Protecting your Written Work Using Google Alerts

Writers are Passionate, Especially When Their Work Has Been Stolen!

As writers, we tend to be passionate people, and we are definitely passionate about our writing. We pour ourselves into our writing and put it up for display hoping that someone else will find value in it. Sometimes we do such a good job of this, others cannot overcome an irresistible urge to copy our work. When this happens, passionate people that we are, we want something to be done about it immediately if not sooner. In fact, yesterday was not soon enough!

Too many times, we do not discover that this has occurred, and we go along our ignorant and merry way never realizing that we are losing traffic to an article that we wrote which was plagiarized by someone else as their own. Although we are ignorant and happy, this stinks!

Other times we find out about it, and do what we need to do to get the content removed from the internet. This is a time consuming and tedious process, and frustrating when you find out about it months after the fact.

I want to propose a way that may not stop someone from plagiarizing your work, but will let you know about it immediately. This will allow you to take action immediately, and it will make the thief who stole your content think twice before doing it again.


What are Google Alerts?

With Google Alerts, you define what you want Google to be on the lookout for. When it finds something matching the search parameters you have defined, an email is sent to you “alerting” you to the new material it has located. Google Alerts can be used for multiple purposes, but I want to address only how it can be used to let you know when someone has plagiarized your work.

Google Alerts are powerful, and the first time that you are alerted to the fact that someone has stolen your writing, you will realize just how powerful!


Setting Up Your Alert System

If you are setting up your Google Alert system for a hub that has been previously published, you will want to run your article’s URL through Copyscape Plagiarism Checker to ensure that no one has copied it already. It does not take long for someone to take your work. I know someone who found her work had been plagiarized the day after she published it!


This is what the Copyscape screen looks like. If you are only entering a URL, the service is free. Make sure that you include the "http://" or the search won't work.



Then you are ready to set up your Google Alert for that hub. Fortunately it is super easy!

What I suggest you do is to set up two alerts for each article. First set up an alert for the title, and second choose an important sentence or group of words out of the middle of your written article. Cut and paste that sentence or group of words into your Google Alert making sure to place it in quotes. If you want an exact match, be sure to enclose your text between quotation marks. Click here to do this now and you will see the screen image depicted below.

How to Fill Out the Google Alert Notification Form

Search Query - The sentence or group of words that you have chosen your alert to notify you about is pasted or typed into this text entry box.

Result type - I would recommend that you select "Everything." Your choices are news, video, blogs or everything.

How often do you want to receive the alerts? I am receiving mine once a day.

How Many - Do you want to receive everything or just the best results? I would recommend everything, especially if you are selecting a sentence. Google should not find your exact sentence, unless you take the hub down and publish it elsewhere.

Deliver to - Where do you want your results delivered - on a feed or by email. I am using email.


After entering all this information, most of it will default after your first entry, click on the CREATE ALERT button. That's it. If someone publishes your article on the web with the sentence or group of words you have chosen, you will be notified. It really is that easy.


What Happens If . . .

I have heard some concern expressed that if we changed the wording of the sentence or group of words later, it might mess up our alert and we would have lost our search feature for our alerts. This is true, so I suggest . . .

. . . that a text capsule be created such as the one shown above. This capsule will not be visible unless the hub is being edited as long as the box indicating, "Don't display this capsule" has been checked. When this box is checked, the word "text" located in the upper left corner of the text capsule will have a line through it as shown.

This capsule should be visibly close to the text that you are using for your Google Alert; therefore, if you change the text, you also know that you need to go to your alerts and change it as well.



The screen shot above shows you an example of this. The text in the hub is boxed above, and the alert text capsule for our use only is in close proximity to the text.

Notice the line through the word "text" in the text capsule. Again this tells you that when you view the saved hub this capsule will not be seen.

The image below is what is seen in the published hub.


Your Work has been Stolen

If you find that your work has been stolen, file a DMCA report. Click here for the form.

This hub was written in response to the question: What can Google Alerts be used for?


All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2012 Cindy Murdoch (homesteadbound)


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Comments: "Protecting your Written Work Using Google Alerts" 90 comments

YogaKat profile image

YogaKat 4 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

I've had content stolen many a time. Thank you for info on an alert every hubber should consider.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Very useful information! Thank you! Am bookmarking and sharing!


the girls profile image

the girls 4 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Thank you for writing this informative hub. Protecting our original work is important. Credit should be given where credit is due. We have invested our time and ourselves into it, writing the best compositions we can deliver to the readers.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

YogaKat - yes, google alerts is something that every hubber should be using.


Flickr 4 years ago

Great article, very important information. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and socially shared.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Excellent needed info. Well presented and bookmarked.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Thanks for this great information. I have to bookmark this. Thanks for SHARING.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'll slog through it and see if I can figure it out, but only because you suggested it. Thanks and thumbs up!


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Homesteadbound, I have used Google Alerts to help me find information about my niche, but never thought about this application. Super idea! Thank you for sharing this important info. Voted Up, Useful


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

This is extremely useful info. homesteadbound.

Many thanks ...


peoplepower73 profile image

peoplepower73 4 years ago from Placentia California

This is a great hub. I'm bookmarking it. Thanks for SHARING. Up and useful.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

This is really useful information. I’ve been lucky to avoid this so far, but that could be because my writing hasn’t had a huge lot of exposure and as my views are now growing it’s time I got to know about this, so your hub is timely for me.

Thanks for this hub. Up and sharing.


hecate-horus profile image

hecate-horus 4 years ago from Rowland Woods

I wonder if any of my work has been stolen? It seems to be a common occurance; obviously I've had my head stuck in the sand too long! Thanks for a great hub! I'll definitely be checking out Google alerts! Voted up and useful.


onlooker 4 years ago

homesteadbound, thank you so much for this much needed hub and help. Good day to you!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

AudreyHowitt - Thanks so much!


kelleyward 4 years ago

Very important Hub! Voted up and SHARED!


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 4 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Great info, Cindy. I'm always learning a great deal from you. Keep up the good work!

Voted up / intetresting


Melis Ann profile image

Melis Ann 4 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

This is fascinating information ~ so useful to those of us who really work hard on creating informative, original material. Bookmarked and shared!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

You are so right, the girls! We have invested ourselves in our writing and it is only right that that should be recognized and credit given where credit is due. Google alerts are an excellent method of allowing ourselves to protect our work. Thanks so much!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

I could HUG you. I just used copyscape to look for content from one of my hubs and found TWO other sites with MY content on them. Grrr. Signing up for Google alerts NOW. Voting up, bookmarking and SHARING.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Thank you so very much. I'm still pretty new here, but I had recently started to wonder "what if...? and "what do I do about that?" Your hub answered my questions. Bookmarked for reference, and voted up as well as useful and awesome.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Cindy, this is an excellent idea! I do use Google Alerts to check my user name and my real name but I had not thought of doing it for actual snippets from articles. Great hub!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Flickr - I am pleased that you found this information important enough to be shared.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

I could HUG you, homestead!! I used copyscape and found one of my hubs had been copied twice! But then I started putting portions of my hubs on google alerts. I think I'm also going to start using copyscape's button "do not copy" at the bottom of my hubs. Whewee! Voted up, shared, and bookmarked. :)


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

Homesteadbound,

Hi, how long have you used this system? I tried it and it did a limited amount of urls, and then on one of my poems it showed words that were highlighted on other hubbers hubs. I am sure it can be a great tool, but one would have to judge the results for themselves.

Could you comment on this for me.

Thanks,

Bobbi


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Alastar Packer - I am happy that you found this hub worthy for bookmarking. Thanks so much!


thebookmom profile image

thebookmom 4 years ago from Nebraska

Wow, so helpful! Thanks so much for the detailed directions and the pictures, they helped me understand and feel confident using this tool. So good!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Thelma Alberts - I am happy that you have found this information to be useful.

billybuc - I hope once you start going through this it won't be so difficult that you have to slog through it - more than once anyway. Hopefully it gets easier after that!

grandmapearl - this is a great way to protect your work, although it does not cover your article 100%. If you have the time, you could even choose a couple key phrases and make it even more safe. Thanks so much!

Angie Jardine - I am so much. I am glad that you found this to be useful.

peoplepower73 - Thanks so much. I appreciate you stopping by!

Thanks to all of your for taking time to stop by, read and comment!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

Very useful information - thanks for sharing your knowledge on the subject and writing this hub.


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

This hub is golden! I've used alerts for other purposes, but what a great idea - to use it to track plagiarism. Thanks for publishing this information. Voted up, interesting and useful, and shared with my followers.


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 4 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Awesome Hub! It is very important for writers to protect their work from thieves. Good ideas! Voted up and shared!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

Thank you so so much, this is great, I am sure you will have many of us returning here! Voted Up/over.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California

Because I am so new at this, I am still so naive when it comes to protecting my work. Thank you so much for sharing this important information. Everyone who writes and publishes their work should read this! Voted up and shared!


onlooker 4 years ago

Much needed information and awareness. I did think about asking a question about it. Thank you homesteadbound, you rock! *)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

An excellent article everyone should bookmark immediately. Well done Cindy :)


cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA

I have shared this as it is a valuable hub for all writers. Thank you.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Melovy, hecate-horus, onlooker, kelleyward, Cloverleaf, and Melis Ann

I thank all of you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really do appreciate it!!!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

cclitgirl - I am so glad that this hub helped you find your content elsewhere. I am sad that it found that your content had been stolen. This is why using the system is so important.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Natashalh - I am glad that I was able to give you this information while you are new here. I have just recently discovered this technique and have not been able to incorporate all of my work into this system. It will be easy for you to incorporate now. Good luck with your writing on HubPages and welcome to this awesome community of writers.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

prairieprincess - I am glad that I was able to share this new application of Google alerts with you. Thanks so much!

cclitgirl - LOL - I will take all the hugs I can get. Glad to help!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

PurvisBobbi44 - I have been using this for about a month now. It has found several instances of plagiarism that I have been able to rectify. I still do not have all of my hubs plugged into this system, but I am slowly getting there.

I guess we do each have to decide on the value of a system and whether it works for us. When you were setting up your alerts were you using an exact match or similar content? This could have an impact on your results.

Great question!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

thebookmom, Danette Watt, Marcy Goodfleisch, Anamika S, Jackie Lynnley, Rusticliving, onlooker, mistyhorizon2003, and cabmgmnt. I am glad that you found this hub to be valuable and useful. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!


Vanderleelie profile image

Vanderleelie 4 years ago from New Brunswick, Canada

Thank you for providing this interesting hub. I will put the information to use immediately! Excellent how-to directions.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

Thanks so much for this information and the thorough instructions for using Google Alert. I'm bookmarking this hub. Voted UP, USEFUL and INTERESTING


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

I am glad that you feel this procedure will serve your purposes.


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA

Great information and such an easy tutorial to follow! It's frustrating to have to be such watchdogs but it beats any type of governmental controls, regulations or restrictions.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

JayeWisdom - I am pleased you found the hub interesting and applicable.

DonnaCosmato - I agree. Sometimes the government doesn't take time to think things through when they make changes. Those changes often hurts those they are supposed to protect more than who they are being protected from.

Thanks to both of you for stopping by and commenting!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Great hub. I started setting up Google alerts for some of my higher-traffic hubs, but this is a good reminder to set one up every time I publish a new hub. thanks for sharing this useful information.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Deborah - Glad to be able to help. yes it is a good practice. Thanks!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Cindy, I just tried this!!! Worked great!!! Thank you for the info!!!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

iamaudraleigh - I am pleased that it worked for you. Thanks so much for letting me know. Now I need to finish getting all of mine plugged in.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Excellent hub Cindy! I really hate the thought of someone stealing my work, but it is a reality and we must be careful. Thank you for this information. Extremely useful - voted and shared!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Sharyn - so glad you enjoyed this. I need to finish doing all my hubs. Now I have a little more time with the 30/30 done. thanks so much for stopping by!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hiya HSB! I actually like receiving Google Alerts, I receive a few alerts a week...I get them mostly for my real name or my hub name, sometimes for a hub title. It tells me that someone is Googling me and thinking about me. A new fan. Awww. Or a new stalker. Ewwww. Fab hub!!!


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

This is wonderful information. I found out so much, not only from your hub, but from some of the comments. Things I did not know. Thank you for sharing this. Voted up.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Sunshine625 - This is another great way to use Google Alerts and to make yourself feel good at the same time. It would add some sunshine to my day!

Dee aka Nonna - I am glad that you were able to learn from the hub as well as the comments. We have so many wonderful hubbers who are willing to share their knowledge. That is one of the things I so love about HubPages.

Thanks to both of you for stopping by!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Cindy, I have been meaning to read this all month... Finally, I get to read it. This is such valuable information. I guess I better get started. Votes and shares!! Thanks for sharing this info!! :-)


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

This is such great information to have. I am bookmarking it for future reference. Voted up and useful!


susanm23b 4 years ago

This is very useful and interesting information! Thanks so much for getting the word out about this. I plan to check into this for my hubs. Voted up!


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Thank you Cindy,

I am printing this out for my hubs..Great help!


Talullah profile image

Talullah 4 years ago from SW France

An excellent hub!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

sholland10 - I have also started adding the Title of the hub to my searches as well. Hope it helps you.

Sinea Pies - Hope this helps you!

susanm23b - I am still working on getting all of mine plugged into the system.

Thanks all of your for stopping by! I really appreciate it!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Sunnie Day - I look forward to the day that I finally have all my hubs entered into the alert system. I hope it helps you as well .

Talullah - I am glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks to both of you for stopping by!


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

Thank you for sharing! Spreading the word...


LaThing profile image

LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

Thanks, this is a very useful hub. And thanks for sharing it again, we needed this! Will try this out.

Voting up


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 4 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

Thanks for the informaion. One more thing to put on the 'to do' list!


jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Well written, informative and useful Hub. Voted up and shared.


markbennis 4 years ago

This is a fantastic Hub and a very amicable one for the online writer who really puts so much work into their articles, it’s a shame that these thief’s can get away with it.

Anyway as this really makes me feel mad to the bones I must thank you for a fantastic idea and practical way for finding out, so Voted up generously


uzma shaheen profile image

uzma shaheen 4 years ago from Lahore,Pakistan

very useful information you shared,thank you very much.i am going to use it.voting up and sharing it.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 4 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

Hi Cindy,

Thanks so much for posting this - I will definitely use this to check if any other of my hubs have been copied.

Voted up and awesome!


internetgeek profile image

internetgeek 4 years ago from Hyderabad, India.

Great! This is really informative and useful. Easy to follow and well presented. Thanks and voted up:)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Augustine - You are quite welcome!

LaThing - At this particular time in our hubpages journey we do need to get this in place. I am still working on mine. There are so many more fun things to do than this!

Les Trois Chenes - I hope your to-do list is not as long as mine. I cannot see the bottom of mine.

jainsimus - I am pleased that you thought this to be useful!

markbennis - I am very happy that you found this to be a fantastic idea. i hope it works for you.

uzma shaheen - I hope you find it to be as beneficial as I have.

Phil Plasma - So glad I could help you. I wish we could stop these guys dead in their tracks.

internetgeek - I hope you are able to get all your hubs plugged into this system.

Thanks to all of you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Thank you so much for leading us, homesteadbound. I wanted to bookmark this, but now it seems to me hubs can no longer be bookmarked? So I've pinned and pimped it :)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks so much MartieCoetser! I really appreciate it. I really have not done that much, but I appreciate your appreciation. Thanks for stopping by!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, this is great info, considering what is happening at the moment, I will bookmark it to my pc, so that I can come back and go through the hub again and follow the links, great work! thanks!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Nell Rose - It really does work. Too bad the 30/30 had prevented me from loading those in, or I may have noticed earlier. I think we all need to do this. Thanks so much!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Ok--great info--especially in light of the current debacle being discussed in this hub by Hunbbel Meer:

hunbbel-meer.hubpages.com/hub/Our-Hubs-Got-Stolen-Big Ezine com-The-Biggest-Plagiarist

(note, I carefully eliminated the "http" section, and added spacing to keep from creating any possibility of a link to the crooks.)

That said, If we have to run each and every one of our hubs through this process individually, now that I've reached 200 hubs...UGH!! What a horribly time-consuming chore! If only there were some way to make the check simply apply to our entire HP subdomain, so that it would continually monitor ALL of our HP writing.

I suppose, though, in the meantime, I'd better get on it. ... ... :-( Not looking forward to going through all that...but one must do what one must do.

Thanks for sharing this important information....voted up, useful, interesting and shared.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Wish I'd read this and added alerts for all my hubs before That Site Whose Name We Will Not Mention went on its scraping frenzy. But now that I know what to do and how to do it, I'll be taking the proper precautions will past and future hubs. Thanks!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

DzyMsLizzy - I have not been good about getting all mine put into this system myself. it is a good system, and you are right, it does take time away from that which we love - writing. But it has to be done, and I am gradually working my way through my hubs. And it is not the most fun!

JammaGenee - The ones they grabbed from me were in my 30/30 hubs and I was too rushed to take advantage of my own advice. I guess I too learned something the hard way.

Thanks to both of you for stopping by!


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago

Just about few minutes ago, I found a hub alerting us about content thieves that left me with the question "how to deal with it".....And here I found the answer!...woohoooo...!Thank you very much! No fear! I will not give up writing! I have just started writing and this article will help me continue without fear. Voted up, useful, interesting, and your writing is 'awesome'!


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago

Sorry! I forgot to write: "bookmarked" as well...hehe!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

rosika - Here is a double dose of thanks! I am so glad that this is able to help you. Thanks so much for stopping by! I wish I had known this technique earlier, because I have so many to do this on! But I am slowly working through my list. Have to stop the theft!


Ceres Schwarz profile image

Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

This is a very informative hub on using Google Alerts to protect your written work. This is very useful for those that write online and want to make sure that their work won't be copied and plagiarized. It looks like it's really easy to use Google Alerts. How would you determine which sentence, in the middle of your hub, you should use for the alert? How can you determine which sentence is important?


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 3 years ago from Texas Author

Ceres - both of those questions are very subjective. When picking a phrase or sentence, I might look for something that someone would likely not change if they were going to rewrite the material a bit. Otherwise, it really is up to you. If they copy your work word for word, it really does not matter what you select ... it will be found.


Anne Harrison profile image

Anne Harrison 3 years ago from Australia

Thank you so much for this!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 3 years ago from Texas Author

Hope this helps you out!


Thomas Swan profile image

Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

Are google alerts still working? I've been reading lots of blogs and articles that say they aren't. Are you still getting alerts, and are they catching everything?


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 3 years ago from Texas Author

I haven't gotten any in a while. I have heard the same thing. It has been a while since I have written this. I need to check and perhaps delete this hub. Thanks.


Thomas Swan profile image

Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

Thanks for the update. You could probably just put a notice at the top like "Google Alerts may currently be broken, but if you wish to test them out anyway, here is how". You never know, google might fix them eventually.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks so much. That is a great tip.

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