Using PubSubHubbub WordPress Plugin To Fight Content Theft

Yesterday I reviewed ways to find who is stealing your website content, especially ‘scraper’ sites which republish your RSS feed in full on their own site.

Such content theft can lead to your site being penalized and dropping down the search rankings – because their plagiarized content might be indexed by search engines before your original version.

Plagiarism search services can help find these thieves – so you can take action to remove the stolen content. However it’s unlikely that you’ll ever catch them all – new ones spring up all the time.

Therefore it’s important to notify Google and other search engines of your RSS feed updates in real time so they know that you are the original content creator – even if scrapers do steal your RSS feed you won’t lose your ranking. In fact the scraper sites should be penalized as Google will know they have copied the content after you published it :-)

PubSubHubbub is a good way to notify Google and other services of your newly published RSS feed content in real time i.e. to push updates to them immediately instead of waiting for them to pull updates at some point in the future. It’s an open pubsub (publish/subscribe) protocol which extends the Atom and RSS protocols for data feeds – the project homepage is maintained by Google.

WordPress users can install the PubSubHubbub plugin here – “a simple way to let people know in real-time when your blog is updated. PubSubHubbub is already being used by Google Reader, Google Alerts, FriendFeed and more“.

  • Supports multiple hubs
  • Supports all of the feed formats used by WordPress, not just ATOM and RSS2
  • Announces which hubs you are using by adding <link rel=”hub” …> declarations to your template header and ATOM feed
  • Adds <atom:link rel=”hub” …> to your RSS feeds along with the necessary XMLNS declaration for RSS 0.92/1.0

By default the PubSubHubbub plugin will ping the following hubs: the Demo hub on Google App Engine and SuperFeedr. Installation is a simple ‘activate and forget’ job – the only option appears in the PubSubHubbub entry within the Settings menu where you can add extra hubs (not usually necessary).


The plugin makes it easy to notify services like Google Reader of your website RSS feed updates in real time.

This also helps ensure that Google and other search engines know that you are the original content creator – so you retain your search ranking even if the content is later stolen.