Google your competition

March 1, 2005

Another use for Google is to protect the content on my Web site from plagiarism.

I decided to Google my other competitors, and Dr. Wanna-Bee listed "dermatology" as a specialty - but Dr. Wanna-Bee is not a dermatologist! This was also quickly straightened out when a member of my staff called Dr. Wanna-Bee's office.

I discovered that Mrs. Quack, R.N., had somehow arranged for her skincare emporium to be listed under "physicians" - this is being dealt with as I write.

Another use for Google is to protect the content on my Web site from plagiarism, by searching for phrases that are relatively unique to the material I have written for my Web site. To search for a phrase on Google, simply enclose the phrase in quotation marks. This will narrow the search results to only those Web sites containing the exact phrase you are looking for. This tactic has helped me discover a number of sites that are blatantly infringing on my intellectual property. One plagiarist was so lazy that he did not bother to remove references to "Dr. Smith" from the thousands of words of text he had copied and pasted onto his own Web site. My lawyers are determining the optimal strategy to maximize the revenue stream from prosecution of such infringers.

A few minutes of Googling your competitors could be quite profitable!

Kevin C. Smith, M.D., is a dermatologist in Niagra Falls, Ontario. He may be reached at ksmithderm@aol.com
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