When I said I wanted to expand my Opinionbypen experience, I was thinking more about advertising and social media. I didn’t mean getting my website hacked or getting one of my posts hijacked and yet so far this year that’s exactly what’s happened.

There’s no other way for me to say it, there are times I hate my post on Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. I’ve often considered deleting it completely simply because it describes a very brief incident in my life. It doesn’t represent who I am today and fortunately the long term effects for me are very minor. Okay, I admit it, it’s also one of my earlier posts and based on the number of visitors pausing only long enough to read that post, it’s not very well written either.

Why don’t I delete it? Well, it represents almost half the traffic coming to my website and like it or not, its success improves the ranking Google gives to other posts on my site and my SEO needs all the help it can get. The post has also become a place where a number of people have opened up to express their pain, fears and support for fellow victims. Except for how poorly written it is and the fact that it sparks no interest in my other posts, it would be considered a perfect post.

Imagine my surprise when I started seeing visitors from My Experience With Ramsay Hunt Term Life. When I followed the links back to the source, I found someone had copied my post on their website without any regard for my rights as author. For reasons best known to them, they had also removed all the links in the post and linked the hijacked post back to my front page.

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is a viral infection of the facial nerve, Term Life is a type of insurance and It made no sense for them to combine the two terms except as a means of drawing traffic for ad revenue. Wanting to know how to contact these Internet cretins, I went to their home page. That’s when my virus checker flashed a warning that it had prevented them from uploading a virus to my machine. Apparently they had more in mind for their visitors than just serving them ads.

Yep, this was all I needed. Someone stealing my material, trying to infect visitors to their site and then linking it back to me. My hijacked post was the least of my worries. This was a combination certain to lower my search ratings with Google. Fortunately, Google knows this will happen and they provide a way to disavow linkages but it takes a while.

You’ll notice that I’m not surprised or showing any more emotion than mild annoyance. I wish I could, but when I started Opinionbypen, I knew there was no way to keep people from copying my material. There are ways to make copying difficult but let’s face it, if someone wants it bad enough they can copy it. Adding all those additional security measures only slows down my site, it doesn’t prevent copying.

If you do any searching on the web, you already know most of the material out there is worthless. Real content is extremely valuable, as long as you don’t have to pay for it. The internet is full of bots sent out by unscrupulous sites to search for fresh material so they can hijack it and relabel it as their own content. There are also services that will scan the internet for sites using your material. Even so, I’m fairly sure I already know how someone in Ukraine would respond to a strongly worded email telling them to stop stealing my stuff.

No, there’s no way to prevent someone from stealing my post but while I stewed about it, I realized they were stealing the most worthless part. I already told you, it’s a poorly written post. Google ranks it highly because so many people have shared their experiences in comments on the post. That’s where the real value of this post is, in the readers that have taken the time to share their experiences, their fears and their hopes. I only provided a gathering place.

Normally this is where I cajole you to leave comments and thank the people that do leave comments but I want you to look a little deeper today. The comments you leave on Opinionbypen, or any other website, serve to improve the website. By adding your thoughts, you make the next visitor’s experience that much richer.

Be bold, be heard, make a comment today!

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