Will Google Kick These Tossers Where It Hurts?

December 4, 2008


If you’ve ever had your content scraped by some spammy “made for Google Adsense” blog, you’ll know how annoying it can be. Trouble is, these content scrapers never have any contact details on their blog.

And I’ve ignored them up until now - but I was really pissed off when I discovered that - 47 Brilliant Marketing Resources For Bloggers” had been scraped. It took about thirty hours to write and he’d taken the whole lot.

So, I decided to kick the tosser where it hurts. Google now have a comment section beneath each entry, so I left a comment to say that it was stolen content. And as the idiot is breaching Google Adsense terms of services, I reported him.

To do this, you just click on the ads by Google sign on an ad on the offending page, then click where it says, “Send Google Your Thoughts On The Ad Or Site You Just Saw.” Then click, report a violation.

I did this over a week ago and his ads are still there, so I don’t know if Google actually take any notice of these reports. I hope they will continue to focus on clearing the Internet of spam and ban these tossers from Google Adsense, rather than continuing to rake in the extra ad revenue they make from this crap.

On a brighter note, I’m now getting more search traffic from Google and other search engines than social network traffic. This either means Google loves me, or the social networking sites think I suck. As I’ve mentioned before, search engine traffic brings more paying customers than social networking traffic.

And if you don’t get much traffic from search engines, you really need to get SEO School. There’s more expensive and complicated products out there. But SEO School is easy to follow and it does what it says on the tin.

Do you get much traffic from the search engines? Have you got over the “SEO will ruin my content mindset” yet, or are you still struggling?

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19 Responses to “Will Google Kick These Tossers Where It Hurts?”

  1. Hunter Nuttall on December 4th, 2008 9:58 pm

    I used to be bothered by scrapers, but now I don’t pay much attention to them. I figured that other people were already trying to shut them down, and plus, you sometimes get backlinks. I didn’t know you could click on “Ads by Google” to report them though.

    What bothers me more than scrapers is people who link to images on my site and suck up my bandwidth, instead of uploading the image to their own hosting account.

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Optimism Or Pessimism: Do You Have To Choose?

  2. Stevieboy66 on December 4th, 2008 10:16 pm

    Great tip Cath for reporting scrapers. Let’s hope Google do something about it. I’ve been blogging for only 3 months and it has happened 3 times so I know how you feel. It seems to happen within minutes of publishing a post.

    Stevieboy66’s last blog post..Why Do Small Businesses Fail - Nearly Always?

  3. Marelisa on December 4th, 2008 10:38 pm

    Hi Cath: That happens to me too. I didn’t know there was something you could do about it. A couple of months ago I ran across a “legitimate” website that had copied one of the my posts verbatim without giving me credit. There was a contact form and I wrote to the owner and told him to take my post off his site, which he did.

    I have Naomi’s SEO School but haven’t read the whole thing yet. I need more Google traffic.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Start 2009 With a Bang: Create a Life List

  4. Barbara Swafford - Blogging Without A Blog on December 4th, 2008 10:38 pm

    HI Catherine - OMG. I know you spent tons of time on that post, and it’s a shame it was scrapped. I hope Google brings them down.

    With my two blogs, one gets mostly search engine traffic, but the other gets most of it’s traffic from referral or loyal visitors. I’m trying to use more SEO on that blog, but it changes my writing style so drastically I wonder if it’s worth it. Maybe that will change when and if I add more ads.

    Barbara Swafford - Blogging Without A Blog’s last blog post..The Unseen Benefit of Commenting

  5. Tom Volkar/ Delightful Work on December 4th, 2008 11:07 pm

    Yes those punks did it once to me from a post and once on an Ezine Articles article. I’m glad you kicked them were it hurts.

    To my delight I’m just now enjoying the fruits of SEO work. It’s kind of a kick to go after a keyword and see the whole thing work.

    Tom Volkar/ Delightful Work’s last blog post..Grounding Your Small Business Vision

  6. johnmryan on December 4th, 2008 11:14 pm

    What a pain Catherine!, Sad thing is google seems to make it difficult for you to do anything, I complained a few sites in the past, who had scraped a post I wrote on WP plugins. Here is what they wrote back, actually its very long and i don’t want to fill up this page so feel free to email me for the entire email here is an extract

    “To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may be liable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs and attorneys’ fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item when you in fact do not. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether you have the right to request removal from our service, we suggest that you first contact an attorney.”

  7. Kelvin Kao on December 4th, 2008 11:24 pm

    If your site is ranked high enough, the content scrapper’s copy should be considered duplicated content, and is, ideally, punished. I don’t know if the content scrappers scrap smaller sites, but if they only scrap sites that rank well, then they are not really doing themselves any favor. I wonder how well these sites actually do…

    Once a post I wrote was scrapped by a site about travelling. Guess what my post was about? Time travel. I found that pretty amusing.

    Kelvin Kao’s last blog post..LCC presents… A Clockwork _____: A Show About Time

  8. Ricardo Bueno on December 5th, 2008 12:18 am

    Naomi kicks butt! You do too! :-P

    Just sayin’…

    Ricardo Bueno’s last blog post..[Bloggy Question] What Do You Do When They Don’t Respond To Your Comment?

  9. Mrs. Micah on December 5th, 2008 12:20 am

    I like the ability to report stolen posts to Google ads. I don’t sweat seeing small posts scraped, but if it’s something I’ve put a lot of time into, then I’ll definitely report it.

    Otherwise I’ve found that it’s too much mental energy to bother about that. :-/

    Mrs. Micah’s last blog post..3 New Year’s Worksheets

  10. Vered - MomGrind on December 5th, 2008 2:50 am

    Yes, I’m over the “SEO will ruin my content” mindset. :)

    But most of my traffic still comes from social media (about 70%) and the rest is evenly split between search engines and direct traffic.

    My CTR definitely reflects this situation, but I’m not sure I care. I recently landed a high-paying writing job through my blog (yay!) so it definitely has the potential to create income even if it’s not from advertising.

    Vered - MomGrind’s last blog post..Are Blogs And eBooks Inferior To Printed Books?

  11. Patricia on December 5th, 2008 4:47 am

    I can’t get to my techie tonight so I can’t answer the SEO question and the other side of it - I have found my dashboard…

    I have found a number of my paragraphs on other sites and just asked my techie about copywriting. She is in the middle of exams so I have no answer yet, because my writing was not in quotes or was I given credit…

    Wow I learned something new, but I must go to bed…I am 2 behind in Traffic Rush and am now getting enrolled in Roadmap…Whew
    swam just a few laps short of a mile after weight lifting - oh commenting on the wrong blog…that’s fit to blog…..
    good night :)
    Patricia’s last blog post..Is It All About Food?

  12. wilhb81 on December 5th, 2008 8:58 am

    Honestly, Cath. I can feel your pain, as I’m also being the victim of this kind of incident before…

    By the way, did you ever contacted the copycat that have copied your article?

    wilhb81’s last blog post..Glad That You’re Happy, Debbie!

  13. cathlawson on December 5th, 2008 10:20 am

    Hi Hunter - Letting other people chase them is a pretty good idea. That is bad that folk are linking to your pics and using up your bandwidth tho. I wonder why they do it? Maybe they just don’t know how to put pics on their own site?

    Hi Steve - They do it pretty quickly don’t they? I guess it must be automated. If the same site is doing it persistently, you could install WP Ban: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-ban/ and block their IP address. You can find the IP address of their website here: http://www.selfseo.com/find_ip_address_of_a_website.php

    Hi Mare - I’m glad you got it taken down. You should read the rest of SEO school. You could get lots of search engine traffic, if you go back and edit some of your old posts.

    Hi Barbara - you should keep working on it. I guess it’s just because you’ve got used to writing in a particular way. When you get used to doing it, it shouldn’t affect your style too much.

    Hi Tom - It sucks that they even steal work to put in article directories.

    I’m glad you’re getting more search traffic. It is fun watching your efforts pay off isn’t it? I especially like getting on the front page when there’s over a million competitors for a keyphrase.

    Hi John - That would be a hassle wouldn’t it. What they have sent you, is what you need to do if you want to get a site taken down.

    You would probably only do that if they’d written something seriously libellous about you. Patricia Cornwell did it - but someone was cyber stalking her and writing horrendous things.

    But most of these content thieves steal content, so they can stick adsense on blogs and make money for nothing. I’m betting a lot of them have dozens of blogs, so they’re probably raking in quite a bit of cash.

    The best thing to do is try to get them banned from Adsense. It’s less hassle and it kicks them where it hurts.

    Hi Kelvin - some of them are so spammy, they take completely irrelevant stuff. I don’t know how well they do, but I’m on page one for my keyphrase for that article and he’s not in the first few pages.

    There’s a lot of false information online about duplicate content. I don’t honestly think you get penalized for it at all. Now, if you had a site with a few thousand pages and it was all copied, it might be different.

    Hi Ricardo - I’m sure we’re not the only ones who kick butt. And we only kick folk who deserve it. I’m guessing you’ve been reading about the asshole wife beater Naomi wrote about yesterday: http://ittybiz.com/its-time-to-rally-the-troops/ Now he deserves more than just a kick in the butt.

    Hi Mrs M - I know what you mean. With smaller posts, it’s not worth the hassle and with partial posts, at least they usually link to you, which is ok.

    Hi Vered - 70% is high but you seem to get a heap of traffic, so that other 30% is still a lot of people.

    Congratulations on your writing job. I noticed you’d began advertising that service and I’m glad it paid off for you.

    LMAO Patricia - You mean you only just found your dashboard now? The technical stuff really isn’t that challenging once you get used to it.

    I’m guessing you’re meaning “copyrighting”, which protects your work. “Copywriting” is writing marketing letters, sales pages and stuff.

    They will probably get away with taking the odd paragraph - because they can say it is fair usage. It would have been nice if they’d attributed those paragraphs to you thought.

    It sounds like you’ve been busy. Before you enrol in roadmap - you might want to check out the 8 Week Powerblog Course: http://cathlawson.com/blog/success-tools/8-week-power-blog-launch/

    It’s excellent and you just make a one off payment, rather than having to pay every month.

    Hi Wilhb - he doesn’t have his details on the blog. It’s really not a massive problem, I just wanted to show folk how to complain to Adsense when someone steals your work.

  14. Andrew on December 5th, 2008 12:45 pm

    Cath,

    I fully empathize with you here - these clowns are highly unethical and most frustrating, and you have every reason to be upset, given the extent of effort which you put into your work.

    I once read that blog scrappers don’t actually make any real money. To make any real money in blogging requires the development of a solid readership base, something which these clowns are unable to do since their blog lacks consistency of style and they do not have the inclination or ability to interact with their readers.

    According to what I read, most of these bozos just give up once they realize that their scam does not actually work.

    Still, it is unfair that good honest people such as yourself have your work stolen by these people - you should not have to put up with that.

    Andrew’s last blog post..Employee rights and responsibilities part 5: The role of unions in the modern workplace

  15. Kim Woodbridge on December 5th, 2008 1:26 pm

    Hi Cath - There are a couple of things you can do even if the site doesn’t have contact information on it.

    1. Do a whois search on the domain name. http://www.whois.net/
    Unless the individual has paid extra to have the contact information be private, this will give you a name, address, email and telephone number. Every time I have emailed the person this way, the content has been removed. I think it surprises them a little bit.

    2. Install the RSS footer plugin. http://yoast.com/wordpress/rss-footer/
    This adds ‘Posted by name of site” and a link back to the article at then end of each article in your RSS feed. Since most scrapers use your RSS feed, they will be adding a link back to your site as well as information on who the content really belongs to. You can see it in my feed
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/ProjectSelf

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post..Preparing for the Release of WordPress 2.7

  16. Davina on December 5th, 2008 4:58 pm

    Hi Cath. I can understand your frustration, especially with the amount of time you put into your work. I don’t know how some people sleep at night. I hope Kim’s suggestion works for you.

    Davina’s last blog post..Step Out Of Crisis And Into Power

  17. John Hoff - eVentureBiz on December 5th, 2008 5:16 pm

    I hate those scrapers, too Cath. I had the exact same experience as you. I was pissed because it was an article I worked so hard on.

    There is a WordPress plugin which is suppose to help with this. It’s called Antileech and Lorelle wrote an article about it here.

    However, I have used the plugin for a while now and my content still gets copied, so I’m not sure how good it works or if the plugin has just never been updated.

    John Hoff - eVentureBiz’s last blog post..Understanding The Psychology Of Your Website Visitors

  18. Patricia on December 5th, 2008 6:26 pm

    Thanks for all the good info Cath…very helpful…yes I did mean copyrighting - I needed to go to bed last night - I was pushing the river too late…
    now Caroline Middlebrook is offering me Traffic Rush& The Blog Bible - free - if I sign up for Roadmap at $27 a month…since I am just learning dashboard ( my techie does that part for me right now) which do you think would be the better class for me?

    I looked at the program you suggested too I can’t tell yet which would be better?

    I am still slogging through ProBlogger….
    Thank you

    Patricia’s last blog post..Hey Santa Could You Send a Few Things My Way?

  19. Kathy - Virtual Impax on December 5th, 2008 9:11 pm

    Cath

    Copyscape….http://www.copyscape.com/

    That’s how I found out my entire static website had been “scraped” a.k.a. CONTENT WAS STOLEN!

    They’ve got a TON of resources including the address where you send the certified letter to get the joker delisted from Google.

    Kathy - Virtual Impax’s last blog post..You can’t make money sitting on your ass

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