Plagiarism, theft of website content and copyright infringement is a huge problem for bloggers, web writers and website content producers, most of whom rely on page views and website or blog traffic to earn money on the web.
When a blogger’s blog entry or freelancers or web writer’s article or other website content is copied and posted on another website, blog or forum, this results in fewer page views and less website or blog traffic. Unfortunately, it’s common for a web writer or blogger to have his/her work plagiarized and posted on another website, blog or forum without permission, compensation or authorization.
Fortunately, Google Alerts are a free and easy way to monitor for plagiarism and content theft on the internet.
What is a Google Alert? How Do Google Alerts Work?
A Google Alert is a tool available for free from Google. Internet users can set up a Google Alert for any word or phrase that interests them. Whenever new material is posted on the web, Google searches for the word or phrase. When the Google Alert phrase or word appears in new articles, blog entries, news items, or any other place on the web, this triggers a Google Alert notification, which is then sent out to the internet user.
Google Alerts can be set up in several different ways. Google users can opt to receive Google Alert notifications in real time, as the new material is discovered. There is also a daily and weekly option for Google Alert notifications, where the internet user receives an e-mail containing pertinent notifications once a day or once a week.
Google Alert notifications can also be monitored in real time using an RSS feed instead of e-mails. Select the RSS feed option and new Google Alert notifications will be sent to the Google user’s RSS Reader of choice.
How Can Web Writers and Bloggers Use Google Alerts to Monitor for Plagiarism?
Bloggers, freelancers and other writers on the web can use Google Alerts to look for plagiarism by setting up a Google Alert for their byline or name.
Bloggers and writers can begin by setting up a Google Alert for their name, which must be entered using quotations. Every time an article or blog entry with a byline is copied and posted onto another website, blog or forum, the writer will receive a Google Alert.
A Google Alert set up for the blogger’s or writer’s name is especially helpful in discovering cases of copyright infringement and plagiarism that occur due to ignorance. Many webmasters, bloggers and forum posters mistakenly believe that they can copy and paste a web writer’s copyrighted article or blog entry as long as the writer is credited. So often, the writer’s or blogger’s name will be posted with the unauthorized article, therefore triggering the Google Alert that’s been set up for the writer’s or blogger’s name/byline.
Setting Up Google Alerts for Articles, Blog Entries and Other Writing Published on the Web
Bloggers and writers on the web can also create a Google Alert for each article, blog entry or other body of work that’s published on the internet. One Google Alert per every 300 to 500 words is most desirable.
Google Alerts can be comprised of as many as 32 words. Therefore, writers and bloggers can select a unique sentence or phrase from their article for use as a Google Alert. If the writer’s article is copied and posted on a website, blog or forum without permission, and the phrase is contained in the selection, then a Google Alert notification will be sent out to the writer or blogger.
The Benefits of Using Google Alerts as a Monitoring Tool
Google Alerts are preferred over simply “Googling” a byline, since writers and bloggers will have to search through older content, in addition to any new content. Google Alerts serve the same function as “Googling one’s byline, but notifications are triggered by new content only, greatly reducing the number of results that writers must sort through.
In addition, by clicking on the Google Alert term on the Google Alert management panel, writers and bloggers can search new and old hits for that particular term. This enables writers to check for any past instances of plagiarism or content theft.
The Resources for Writers Page features an array of helpful information for web writers, freelance writers, website content producers and bloggers, including articles like How to Stop Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement on the Web and How to Handle Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement on the Web.