How to Protect RSS Feed From Evil Content Stealers

Protecting RSS Feed from content stealers

Do you want to protect your content from getting stolen?
 Yes, it is real. Some websites don't have any original content and they feed themselves by copying content from other websites.
 If your content is being copied, then read further. 

There is also a technique called "content scraping" which is widely used when automated software copies your website's content to publish it on other websites.

This implies that someone could replicate your writing and pass it off as their own. The issue is that search engines can be made to believe that you didn't compose your content if it is published on another site almost immediately and copied content is indexed before the original content. It is only possible if someone subscribes to your RSS feed and copies your content. 

They can quickly scan your posts and republish them with the correct software. Even better, the software can automatically substitute synonyms for your primary keywords.

Seeing someone take your content, monetize it, and even outrank your website in the search results can be very upsetting.

This makes it very important that you protect the RSS feed of your blog. Fortunately, if someone copies your content via your RSS feed, you can modify your RSS feed to really help your website. 

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What is RSS Feed? 

Are you familiar with RSS? It stands for either "Really simple syndication" or "Rich Site Summary." 

Users may easily keep up with their favorite blogs, news websites, and other websites with the aid of RSS feed reader. It provides users with the option to subscribe to their preferred websites to receive updates in one convenient location.

The main benefit of an RSS feed is that your site receives traffic from your RSS feed, and more people may visit if your feed is syndicated. You may boost brand awareness and the circulation of your content by using an RSS feed to expand your marketing opportunities. Additionally, syndication is reciprocal.

But if the RSS feed is left unrestricted it may negatively impact your site ranking.

7 Ways to Protect Your Blog's RSS Feed From Content Stealers

Here are a few steps you can take to protect your content through RSS feeds on WordPress and Blogger.

1. Always have a sitemap registered with search engines.

Use a sitemap if you're concerned that content scrapers will lower some of your website's search engine rankings. Your website's sitemap includes the web addresses of all the published pages on your website. If search engines have access to the sitemaps, they will crawl the original versions of your website's content before they crawl the copied content produced by content scrapers. Therefore, rankings shouldn't be affected by content scrapers.

The XML Sitemap's main benefit is that it will update search engines about the new posts without your involvement.

When you add a sitemap to the Google search console or Bing webmaster tools, the search engines are immediately notified about the new post that you publish. In addition, by providing the search engines with a comprehensive list of all of your website's pages, submitting your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools also enables them to scan and index your site more efficiently.

2. Allow post snippets instead of the full articles in the RSS feed.

Feed readers can read your entire post if allowed in the RSS feed. Your website pageviews, revenue, and conversion rates may all suffer as a result.

By allowing just the post snippet or excerpt in the RSS feed, the entire article is not available. This makes it difficult for the content to be copied. 

Additionally, RSS readers must visit your blog website to access the entire post because your RSS feed only displays the article summary rather than the whole piece.

WordPress already has an integrated solution. In your WordPress admin dashboard, select Settings » Reading. Then, choose the "Excerpt" radio button in the section labeled "For each article in a feed". You might need to scroll down a little bit.

In Blogger, change the feed settings by navigating to Settings. Scroll down to find the Site feed section. Click on Allow blog feed and select 'Until jump break'. After enabling this option you must add a jump break to all of the new posts, using the jump link option, for the setting to be effective.

3. Do on-page SEO correctly and add a lot of internal links before the article is published.

Protect RSS Feed in Blogger

Use internal linking when creating content. Internal links can deter visitors from using content scrapers on your website. Scrapers of content are automated. They won't pick and choose which parts of the information to duplicate. Instead, they will automatically replicate all of the text from a certain page or post.

Internal links connect one page of your website to another. When content scrapers duplicate and republish your site's material, writing content with internal linking ensures that your website will produce a comparable number of backlinks. If the stealers recognize that there are links in the article to the original source, they might quit using content scrapers once they notice the internal links on your website.

Additionally, this will actually benefit your site if your content is copied via your RSS feed. All your internal links will turn into external links on the site where your content is copied giving you a lot of backlinks. Make sure you add your internal links before the post is published.

4. Add branding to your RSS feed content.

By default, WordPress RSS feeds will show your recent post content, and there’s no built-in option to customize that content for your readers.

Fortunately, you can use the plugins to easily optimize your RSS feed and you can also add any content before and after your article. Plugins like AlOSEO can also help manage and optimize your RSS feed and prevent its misuse.

If you are using Blogger, you can add similar HTML code to the Theme or manually add the HTML directly to the post at the beginning.

5. Get a security plugin installed.

If you are using WordPress, install a security plugin like Wordfence and Jetpack, which can help you defend your website against bots and content scrapers.

Content scrapers must go to your website to copy its content. However, content scrapers behave differently from actual visitors. Compared to human visitors, they frequently send more HTTP requests and see pages for shorter periods. Security plugins are made to watch for such suspicious activities.

Often, a security plugin is sufficient to deter content scrapers. Once installed, they'll keep an eye on your website's traffic and hunt for bot activity indications. A security plugin will stop all traffic coming from a particular Internet protocol (IP) address if it thinks a user is a bot.

6. Always put a watermark on the featured image.

WordPress RSS feed does not automatically include the featured images from your posts. The first image in your post will typically be the one viewers choose when they view it on a RSS feed reader. 

Blogger automatically includes the first image as a featured image by default. Make sure the first image in the post is above the jump link/break and has branding or a watermark inserted. So that if the article is posted on other sites it will have the branding and users will know to visit the original website.

7. Refrain from submitting your RSS feed URL to RSS Directories that steal and sell your content.

To gain exposure to content, the creators usually submit their content through various blogs or RSS directories. But before you do that read further.

As RSS feed makes it so simple to crawl feed-based websites, shady online directories, fake search engines, and other odd websites thrive on your content. These websites could look authentic, but by using your content without permission, they are producing duplicate content, the greatest nightmare for any SEO. A lot of them also build links back to your website. These backlinks are harming your website's rating since Google already considers many of these websites to be spam. Your website's spam score will reflect this metric. It is always worthwhile to check your spam score and if the Blog/RSS feed directories connected to your website are trusted ones.

Protect RSS Feed in Blogger FAQs

Frequently asked questions

What can happen to your website if the content is copied via RSS feed?

▪ Loss of traffic. 

A portion of the visitors to your website might visit the copied webpage. If that website receives positive search engine feedback, its rankings may wind up being higher than your site's. The problem is that search engines can't always tell what the original source was. They might offer searchers a variety of results with content that is similar as a consequence. The CTR and traffic volume of the original website can therefore decline.

▪ Rankings decline. 

Original and distinctive content does not ensure that your website will rank highly in search engines. The website that stole your text is probably going to rank better in the search results, and your website is probably going to lose ground based on which content gets indexed first. 

▪ Loss of credibility. 

Some readers could believe that you—and not the other way around—are the one who stole the content. In particular, if it is less well-known, more recent, or worse-looking than the website whose owners plagiarised your content, your site may eventually lose trust.

▪ Search engine penalties

Even while RSS feeds are useful tools for content marketing, they are bad for your website if it is fully giving out your content. In that case, their beneficial influence is, however, less than the spam they produce on your website. Because Google de-ranks the websites linked to spam pages, a website that permits spammers to copy its material would always fall in Google's rankings and struggle to draw new visitors.

This is definitely awful. Websites that publish original content occasionally face search filtering, while copycat websites go unpunished. This might occur if the content's original source is recognized or identified by search engines wrongly.

▪ Extra effort

If you are not able to take down the duplicated content, you may have to make extra effort to clear the content from your site that appears plagiarized despite you being the original creator.

How do I protect my Blogger content in RSS feed?

It is easier to protect your content on Blogger. Follow the below steps.

  1. Restrict the content you give out through the RSS feed.
  2. Always add a jump break to protect the RSS feed
  3. Add the first image above the jump break that is exposed via RSS.
  4. Add a lot of internal links in the blog post. 
  5. Put a watermark or branding on the first image you add.
  6. Optionally you could also add a paragraph to mention yourself as the original publisher like "This post: title of the blog post was originally published on blog post URL". You can do it by editing the theme or including it in the blog post.

All of these steps are already discussed in detail in the article. Click and read the full article.

How do I stop my posts from being copied in RSS feed?

Keep checking for scrapers and send them official emails to stop copying your content. Obtain details about the scraper, and then get in touch with them as directly as plainly as you can. Include all pertinent URLs, demand they stop, and spell out what will happen if they don't. then take action.

Finally, submit a DMCA notice if someone is still copying your content. Send proper DMCA notices to all of the major search engines as soon as possible. A DMCA reporting is a crucial step in recording and maybe resolving the matter if you are serious about stopping a scraper. Although the process is drawn out and slow, it is worthwhile.

Final thoughts 

Content scrappers could harm your website's search engine ranking. They might republish a piece of content they copied from your website elsewhere. Search engines might therefore favor one of these copies over the authentic one located on your website. By following the above steps, you won't need to be concerned about content scrapers affecting your website's rankings.

I hope this post has provided you with some ideas on how to optimize your RSS feed.

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