• Steve Morgan

    Great post. Very timely for me as I’m currently conducting this type of campaign.

    I agree with your soft, polite approach as well. If someone’s done it by accident, it’s better to be polite than to go on the I’m-going-to-sue-you-rargh rampage. After all, if it was a genuine accident, being stand-offish might put them off or scare them into taking it down (losing the opportunity altogether). But if they’re jerk who’s stolen your content on purpose then it won’t matter if you’re polite or not and probably won’t oblige either way. So no harm in being nice about it. :-)

  • John-Henry Scherck

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for commenting, I’m glad you can get some use out of this tactic! I completely agree with you about being polite. I find that being heavy handed (both in link building and life) rarely works. I strive to be as friendly as possible (without over doing it) whenever I build links. Please hit me up on Twitter and let me know how this tactic works for you (@JHTScherck)

  • Chris M

    JH – Cool thinking! I’ve done link building a few times over the phone, the problem is that I’m in South Africa, Cape Town specifically and we’re a little behind in the online world compared to you guys over the NY, Philly and the likes, so when I call, 90% of the time there’s nobody at the company who understands!

  • Brandon S.

    Great post John-Henry. This sounds like a great tactic when dealing with resource sites, but what about when the content was taken by a direct competitor? Have you ever seen competing domains link back to one another for “shared” content? I ask because my website is among the leading sites in our industry, so many other sites try to emulate what we do and many times they do this without linking to or citing us as the original source.

  • John-Henry Scherck

    Hi Brandon, you bring up a really good point. When a direct competitor takes your content, that’s a different story. My friend, Andy Crestodina (@crestodina), has had to deal with that problem first hand (someone actually lifted his entire website) Check out his blog post:

  • BrewSEO

    HAHA. That’s so obvious, it’s brilliant. Thanks for sharing this easy win with the rest of us.


    +1, this is stupid easy. I’m saving this post for future use.

  • Ori Tzvielli

    Another spin to this tactic is to use Google’s image search and click on the camera icon to search for images similar to your image url and find potential embedded images and ask for links from them.

  • James Norquay

    In my opinion it is better to do the outreach using copyscape with a client specific email, rather then an SEO company email. But yes I have been using this tactic for a few years.

  • Dave Lorrez (E-tail)

    another approach that i’m using : go to or another similar one, look for the most viewed/etc articles and dump them in copyscape to see who reused them. Filter out the garbage sites and contact the good one’s to offer ‘free’ & unique content :)

  • Anita Clark Realtor

    It is a smart tactic, especially when your clients produce information that can be used by the masses…getting that information to as many folks as possible should be the goal. Checking via Copyscape and getting a quality link back is icing on the cake. ;-)

  • Joe Lane

    This is a very very good idea. I love it and will give it a try, thank you for sharing.

  • Craig Crossland

    Hey, John-Henry. I have just recently wrote a blog on my site regarding
    this method and how I personally don’t think it is a good viable link tactic.
    I am not saying it is pointless, but there are other techniques that
    are much more doing.

  • cmsbuffet

    This solution is much better than the Google / Bing / Yahoo Author meta tag…

  • Wheelz India

    This is a very good procedure to find out duplicate content. thanks

  • Arlene Prunkl

    I have never, ever heard of this. Everything I have read says ABSOLUTELY NO! to duplicate content, or there will be a penalty from Google. How can I believe you that duplicate content is now okay? I’ve had plagiarism a number of times from my very well-written and content-rich website, and I’ve used Copyscape to track down the culprit and get them to remove my content (mind you, in each case it was clear the culprit was a sleazy operator).

    Your thoughts? I would love to believe you. If duplicate content is okay, I and my colleagues could share our painstakingly written blog posts and combine our efforts to draw more traffic to all our sites!

    Okay, John-Henry, I’ve just read on in the comments, and I see you’ve sort of answered part of my question below. When a direct competitor steals my content, it’s a different story. If my colleagues (my direct competitors) were to share their blog posts on my site, that would not be a good thing. I don’t think?