It goes without saying that news websites are content driven. The web content for news websites is a precious asset and takes a lot of time and trouble not only to create but also to protect it from theft. Content theft is a menace that has plagued media/publishing businesses, by stealing their content and using it without formal/legal approval from the creator. Plagiarism is rampant in this industry and securing their website is a serious full-time job for sites like The Guardian, Bloomberg etc.
In our experience in working on anti-scraping and content theft we have come to understand that any online business with valuable proprietary data hosted on their site, irrespective of their industry will be prone to content theft, given the fact that close to 60% of online web traffic is bots.
Here are 4 good reasons why protecting web content is essential for news websites:
- Unique content created, published and well protected from theft drives traffic and also helps increase the SEO rankings by Google. After all isn’t it the reason why news articles, images, videos, etc. are constantly updated.
- Copy+Paste of content is easy and that’s why content theft is so popular. Duplication of content across the web will add no value for all the time, money and effort invested in creating it. In the case of news websites, it is a total disaster.
- A news website’s brand reputation, quality and thought leadership are revealed through the content published. If someone else steals the news, changes it as per their needs, it will only mean sheer damage of customer faith and value proposition.
- Content theft will lead to a shift of traffic from one site to another. As much as news websites hate it, their reader base will decrease and advertisers will be disappointed. Fresh, recent news makes waves online and sometimes goes viral too. Imagine news stolen and published across 100 different sites in less than an hour.It’s a nightmare!
All it takes to protect the web content of a news website is to have a long-term approach and choose a robust anti-scraping solution that is effective than the most common CAPTCHA techniques, which are not as good as they say they are. Know more about the ineffectiveness of CAPTCHA’s here.