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How to Prevent Content Scraping

An Overview How to Prevent Content Scraping

To create content for your website, you require considerable investment in terms of resources, working hours, and cash. It Is because more research, planning, and editing go into making quality content. After all, quality and engaging content drive visitors to your website, increasing its ranking on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The importance of content to SEO and monetization cannot be understated. Today, various tools help us write better content and automate its distribution. Because of its importance, malicious actors attempt to steal content through content scraping. These are lazy actors whose goal is to reap where they did not sow by copying your website content and pasting it on another website. It carries all your AdWords, and keywords hence rerouting the traffic to the other website. They can make your business incur heavy financial losses or even bankruptcy.

Content Scrapping

Who is more vulnerable to content scraping?

Websites and blogs having high-quality content

Are you a publisher of high-quality content like a business or a blog that ensures high content production value? Then you are a suitable target for content scrappers. The bots can make a considerable amount of cash by selling your keywords and putting ads on your content after posting it to a secondary website.

If your content has value

Your valuable content can help you promote affiliate links, drive traffic, get better rankings on the search engine, create a mailing list, and so much more. Because it helps achieve the goals above, content scrapers have targeted your content. It is because they want the same things but are unwilling to do the heavy lifting.

Ecommerce and review sites

Web scraping bots look for various information and can even scrape the commodity prices and make comparisons among different e-commerce websites. They then recommend that users buy from cheap sites. This affects your margins and marketing efforts. They may also scrape the reviews and paste the content with few modifications to a competitor's site.

How to know if you have fallen victim to a content scraping

It is important to detect whether you have fallen victim to content scraping at the earliest. Therefore, you need to stay vigilant to any indicators of content scraping. Below are some ways for monitoring content scraping.

● Conducting an online search for bits of your content

● Look out for abnormal traffic behavior. There will be many page views from a single within a short duration and high search volumes from a unique user

● Having Google Alerts for the titles of your posts set

● Using plagiarism detector tools like Grammarly and Copyscape

● Adding internal links in your content and look for kinks and callbacks to your site

If any of the above stands out to be irregular, you need to conduct an exact match search for your content. This helps you know how your content was scrapped, enabling you to choose the best prevention mechanism for your content.

How can you prevent content Scraping?

There are various ways to protect your content from scraping bots. The catch is, some of them have the potential to send legitimate users off.

Disable highlight functionality

Human and bot scrapers highlight your content before copying or scraping it. Therefore, disabling such functionality will effectively prevent the scraping of your content. The disadvantage of this is that it also inhibits legitimate users from accessing and using the content from your website for things like research. You can do this by disabling the hotkeys or mouse movements on your site. You can use various plugins like Content Protector Pro from WordPress.

Capping access to a post

While some websites allow full access to an article or post, this can have detrimental consequences when the scrapers copy the content stealthily. Web scrappers can copy the content into their web pages and mark them as quality content. Unfortunately, this can reduce the SEO ranking of the original site. Therefore, restrict the access to the article to a few paragraphs without making the article fully readable. This reduces the chance of content scraping and pirating.

Content monetization

You can also use various methods of monetizing your content to prevent its theft and scraping. You make the content unappealing to the scrappers in this method. It can be through the use of affiliate codes or site-specific links. The monetized items redirect the scrapper to the creator of the content. Because this type of article is unattractive to a scrapper, they ignore such content in most cases.

Making use of a webmaster tool

Webmaster tools can be effective in ensuring that you claim the copyright of your content. You can access the webmaster tool by opening an account with Google and verify a website's ownership along with its content. Google specifically developed this tool to protect bloggers from spamming and content theft.

Rate limiting

The rate at which the scrapper's access content is higher than that of a real user. Because they are essentially computer instructions, they follow a specific routine to browse through web pages that do not change. Limiting the rate at which a user is supposed to access the web pages can help prevent content scraping. It slows down the scrappers from copying a substantive amount of content. You can set the maximum requests per hour to 300; if the user sends more requests than the specified, the website returns an HTTP response 429 (too many requests). This method can be effective in stopping scraping from the known bots because you block their access.

Executing JavaScript or setting cookies

Most content scrapes are not real browsers. A good number of them have a problem with storing cookies or executing JavaScript. Therefore, preventing them from scraping your content can be by setting a cookie or running a JavaScript code. The website should not render the contents unless the cookies are stored, or the JavaScript code is executed. The drawback to this method is that some users disable cookies and JavaScript themselves for privacy and information security issues.

Require login for access

Because HTTP is a stateless protocol, there is no preserved information between requests, although their clients, like a browser, store information like session cookies. The result of this is that a scrapper does not need to identify itself when accessing a public website. By protecting the page with login, you force the scrapper to send identifying information and the session cookie to view the content. You can use this information to identify the scrapper and take up measures to stop it.


Your content is arguably the biggest seller of your business services. Therefore, preventing scrappers from copying can be the difference between profit and bankruptcy. Ensure you take up measures to prevent bots and other malicious scrapers from stealing your content. Enlisting a reputable bot detection company like DataDome can help deter the scraping bots from plagiarizing your content, leading to low margins.

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