Someone copied my website – What to do?

Google removed the fake websiteNot so long ago I noticed that one of the websites I am cooperating with started getting lots of visitors from a third site. Always curious to see where the visitors come from I visited the site, only to receive a little shock. The visitors came from a full copy of the site I am working with, and all content and design and images were copied, and since all on-site links were copied as well, everyone who clicked the links on the 3 party site where sent to my site as a result.

As I noticed that the site had kept all links and affiliate links I did not really care so much, after all I would still get the profit from the affiliate links. With this in my mind I did not think more about it and kept on doing other stuff.

Then some weeks or maybe a month later I thought it was time to check up on this again, and that is when I noticed some changes on the third party site which had copied my content. They had added some Google ads to the site, they have changed 1% of the text and all affiliate links were changed to their own links.. As I noticed this I felt like it was time to get something done, and this is what I did!

First of all I searched Google for help and then I asked in the Google Webmaster Forum. Someone advised me to contact the owner of the site and domain, but as I noticed it was located in Russia I thought it would be tough to get through with this. The second advice I got was to file a DMCA report with Google, and that is what I did. (if you have the same problem you can file a DMCA report here). In the report I had to report all the addresses of the sites that had been copied from me, and as I posted my complaint I simply had to wait to see how Google would react.

How long does it take for a DMCA complaint to be answered?

I posted two different DMCA complaints, one on June 19th and one on June 21st. It took exactly 14 days for them to be answered, meaning that some days into July Google had answered my complaints, and here you can see what the DMCA panel looked like in the end.

DMCA complaint

This is what it looked like after Google answered to my complaints.

If you take a look at the image above you can see how I once posted a complaint about 1 URL and in the next I complained about 36 URLs. As Google answered my complaints the approved all the URLs, meaning that they removed them from their search results. In other words, where the third party site which copied my content showed up in the Google results, after they were removed from the search results my site showed up instead. Victory!

It is important to say that a DMCA complaint is not only to be filed when someone has copied your texts, but if you have copyrighted material like pictures and so on, you can just as much file a DMCA complaint then as well.

So, this is how things ended up for me as someone copied my website and its content and published it on another server.

This is not a 100% solution

I must admit that this is not a 100% solution, because with this I only managed to make sure that Google removed the site from their search engine. In other words, the site itself still works and is online, and it might be that other search engines will still publish that site in their search results, but considering that by far the biggest amount of visitors origin from Google, this is by far the best solution (and easiest to get through).


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