When Syndication Becomes Article Piracy


Recently I was googling on link graph related keywords and noticed a pirated article with the same title as an SEOBook.com entry. To make matters worst, the entire article was republished with no attribution to the original creator.

Now I’m not going to call anyone out, because that’s not my job. But it got me thinking about syndication and how this contributes to article piracy on the internet.

A content reuse study recently released by the Fair Syndication Consortium, highlights the amount of abuse leveled at newspapers. In it they claim over one hundred thousand copies were found to duplicate about 80% of the content from original articles.

This made me pause, because as they state, these sites often had an advertising based model. And there is no revenue sharing with the copyright owners. Something FSC strongly advocates for in their Content Syndication and Management Guidelines.

It’s also fair to mention, that regardless of the lack of revenue sharing, there is some benefit to the reuse of content. For one, most pirates don’t remove links and if you practice deep linking in your articles, this will boost readership to other pages on your site.

Another benefit as a results of deep linking (if the pirate site is reputable), is this provides a backlink with your chosen anchor text originally weaved into the article. This represents significant multiplication of links to a site without further effort on the original authors part.

If the links in the article are affiliate links, this will automatically monetize traffic from any source. A very sneaky reverse piracy technique, but, it can harm your relationship with the advertisers linked to in those articles if the quality of traffic sucks.

I would suggest that until a program like what the FSC is offering becomes popular, our best defense or counter offense, is to include links to other posts, maybe links to our sponsors and an author resource box directly below the main content of the article.

That way, there is always some link benefit to article piracy. Lets hope the pirates don’t get wild about removing links and we should be fine.

Do you have an article being outright stolen? Tell us what your best defense was to protect your rights.

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