See easy ways to foil scrapers from getting your blog content and using it for their own sites and social media.
Stop Delivering Your Whole Content Via Email
Most scrapers have an easy time of getting your full content by simply subscribing to your blog’s RSS feed.
Basically, you’re just delivering your whole post to their inbox.
But there is an easy way to put a stop to that.
Don’t Use RSS to Email
First, stop sending the feed by email to your subscribers. Yes, that automation makes things easy for you.
But serious money-making bloggers, including me, stopped doing that years ago.
Instead, they take the time to create a personalized email to send to their list with enticements for why subscribers should click over to your blog to read the whole post.
Only Include a Summary
And if you are sending any more than a summary to your subscribers, then you are shooting yourself in the foot, as they can read the whole thing there and have zero need to click over to your site.
Then, you need to ensure you are only sending a summary out on your RSS feed.
And, you need to include some special tags that travel with it.
To shorten your post to a summary:
- From your WP Dashboard, got to Settings > Reading.
- Set the option “For each article in a feed” to Summary.
To create an Excerpt:
- Add the text to your Excerpt area that is in the right sidebar of your post editor.
I make this easy on myself by using the same introduction to my post as I use for that Summary/Excerpt. So, it’s also the first words on the post that Google picks up too.
For the extra tags, if using Yoast SEO:
- Go to Search Appearance > RSS tab and ensure those RSS variables are on.
- You can modify too, but the default is fine.
Test your setup
Everybody has a different theme that makes use of the Excerpt differently.
So, when you do this setup, be sure to check anywhere a summary/excerpt may show on your site.
Those places include:
- Home page
- Blog archive page
- Category archive page
Do you need a More tag?
I have my theme set to allow me to set a More tag wherever I choose to cut off the summary that is shown on my archive pages.
Most folks have themes that use a character count and cut it off at the end of the word closest to that count.
Both ways are how the theme knows where to show the Read More button.
So, be sure you do your testing and see how this new setup works with your theme.
If you have questions, contact your theme designer, not me, as I don’t do theme design directly.
And while all of this may give you a new habit to get into when publishing your posts, it’s far easier than the hoops you have to go through for getting your scraped content removed!!
So, it’s definitely worth doing.
Don’t turn off your RSS feed
Some site owners have also completely disabled the native RSS feed that WP makes available so that no one can subscribe to it and the only way to get their blog posts is to subscribe to their email list.
I think this is a mistake.
Feedly is an RSS feed reader that allows me to subscribe directly to the RSS feed of the 100+ blogs I need to keep up with site changes.
I already get an email every 7 minutes, 24/7/365 as it is.
I would drown if I had to subscribe to the email list of all of those blogs.
Plus, my RSS feed is how BlogAid gets syndicated widely too. All it shows on those sites is my title, featured image, and excerpt. And it gets more traffic to my site.
So, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face by turning your RSS feed completely off.
Can You Prevent Image Scraping?
I know that’s not what you want to hear.
Pro image scrapers use automated tools to do this.
So, implementing things like denying right-click on images doesn’t help.
The pro scraper’s bots read the HTML code of your site and look for the links to your images.
The automated tool then opens that URL and downloads the image.
It’s truly amazing how fast they can scrape an entire site with those tools!
One of the best things you can do is to place a watermark on all of your images in a way that is difficult to scrub out.
Those automated scraper bots won’t even notice it is there.
And if the scraper re-uses your image, then it will be super easy for you to positively identify it and prove that it is your copyrighted media.
How to Get Your Stolen Content Removed
Scraping your content has become big business these days.
WP Beginner has a super nice article on how to check to see if your content has been stolen and published on another site.
And then they cover the steps to get it taken down too by submitting a DMCA complaint.