As many of us know, it can be quite a challenge to create a website with great content and attract the right users and customers.
Unfortunately, there are some people who want to take advantage of your hard work and simply copy it, although that is illegal of course as well as being immoral.
Some may copy some of your content or your design or even duplicate the entire web site.
In the case of small businesses, it can be easy for copycats to go unnoticed for months, or even years, until discovered, depending on your business type.
What Can You Do?
- Take Screenshots (the copycat may delete their web site at some point, and you need evidence of what they did.
- Take screenshots of your own work as proof in case you need to change anything.
- Complain to the web site’s owner and their hosting company if appropriate. It’s your choice whether or not to involve a solicitor at this point.
How to Check Domain Ownership
Website such as www.whois.com/whois will show you the ownership details for any Internet domain name. However, when a domain name is registered the buyer can request an anonymous entry and the details are then kept secret by the registrar which is usually the company that hosts the website.
How to Find Copycat Web Sites
Google Alerts – This lets you monitor content around search queries you enter. If is there is a search that should lead only to your web site then you can be alerted if the result changes.
Copyscape – This lets you search for duplicate content on a specified URL. It’s free for single page checks but you have to pay for multiple checks.
There are other services on the Internet that can help you finding copycats, but often the copycats are professional criminals and they know how to make money from copying a web site then moving on quickly to the next one.
If you have any experiences with this issue of websites being copied, do let me know, by email.