Detect Plagiarism on the Web

Do you know where your content is? You work hard to create quality content, so you do not want others to republish your work without permission, perhaps even attaching their names to it. However, if you have put content online, chances are that someone has plagiarized some of it.

The first step in fighting plagiarism is discovering it when it occurs. It is a good idea to run your content through a plagiarism checker to see if anyone else is using it elsewhere. All of the plagiarism software listed below can be used free (Copyscape also offers paid options), and they work in slightly different ways.

You can also use these tools to determine where content you have syndicated has been published. For example, I post articles to article directories and these tools can find sites that have chosen to publish my articles. That is authorized use, not plagiarism, but it is good to know when and where my articles are being used. is perhaps the best-known service to detect where your content is being used. The free service allows you to enter a URL. Copyscape looks at the page, then looks for pages containing the same content. There is also a premium service that allows you to paste a block of text that they will check to see if it appears anywhere on the web. This can be useful for checking that content produced for you by paid writers in original, and not plagiarized. Their Copysentry premium service automatically scans the web looking for content copied from your site and notifies you when matching content is found. allows you to enter a block of text or a URL and find anywhere else the text appears on the web. They go one step further, allowing you to sign up for alerts to be notified if they find a new instance of your content, a service somewhat like the Copysentry feature at Copyscape, but free. asks you to enter the RSS feed URL for your site, then creates an RSS feed for you showing where your content is used on the web. This is great for tracking where your content has been republished when you have released it for republication via article directories and CreativeCommons licensing. monitors your RSS feeds and looks for sites using your content on the web. You can set up your feed for monitoring by installing a badge on your site or entering the RSS feed URL at the CopyGator site. If you add CopyGator to your blog’s ping list, they will be notified whenever you add new content.

Google Alerts will monitor for phrases you enter. you can set up an unlimited number of alerts and tell Google to send you an email weekly, daily or as soon as they find an instance of the phrase. For example, you can set up alerts for your name, your URL, your article titles, or unique phrases found in your articles. When searching for multi-word phrases, be sure to enter the phrase in quotation marks so you get an alert only when the entire phrase is found, not any one of the words.

Each of these services can be helpful in tracking where your content is being used on the web, both in authorized usage and when it has been plagiarized. You may choose to rely on one tool or some combination that keeps you informed of where your content appears.

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