Have you ever been surfing the internet only to come across a blog that has an article, or a couple of articles, that are the exact same as yours?
This is calling content scraping, and believe it or not, it happens all the time.
I like to compare content scraping to a potluck dinner. They all attract people who have no intention of bringing a damn thing, only to sit and eat all the chicken and potato salad they can get their grubby little hands on before someone notices.
Content scrapers sit and grab up all the good articles they can find on the web and repost them on their own blog or website, to gain traffic, and only hope that those they stole from won’t catch them.
How To Tell If Your Being Scraped
If you’re using wordpress and you’ve deeplinked your posts, then you wordpress control panel will list the blogs that are scraping your content.
If you don’t deeplink your posts, the best method of finding out if someone has scraped your content is to do a google blog search. Copy and paste a portion of your post into the search box and hit enter. If your content is out there on another blog besides yours, then you’ll know.
There aren’t a lot of methods for finding if your content’s been scraped, so if you can’t find it on a search engine, chances are you probably don’t need to worry about it, because no one else can find them either.
Does Content Scraping Hurt My Blog
Sometimes it can. If someone is scraping your images it can hurt your bandwidth if they still use your links, instead of saving and reposting the images themselves. Your bandwidth is the lifeblood of the internet. It’s alot like your cell phone minutes. If you run out, you’ll be paying alot of money in overdraft fees.
Most scrapers aren’t re-posting just images though. The majority are ripping your content and reposting it using automated means, or manually. If the website or blog scraping your content is blacklisted in the search engines, it could possibly hurt you.
Scraping can also hurt your search engine rankings by possibly bumping you out of the top spots and putting those spammers in your place. It can also cause confusion among your readers (they may think your scraping the content).
What Can I Do About It
There are alot of different options to deal with content scrapers, if you’re willing to put some time and effort into dealing with them.
- Place a copyright notice and a link back to your blog at the bottom of each new post in your rss feed. If you use feedburner for your feeds, they have an option called feedflare that allows you to do it. There are also many great plugins for wordpress that allow you to add content to the footer of your rss feeds. My recent post listing the plugins I use has one that I really like. By adding this to the bottom of your feeds you are showing anyone who visits the scrapers site that they stole your content, and also providing a linkback to help you track who is doing it.
- You could also comment on the scrapers blog letting everyone know that they stole your content. Of course, this could easily be deleted, so it’s not your best option.
- You could hire a lawyer, but most prefer not to because the cost of of the lawyer could far outweigh the benefits of shutting down the content scraper. If you’re a top blogger and having your content scraped could hurt your financially, then hiring a lawyer might be your answer, no matter the cost.
- Contact the scraper and ask them to remove your content. If the website scraping your content doesn’t have ads displayed all over their site, then there could be a chance that they don’t know what they are doing is actually wrong.
- Report the scraper to search services such as Google, and Technorati, as spam to get their website or blog removed from the search engines all together.
The best thing to remember is content scraping happens to even the most protected and best bloggers. Always keep your cool, and handle it in a professional manner. Most of the time, the problem will work itself out.
Have you ever had your content scraped?