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Google Alerts Helps Save You Money And Improve Your Page Ranking

Updated on February 5, 2014

And it’s free. Google Alerts will do a scan as often as you want letting you know when people have stolen your work.

When there is more than one article with identical content it moves both stories further down the list for that category so you want to catch these crooks as soon as possible because it cuts into your income.

Placement is everything

There is so much competition on the Internet for writers and want to be writers trying to make a living we have to make sure we are high up in the search listings.

Having original content, well written articles and subjects people are looking for are the key to success.

If someone has stolen your work Google sees two stories that are the same. That makes your piece less original looking like copied content so your work moves down the list of placement.

How does Google Alerts work?

It’s a wonderful tool Google set up to help you find crooks stealing your hard work. There are people who are good at web design, have skills in the technical department but can’t write articles so they set up a site and copy the work of others.

Most of these guys are not from America. They are usually from a third world country and don’t speak English as a first language.

Google Alerts has you post the web address of each article so they can check for copies. Granted they won’t find everything but most of these people aren’t very bright and copy word for word. They’ve even been known to steal personal experience articles complete with pictures of the author’s kids. I’m pretty sure these people either don’t speak English or their grasp of the language is minimal.

What do you do when Google notifies you?

Google has a website specifically set up for filing a DMCA report. I’ll give the link below. This stands for The Digital Millennium Copyright Act. There are laws protecting writers, artists and photographers from plagiarism.

Filing a report is easy, just go to that site and fill out the form. It only takes a couple minutes and usually by the next day the story is removed and in some cases the entire website will be removed if the perpetrator has had more than one offense.

Usually all of the thief’s content is stolen because they aren’t writers. If they could write they wouldn’t be stealing our work they’d be creating their own. Most of the ones I’ve seen steal from a wide range of authors so they won’t take all of the same writer’s work.

You don’t have to have a Blogger website to file a complaint and I’m pretty sure you don’t have to have a Google Adsense account. If I’m wrong someone correct me in the comments box below. I have an Adsense account so I’m not sure about that. Most people making money online writing have an account so that won’t be an issue for most of you.

How does Google Alerts make you more money?

Like I said before, they notify you when someone has taken your work.

When your article is placed further down the search list you get less traffic, less traffic means money out of your pocket so the sooner you catch these thieves the sooner your story moves up in rank, your traffic climbs and your income increases. Google Alerts is helping you keep your money.

In some cases articles have been taken completely out of the search listing and the owner can’t figure out why. Not always, but sometimes it’s due to theft. The kicker is sometimes the thief is left in the rankings while your work is pulled. No, it’s not fair but Google doesn’t have the time to check to see who is the original poster. If the thief has made an impressive website with a lot of great (stolen) articles they may place higher.

You file a DMCA report letting Google know it’s your work and you want it back. When you file a complaint you give the link to your piece, as well as a sample of the article and the link to the stolen work. All Google has to do is check the two websites, look at the dates posted and it’s clear who the owner is.

Original content places highest in the rankings

This is based on popularity as well as quality of content but if your work is good, original and a sought after subject you should place high in the search listings. If that isn’t happening you need to check for theft.

People who complain in HubPage’s forums that suddenly their story has dropped incredibly low in traffic should first run a Google Alert. It could be that your work has been compromised. Of course there are always the occasional updates and changes that Google makes and none of us has any control over that but running a check is always a good idea if you haven’t already set that up.

Before moving any of your articles do a full scan

You want to make sure there aren’t copies of your work out there before pulling your story from a website.

Say for instance you have an article that isn’t doing well so you decide you’ll move it to another location.

What if it wasn’t doing well because there is a copy out there of your piece? If you pull it that may make the thief look like the original poster and you’ll have a harder time proving it’s your work since you took it down; there is no proof other than what you have on your hard drive. Hopefully, you always save a copy at home.

Even if you load it somewhere else it will show a later date than the thief's post.

Do a scan even if you aren’t writing for income

Some people might say, “Meh, I’m not in it for the money anyway so this doesn’t effect me.”

Yes it does! Why write so some jerk can make money from your hard earned work? They sure as heck aren’t going to give you credit; he wants people to think he’s the gifted artist.

Even if you aren’t writing for income you should still sign up for Google Alerts. It is really fast and easy. Once you set up one you usually want them all the same so all you have to do is copy and past the web address and hit the "Create a new alert" button; it’s that easy.


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    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Steve. It is frustrating when people take our stories we worked so hard to create.

    • Tenerife Islander profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      6 years ago from Tenerife

      Voted up and Useful for this excellent hub! I get so fed up of having my work stolen from my main account and yes, I have seen sites doing much better with my stolen work! I think that the theft is bad enough but then it is a lot of trouble for us on top trying to sort these problems out!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      It is annoying when lazy people steal our work. It's up to us to insure this doesn't happen so we don't lose money.

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 

      6 years ago from Cardiff

      That is really helpful, thank you! I had a blog post nicked once, it is really annoying!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice article and I really didn't know how to protect my work. Thanks for sharing your article.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Yes, Pam, that is where you put the link to your article. You can also put in keywords or phrases if you are keeping an eye on a certain topic for future articles.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      This is great. I'll try to do it. I had a look at the site and was stumped on the first box. Is that where we put the url? I'll try it. I'm very technically challenged. Thanks for the information.

      Voting up, useful and sharing.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Peter, I'm technically challenged so if it is too hard or involved I have trouble. I can promise that this is very easy and if I can figure it out you can too.

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 

      6 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Thank you Pamela

      I am rather new at this game and also a bit of a technophobe when it comes to computers (my wife does all that for me)

      I will however take a look.

      kind regards peter

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Good idea, watergeek. It helps us keep track of what is out there. The more we write the more vigilant we need to be.

    • watergeek profile image


      6 years ago from Pasadena CA

      Thanks much, Pamela. I haven't checked on my HP hubs, but I did have an Ezine article stolen three times. I'm going to start registering my highest pointers and those most read first.

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 

      6 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      Me likee. Good hub. Good advice.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, yougotme. I hope this is helpful to you.

    • yougotme profile image

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 

      6 years ago from Manila

      Great hub Pamela! It's my first time to hear of Google Alerts. Good thing I stumbled upon your article (well, actually, I really intended to visit the hubs of people I follow.)

      Thanks for this wonderful and helpful article!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      The thieves have been busy lately and we have to keep vigilant.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for writing this article. I learned much from it, especially the "removing an article". It makes sense to search first before removing it just in case someone has copied it. Voted up!

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      6 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi :)

      I have used 'Google Alerts' to help me with family history research, but I hadn't considered using the service in this way.

      Very useful information! Thank you!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Samson. I'm a big Pink Floyd fan too.

    • samsons1 profile image


      6 years ago from Tennessee

      Thank you, tremendous information. No one wants to relinquish what is theirs needlessly. Voted up, useful and shared...

      (I liked the Pink Floyd video also)

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Peggy, yes you do have to add each individual link.

      Each page stands alone so you have to add all of them. It does take time but it's time well spent. Start with the articles that have been stolen and when you have a few minutes add the others little by little. After that make sure you add the new ones you write right after publishing.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      6 years ago from Sweden

      This is so useful and also great information for every writer! Thanks for the tips, a tool that will save both money and time is fantastic!


    • Swetankraj profile image

      Swetank Raj 

      6 years ago from India

      I am already a user of google alerts and its really helping every copywriters. Very happy that you shared the this hub! Lets others know how to keep an eye on their content.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is great information to know. you have to check each and every hub individually? That could take a LOT of time for those of us with hundreds of hubs. I have had quite a few things stolen and HP notified me of some and that recent website that was taken down because so many of us filed reports was another. Seems such a shame that we have to do this! I'll be curious about your answer. Thanks!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Mei Eden it is really bad. I have to file a report at least once a month sometimes more often.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      WannaBWriter, when you post the link in an Alert, Google scans your entire article and then looks online for any similar content. You can adjust the settings to how sensitive it searches. You can change it anytime you want so if later you decide you more or less searches you can.

    • Mei Eden profile image

      Mei Eden 

      6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Thanks for this incredibly useful information. I didn't realize how prevalent web plagiarism was. I'll definitely look into Google Alerts.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Wow, what a useful write you have put together. I am going to sign up for the alerts. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Thanks for good article. I know that plagiarists often use same title. I have put several sentences from article also in Google Alerts. Your writing is easy to understand and is well organized. Good luck with your hubs and take care.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I'm still confused about the query for the search box. If we put in the link that appears in the address box of our published hub, it will be different than the URL of the copied work. So how will Google use it to find duplicate content?

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks, Pamela, for posting this. This is a brilliant hub with good info and advice for online artists. Will be bookmarking and sharing this.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • yssubramanyam profile image


      6 years ago from india, nellore. andhrapradesh

      my regards to you. i share your message to all of my friends circle. helping hub in every respect.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Thanks for the informative hub. This sure is worth knowing and checking out.

    • profile image

      jean fd 

      6 years ago

      I find this very informative and useful. Thank you for sharing.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      And the best part is that it's free. Not too many free things out there these days so we should take advantage of the ones we have.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for sharing this useful information. It was something I didn't know about. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Pamela, thanks for all this great information about Google Alerts,it's another useful tool in our writer's tool box, well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Rajan, with Google Alerts you simply give them the link to your work. It's less work than filing a DMCA report.

      MarleneB, they don't have time to automatically take care of that. The only thing they will do is put duplicate content further down the search list and then it's harder for people to find your work. If you set up a Google Alert they will check for you and then if you find someone stealing your work you have to file a DMCA.

    • vespawoolf profile image


      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      It's great to know about this, thanks! I've been with HP only a short time and my work has been stolen by two separate sites. I suppose it will be an ongoing threat, so I'm going to sign up for Google Alerts right away!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      I must have my head in the sand. I was not aware that theft was so prevalent. I just thought Google was good about automatically spotting the duplicate content and then automatically dismissing it. I guess I was dreaming. Thank you for your hub addressing this issue. I'm going to look into DMCA now.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great article. I'm going to use this advice. Thanks so much.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Pamela, this is very interesting. I haven't yet used Google Alerts.I should think about using this tool now. One question though - what should be entered in the search query box?

      I had one hub of mine stolen when I had just started to write. I file a DMCA and the work was taken down within 24 hours. Having a Adsense account is not a prerequisite nor is a blogger account needed to file a DMCA, as I wasn't approved for Adsense then.

      Wonderfully useful and interesting information. I'll be sharing this hub with followers, FB, twitter and G+1. Bookmarked this hub too.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Natashalh profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! I didn't know about these Google alerts.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great hub with some fantastically helpful information. Thanks Pam!

    • christin53 profile image


      6 years ago from UK

      Thank you for sharing this information with us. Voted up and sharing.


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