What To Do With Content Scrapers?

Content ScrapersIt just so happened that I published an article 3 days ago at Ezine Articles, it was immediately scraped and then indexed on Google via the scraper site before it was indexed at Ezine Articles. The real problem wasn’t that the article was scraped, it was that I wasn’t linked back to as per terms of service for using any article from Ezine Articles.

I then got an email that same day from loyal reader WordVixen exclaiming her frustration with getting posts scraped from her brand new blogs.

So what’s a blogger or Internet marketer supposed to do with this blatant ripoff of content?

First, you need to assess the damage, if any, this may be doing to your blog and or your reputation. If the scraper blog in question is just a splog set up to do nothing more than earn a few pennies a day from Adsense it will hardly have an impact on anything you do. You are probably the only person in the world who knows your content has been stolen. The person who set up the scraper site may not even know they are stealing from you because the process of setting up these types of blogs can be completely automated. The software they’re using to do this may have just chosen your blog to scrape because it matched the content profile Mr Scraper gave it. They might not even know you exist.

It is also nearly impossible to do anything about a majority of these sites because they are either hosted at Blogger.com or they are on domains where the Whois info is kept private. The stealing of content in this manner has very little impact on the overall operation of your blog. There is a neat little trick however, you can use to actually get a benefit from scrapers which I’ll cover towards the end of this post. 

Secondly, how much time do you want to spend tracking down the offending scrapers? As with the case of someone scraping my article from Ezine Articles, I’m pretty sure Google will take a look at the authority of the PR 0 scraper blog and the PR 6 authority of Ezine Articles and determine the real source of the article. Honestly though, I just don’t want to spend the time tracking down these scumbags.

In rare cases where you feel someone has ripped you off and you feel it has impacted you negatively because it reflects on you as a blogger or you don’t want your content on a sleazy site, you may want to go to the effort to do something about it. The most basic thing to do is try to find contact info on the offending blog and demand that they remove the content or link back to you, crediting you with the work. If you can’t find contact info, you can always look up Whois info, but if the Whois info is private you can still find out who hosts the blog and contact them with the pertinent details. Look under the Domain Server info which is usually located at then end of the Whois info and you should be able to find the host company domain there.

The best step you can take in my opinion though, is to use this plug-in Shoemoney blogged about. It puts a link back to your blog in your feed and if Google just happens to let the scraper outrank you, you have what Google would consider a quality link back to your site.

But the last word on this is…

Scrapers are scum.


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6 Responses to “What To Do With Content Scrapers?”

  1. If you use WordPress, take a look at the “Bad Behavior” plugin. It blocks many of the scrapers and other bots that do no good, while still allowing search engines to index your site. On my site it has blocked over 250 bots, yet not one legitimate reader.

  2. That’s right! I completely forgot about that plug in (read about it at work, and forgot by the time I was home to download)! I was also thinking of sticking an affiliate link into the first paragraph of each post since the new scraper only posted the first few sentences.

    Thank you for the link, Alan, and for addressing this subject. There are good and bad sides to each action/reaction; it’s hard to know what to do.

    And turnip- that’s a great idea. I think I’ll check out that one as well. It sounds like the two plugins would work well together.

  3. Hey Alan, thanks for the heads-up….I never really thought that scraper sites were that quick to index! I’m definitely going to install that plugin.

  4. I am also frustrated with scraper sites putting my articles which I submitted to articles directories been copied without giving a link back I contact a few of them but with no vain. Anyway thanks for the plug in I was not aware of that till now.


  5. […] Affiliate Confession (dropped Entrecard) has had some problems with content scrapers and wrote a great article describing what to do about them. […]

  6. Yes, scrapers definitely are scum! I recently discovered that one of them was scraping my site.

    I tracked down his info in the way you mention and sent him a polite e-mail asking him to remove the plagiarized material. He didn’t of course.

    Later, I wrote about what a sad sack of suds he is – even naming his blog (but being careful not to use an absolute URL) – and that got scraped too! So his own blog admits that it is scraped!

    Don’t know if I’ll take it further, since he doesn’t seem to be outranking me for search terms. Still, it is very annoying.

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