I recently discovered that my feed was being scraped. It’s very frustrating to find your content appearing in full on another website – so I decided to do something about it.
The result? A new WordPress plugin called FeedEntryHeader that allows you to add a copyright statement and a link to the original article, to the top of your feed entries.
Why Use It?
There are several WordPress plugins that allow you to add a copyright statement to the end of feed entries. However the copyright statement has limited impact by the time the reader gets to the bottom of the page.
The reader is more likely to take action if they see the copyright statement at the beginning of the page, along with a link to the original article.
It won’t stop feed scraping, but it should ensure that a copyright statement and a link to the original article appear in the scraped content.
What Does It Look Like?
Here is a screenshot from my feed in Google Reader:
As you can see, the following message has been added to the feed entry:
Copyright © 2007 Stephen Cronin. Visit the original article at http://www.scratch99.com/2007/11/feed-reading-models/.
Can I Change The Message?
Yes. The message is fully customisable. Simple HTML can be used and there are tags allowing you to use site name, site URL, post name, post URL and author name from the WordPress database.
The default message uses the post URL, rather than the post name, as the anchor text. This can be changed, but many scrapers remove all links, leaving only the anchor text behind. If the URL is the anchor text, it will remain.
Although this plugin was designed for displaying a copyright statement, there is no reason that you could not display other items instead.
Where Do I Get It?
Further information about the plugin can be found at the FeedEntryHeader plugin home page. The plugin is also available for download from the plugin home page.