unauthorised copy on it, scores better in Google than your own site. Is that bad? International research shows that internet users scan the search results page from top left to bottom right. The further away from the “ideal position” at the top right, the less attention the user has to the search result. The statement is therefore obvious: the lower the ranking of a site in the search engine, the smaller the chance that the relevant page will be viewed. It is likely that the percentage of users who actually click on a site with a lower ranking is much lower, certainly if the same information has already been observed on a site with a higher ranking.
A simple calculation example can illustrate what that can mean in practice
Suppose you have 1000 articles of online content. In a world where there are no copies, you will always be at the top of the search engine results. The top search result gets 27 percent of all clicks. If we have one user searched for each article, you will generate 270 clicks on your site.
What now as an average of sixty percent of your content is copied. We assume that 400 articles will not be copied at all, 300 articles only once and 300 articles twice.
For the 400 articles that have not been copied, you generate as many clicks as before, because you are in the first place in the search results. That gives you 27% of the clicks, or 162 clicks.
For the 300 articles that have been copied once, you drop to second place in the search results. That only gives you 12 percent of the clicks, or 36 clicks.
For the 300 articles that have been copied twice, you submit even more clicks. You only have 8 percent left, or 24 clicks.
You could have generated 270 clicks. But because of the higher classification of illegal copies, you now only have 222 left (162 + 36 + 24). You therefore deliver almost 18 percent traffic to your total article file!
The world is of course more complex than the above calculation example. Research, analysis and interpretation of the distribution of online content is tailor-made.
How to get lost traffic back with copyright protection?
You need efficient copyright protection to avoid duplicates to harm your online business. For an efficient copyright protection strategy you first of all need unique content. You must organize that content well, so that you can always demonstrate when it was created. The next step is to monitor your articles and images. Who copies the content, partially or integrally? Finally, you need to remove the duplicated content. You can do that yourself, or with the help of professionals. For example, we have a takedown service for copyright violations.
Do you see the importance of proactive content protection, but you don’t know how to start? I would be happy to help you provide insight. I am also very curious what you want to know more about. Let me know and fill in the form.
I am not a lawyer by profession. This article does not constitute legal advice. What is written on this webpage is my personal opinion. It’s based on my experiences with helping journalists and publishers protecting their content.