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Have you ever been frustrated to find your content plagiarized by some other site? Did you know if I just visited your site, copied your prized article, and emailed it to my friends? Last week, I might have copied your favorite photograph from your site and added it to my Flickr or Picasa album! How do you track such user actions on your site? Services such as Copyscape do not offer automated tracking for free. Well, now you can sign up to use a new content tracking service for free – Tynt.com’s Tracer (Beta).

Tracer Homepage

Tracer is a simple one-line Javascript that you can add to your site or blog to monitor the content from your site which users find most engaging. This means, whenever users highlight or copy-paste any text or pictures from your site, Tracer tracks it. What’s more, when users paste the copied content in an email, blog or another web page, Tracer automatically adds an attribution link back to your site, potentially increasing your site’s traffic and improving your search engine rank.

Tracer Dashboard

What does Tracer tell you? The Dashboard gives you a tag cloud of the most copied words, a list of the most copied images and pages, as well as high-level stats for page views, copies, etc. over different time spans. Here is an example of the Tracer Dashboard.

Dashboard Sample

Tracer Benefits

  • Automatically tackle plagiarism and protect your intellectual property
  • Identify the most appealing keywords on your site, and use this insight to focus strongly on popular content
  • Generate more traffic to your site via automatic linkbacks
  • Automatic attribution links increase your site’s search engine rank

Sounds too good to be true? Let’s see how easy it is to get started using Tracer on Blogger/Blogspot.

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Adding Tracer to Blogger

Sign up at Tynt Tracer with the domain where you want to use it. In our case, the name would be yourblog.blogspot.com. After successful signup, Tracer will give you the Javascript you need to add to your blog.

TracerScript

Copy the entire script code in the highlighted box to your clipboard. Go to your Blogger Dashboard, and click ‘Layout‘. On the ‘Page Elements‘ tab, click ‘Add a Gadget‘.

LayoutAddGadget

In the ‘Add a Gadget‘ window, select ‘HTML/Javascript‘.

AddGadget

In the ‘Configure HTML/Javascript‘ window, give it a title like ‘Tracer‘ and paste the Javascript code given by Tracer in the ‘Content‘ section.

AddTracerScript

You should see a confirmation and the Tracer gadget added to the list of page elements.

TracerAdded

You can confirm that Tracer is active on your blog by checking that the gadget is active and visible on your blog.

TracerOnBlog

That’s it! You are all set. Visit your Tracer Dashboard now to get a better understanding of what content your users find really interesting.

Most Tracer users are surprised at the extent to which users are copying their content. Their stats show that 2% of all page views result in some user action it can track. Within the first two weeks of beta testing, it tracked over 250,000 copy-paste operations. It is already being used by ~200 content publishers including bloggers and news media sites with millions of page views per month.

Are you happy with the results on your site? Surprised? Tell us! Also, if you know any other tracking services, share them with us in the comments.

  1. Christopher Woods
    July 31, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I've given it a try on my blog ITU - it works flawlessly in Firefox and Safari, but in IE8 if you're a little over-eager with the copy and paste action, IE8's XSS Warning bar appears at the top of the page and reappears on every selection/copy event.

    To trigger the Cross Site Scripting notification toolbar, I had to both select some text and copy it pretty fast - in fact, I managed to copy it before Tynt had managed to modify the clipboard with the footer information and permalink to the content. Is this a known bug in IE8?

    • Derek
      August 5, 2009 at 5:49 pm

      Christopher, I personally haven't heard of that bug and we don't have an FAQ for it, so I've sent your comments over to our QA team to check into. I've been using IE8 on Win 7 and haven't run into this yet. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  2. agentpx
    June 23, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Hi I am using this service at AgentPX How can I prevent copies by me? I usually copy link location of my blog as a Hyperlink to some of my images. The data I see in my dashboard mostly came from my action. I am confuse which one is the real user copy action. Hope you can clarify this. Thanks.

    • Derek
      June 24, 2009 at 9:20 am

      Are you copying the URL bar? If so, then if the URL bar copying tracking feature is off (which it is by default) then Tracer won't record your actions. We have in the development queue a solution to allow you to generally not track specific computers. I suggest you log into your Tynt account and use our Feedback feature (tab on the left of your dashboard) to make sure that you've voted for that feature. We use the user votes to help us prioritize development plans.

      • Derek
        November 18, 2009 at 8:04 am

        @agentpx: Check out the latest Tynt dashboard. We have now added the ability for you to push a button under the settings which will deactivate Tynt for your own browser so it won't be tracked on your site. This will keep you from tracking your own copy actions on your own content!

  3. Twitter Fail
    May 30, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Just installed and did a test run of copying and pasting text to email. I love the way it includes a trackback, and highlights the copied text! I'm going to keep testing this and see what my readers have to say. For now, I give it a huge thumbs-up! Kudos to the creators!

  4. Mahendra Palsule
    May 29, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Derek, my turn to say thanks for your prompt tech support in the comments. You guys rock!

  5. err
    May 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    So, what about people using NoScript?

    • Derek
      May 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm

      If the user is a Mozilla user and has no-script, then no analytics scripts will run, Tynt is no exception. Most users don't have NoScript. We are trying to help the content owner benefit from the behavior of the 86% of web users who copy and paste casually from web sites - not the committed plagiarist.

      Derek
      Tynt

  6. techie
    May 29, 2009 at 12:16 am

    great post i just signed up for tracer thanks alot

  7. Derek
    May 28, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    BTW, thanks Mahendra for the shout out about Tynt!

    Best,

    Derek

  8. Matt Algren
    May 28, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    I tried that service for about a day before I realized why I didn't like it. First, it's putting yet another piece of javascript on the blog, which can get troublesome. If one conflicts the other.

    More importantly, it isn't checking for copy/paste operations, just copy. I'm one of those people who clicks and reclicks paragraphs as I read, so you're getting a bunch of false positives from people like me.

    • Derek
      May 28, 2009 at 9:51 pm

      Matt, when people highlight we identify those as 'selections' not copies (so they aren't 'false positives'), and based on user feedback we've removed selection counts from the main part of the dashboard. It now only shows actual copies.

      You do raise one key point, we don't promote Tynt as an anti-plagiarism tool. We are of the belief that people are going to copy and spread content and that this can be a healthy thing if done properly. If someone really wants to plagiarize your blog, they will, one way or another. Instead, we want to help make sure that the 'casual copier' (who is sending something they liked in your work to someone they know, or reposting on facebook) is encouraged to include a linkback to your work. These linkbacks have already proved to drive significant traffic for our beta sites, plus more links in the wild proliferating means that some of them end up where the robots and spiders will find them and improve your SEO.

      So we are really focused on making sure you benefit when people copy your content through increased traffic, SEO, and knowledge of what content people are engaging with the most.

      If you have an active blog, check out our new 'heatmap' feature which will color code your content so you can see what you are writing that is compelling people to take action.

      As for your fear of possible conflicts, we now have thousands and thousands of sites running Tracer in all sorts of environments. We found a couple conflicts very early in the beta testing and had them fixed within hours of it being reported. I'm happy to say that in the last several weeks we haven't found any new conflicts.

      Best,

      Derek from Tynt

      • Taranfx
        November 18, 2009 at 3:34 am

        Seriously, tynt is ovehyped.
        How will i get a backlink if the Copier doesnt use tynt?
        And why would that guy use it, when he knows he has copied content.
        It's most ineffective idea I`ve come across.

        • Derek
          November 18, 2009 at 8:02 am

          @taranfx: The user doesn't need to have installed Tynt. You, the publisher, puts Tynt on your blog, and it will work for all the users who visit your blog - no install required! We are currently tracking over 180,000 blogs and websites globally with hundreds of millions of copy events every month.

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