Securing a top rank on the Google Search Engine Result Pages is quite a tough thing on its own. Large counts of result dominating mega sites are much ahead in the competition. Content theft on top of that is another issue that the small site owners need to deal with. It is one of the most common issues to pull of quality contents from a site that somehow makes it to the top list of the search results. The spam sites use those contents on their sites and it can be disastrous.
If you have ever fallen prey to such malicious activities then you have every right to be mad. But will it be an effective solution to the issue? Not by any means. Rather, you would be happy to know that Google is aware of the source. So does exactly does Google deal with content theft?
What does Google have to say?
Despite the claim of Google to be aware of the content origin, it is often a hot topic of argument. It can be the case that Google is either overestimating their capabilities or are lying about it. Many of the users tend to support Google in the argument despite limited knowledge on the topic. In its policy terms, Google has clearly outlined the facts about the sites that copy, bring in slight modifications and republish contents to generate feeds without providing any unique advantage to the user. The organization has also taken the step to specify out what exactly is content theft and what is not. You must take a look into the details to know more about content theft policy.
The impacts of content theft
Now the question is what impact can content theft have on your website? It can hurt a little but not repeatedly. While most people believe that Google casts heavy penalties on websites having duplicate contents, most of them are just rumors. There have been no exact penalty reports on content theft yet. The real issue is when the page with stolen content ranks higher than the source page. This redirects the majority of the traffic flow from the original copy to the thief, thus triggering decreased rates of conversion, fall of the brand reputation, and loss of many other advantages that you were supposed to enjoy for maintaining your blog on a regular basis. It can even destroy the blog if the theft continues long.
But Google is not exactly idle on this issue. It has incorporated some sections in its algorithm to cut down content theft as much as possible. The main concept is to go by the date of publication and give preference to the copy posted earlier. But this is partially true due to the fact that it is easy to backdate a content to make it appear visibly old. Also, there are postdating features as well. Thus it can be confusing to specify out the exact date of publication of the contents.
Instead of the publication date, Google is more confident about the indexation date. That means Google keeps track of the time during which the content first appeared online and consider it to be the original content even if it finds the same content published elsewhere with a backdate. But what if the spam blog is more active and got indexed prior to the original copy? All Google needs is an old link from social media or any platform that hints to the originality of the content and Google will update the indexation details. But the link must be reputable, not another shady trick of the spammer.