However, they also have a great deal of use when tracking down and stopping plagiarism, content theft or spammers. These bookmarklets, literally with the click of a mouse, can undo much of the dirty work that is required in the process of searching for and stopping infringement.
So what five bookmarklets are most commonly in the top of my browser? Here’s a quick rundown of my five favorite bookmarklets and how they can save you tons of headache when it comes to stopping misuse of your work on the Web.
Mahalo’s Plagiarism Detection Tool is one of the simplest bookmarklets imaginable. Previously covered here last year, the tool works by having you highlight text on a page, meaning your own content if you are searching for plagiarism of your work, and then clicking the bookmarklet to perform a Google search.
It is a simple tool that helps avoid some copy and paste work but also makes it great for quick anti-plagiarism checks. A great use, for example, is if you’re suspicious that a site is a spam blog or if you think you’ve read an article somewhere else before.
Certainly not a complicated bookmarklet, but one that is brilliant in its simplicity.
Need to know who is hosting a Web site? Considering sending a DMCA notice or filing a spam complaint? WhoIsHostingThis has a great bookmarklet to quickly locate the Web host of any page.
Though I previously covered WhoIsHostingThis earlier this year, I didn’t mention its very useful bookmarklet, which allows you to click the link on any page as you are surfing and then be taken to the best information they can provide about who is hosting that site.
Though WhoIsHostingThis is far from perfect, it works reliably enough for most Webmasters and it is by far the easiest solution available.
Stepping up both in terms of power and complexity from WhoIsHostingThis, Domain Tools offers a much more robust bookmarklet for determining who the host is of a site, as well as obtaining whois information for the domain and other networking tools.
Easy one of the most powerful bookmarklets on this list, it is also one of the most intimidating to new users. If you need help interpreting the results produced by Domain Tools, check out the “Finding the Host” page here on Plagiarism Today under the “Stopping Internet Plagiarism” heading.
Want to see how old a page is (approximately) or how long a piece of content has been on there? The Wayback Machine is one of the best and easiest tools you can use.
But while most who need to perform such searches are aware of the invaluable service the Wayback Machine can provide, few are aware that a programmer, Stephen Ostermiller, has created a simple bookmarklet for checking any page you’re on in the Wayback Machine.
The page also provides several other caching services including Coral Cache and Google Cache so you can check other sources for backup copies of a page.
Speaking of caching, before you file a notice against a Web page and get the infringing material removed, you may want to create a backup copy of the site should a dispute arise later.
WebCite is easily one of the best services for doing exactly that. Though it was designed to aid in the citing of sources for academic papers, its on-demand caching service is perfect for those that need to keep a copy of a page they expect to go down.
However, even better is that they offer a custom bookmarklet that not only lets you cache any page that you are visiting, but it emails you an alert when the caching is done, making it easy to keep a copy for your records.
It is the perfect on-demand caching solution for this purpose.
For me, my bookmark toolbar is very crowded. In addition to my other services, my anti-plagiarism bookmarklets take up a lot of room. I’ve had to find ways to organize them so I can have actual bookmarks available to me.
If you are serious about protecting your content or are routinely dealing with spammers, odds are you’ll find at least some of these bookmarklets useful.
In short, though bookmarklets can’t replace some of the more powerful anti-plagiarism tools, they can help make the process a great deal easier and can be very useful for “quickie” checks or information.
Since they are free and install with the click of a mouse, there’s almost no reason not to have them. If you don’t use them, you can always delete them and be done with it.
That alone makes them worth at least a try.