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Finally Worked Out What The B****rds Are Doing


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#1 jonbey

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:17 AM

Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed and increasing number of websites/blogs copying all of my content - links included. They just get the latest article and publish direct to their site.

I first wondered why, as I rank first. Then today I reviewed one of the site that is copying me and their content is now all gibberish. They have run it through a re-writer of some sort to make their content unique.

So it is an automated blog copy and re-write scheme. The links still remain. As in the rewrite process they seem to replace the good keywords with nonsense phrases that nobody will ever search for, then maybe this is still a good thing for me while the links remain?

I do now make an extra effort to place more internal links in my content - something that I always knew to be a good idea for the user, buy laziness makes me forget!

I wonder what that software is then....

#2 Wit

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:37 AM

Clever eh?

#3 jonbey

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:51 AM

Yes, I guess I should sit back and applaud there ingenuity. Not sure what else I can do.

Block robots looking at RSS? is that possible?

#4 bwelford

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:14 AM

What's in it for them, jonbey. Are they monetising this in some way so they get a return, however small? I guess it could be Adsense for example.

#5 jonbey

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:20 AM

Yep, Adsense, ebooks, other affiliate stuff. Usual things.

#6 AbleReach

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:20 AM

Or go to excerpts?

#7 jonbey

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:28 AM

What do you mean?

#8 AbleReach

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:36 AM

You can tell WP's RSS to send out full posts or excerpts. If they're getting you from a feed, choosing excerpts will limit what they get.

Subscribers might not like it, but if you get more results from Search or other sources it might be worth it. If your niche has a lot of email & RSS subscribers you might want to go gently - check your stats.

#9 jonbey

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:37 AM

Hmmm, already set to excerpts. I guess they are just following the links to get the full post.

#10 A.N.Onym

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:47 AM

Personally, I wouldn't limit my subscribers, who like full feeds (research showed most prefer full feeds and its a trend), just because of a small shady bunch of scrapers. Especially, when those links might positively effect your website.

Whether they have optimized pages or not does influence the power of links, but a nonsense page doesn't lose all the power altogether. Unless the site is a total dump, practices shady tactics and has no other incoming links - then the value of a non-topic link on that very site is probably close to nill.

Once they've scraped your site, Google still knows you are the original, so you don't lose much if any traffic from people scraping you, unless they rank above you. Once they've rewritten the pages, but kept the links, they essentially eliminated themselves from your SERP competition, but still pass the minimal weight to your site.

So, in this case, I'd rejoice due to getting a few links for nothing or have mixed feelings, if I had a strong site, was sure I wasn't losing any traffic to them - in this case, them having optimized pages might've passed more incoming link value to your site.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 19 August 2010 - 11:51 AM.


#11 AbleReach

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:48 AM

I wonder what they're using. Are you blocking web site copiers like HTTrack?

Aside -- one of my sites was getting scraped by someone in Guam, so I blocked their IP. Pretty soon they were back at it w/ another IP, so I blocked Guam.... I only had one visitor from Guam, as far as I could tell, but I should probably still see if I can figure out &/or block what they were using, and let Guam back in. :lol:

#12 A.N.Onym

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:54 AM

IP blocks can be easily overcome by proxies, Elizabeth. Any reasonable scraper/spammer/other knows it and can use proxies. So I wouldn't block countries by IP. The security reasons are another matter, of course, and should be solved by strengthening the site security, not by hiding behind IP blocks.

#13 AbleReach

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:58 AM

You're right, of course. It was a quickie bandaid solution.

#14 A.N.Onym

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:05 PM

Any solution has its place, but I'm sensitive to country IP blocks, since I've been on the other side of the block a number of times for no reason :lol:

Edited by A.N.Onym, 19 August 2010 - 12:17 PM.


#15 jonbey

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:25 PM

Lol, yeah, I thought about blocking Russia once. Sorry.

#16 AbleReach

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:34 PM

...and I have had friends from Guam. :lol: :duh: :embarrassed:

#17 jonbey

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:42 PM

One idea I had.... which is a bit silly...

If their content becomes meaningless drivel after the re-write, but still contains all those links to my site, maybe I should do some SEO for them......

#18 iamlost

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:08 PM

As an idea that is a lot silly.
Go sit in the corner and hit your head against the wall.
THAT is how good an idea that is. :pieinface: :rofl:

#19 A.N.Onym

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 05:50 PM

I second iamlost. If you can get links to spam, you can get links to your site: why not do just that?

Though while getting links for 3d party sites with links to your sites, you can use less effortful (greyer) efforts, it's still not very practical, unless you are partnering with a publication in the long run.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 19 August 2010 - 05:51 PM.


#20 jonbey

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 06:06 PM

true, my thinking was simply that if the site has nothing, then the links are worthless, but a couple of links may give them some value. And yeah, it would be grey all the way.

#21 Arkansas Web Connections

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 10:16 AM

Well I am a newbie at all this. But I have seen plug-ins you can use that keep people from being able to click (highlight) your content. Is that how they are scraping your site by highlighting and copy/paste?

#22 jonbey

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 10:53 AM

No, it is automated. Pingbacks appear shortly after I publish, regardless of time of day.

#23 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 02:57 PM

Maybe you should disable the pingbacks, so you're not linking to their sites (even if you're using "nofollow").

You might also consider changing the char-set. Maybe that will confound and confusticate the scrapers. The search engines and Web browsers can handle many char-sets that look fine in the English language (well, more than one).

#24 jonbey

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 03:10 PM

I do not publish the pingbacks at all, this is just how I am alerted to them copying me.

I publish my article, then a bit later I see a pingback where they have linked to one of the pages that is linked in my article (all articles now have a healthy number of internal links)

#25 tam

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 09:46 PM

If they are taking the content and then monetizing it through affiliate schemes/adwords you can try contacting the affiliate programs too - most have terms against this. I don't know how well they respond to reports or stop repeat offenders but might be worth a try. Likewise ISP's to get the hosting pulled.

#26 DJJ

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 05:30 AM

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, these scrambled posts may not even get visitors. The quote below is about some software called WordPress Cloaker. It automatically redirects the searcher to good pages. I found the article on the Black Hat Software website.

WordPress Cloaker is a WordPress Plugin which allows you to Cloak and Redirect WordPress Posts and Pages to any Site, Post, Page, Category that you want to from a Search Engine query. For example, if you have an Auto Blog that has 1000 Posts, yet only 5 of those posts are productive, you can use keywords to drive all of those other 995 Post’s Search Engine traffic to the 5 posts you want the traffic to go to based solely on keywords that you identify. You can also Fake the referrer if you are redirecting to an Affiliate Landing page that is not located on your WordPress blog.

You might say, man, this sounds pretty shady Mike? Is this Legal? It is definitely Lega, but it probably goes against the terms of service of most affiliate programs.



#27 jonbey

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 07:56 AM

Interesting stuff.

I must admit, I have seen this in action before. After my last website shakeup I saw a lot of copies of my content in the SERPs. When I reviewed these a few weeks later there were redirects set up.

Specifically:

Person copies the content
Gets it ranked for a while
Redirects it to their affiliate page

They probably do this all the time, cycling content that is copied etc.

#28 A.N.Onym

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:34 PM

Michael Gray describes how he takes advantage of scrapers here:
http://www.toprankbl...licate-content/

#29 jonbey

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 07:41 PM

Yeah, I now ensure that there are links throughout my content, especially in the first paragraph. Many scrapers are lazy. Some remove everything, others remove nothing.

Why I love web scrapers

Most web scrapers are stupid. They search for keywords and leave whatever links they find in posts in place. You should use this as an advantage by linking to yourself with high value focused keyword anchor text in every post.

As long as you offset these low value links with high quality links this works to your advantage. Always insert links back to the original website and/or original page.

Further, change the anchor text, link and surrounding text of links inserted after your content (i.e. from something like Yoast’s RSS footer plugin) every 3-4 months so you’re getting different links to different parts of the website.
http://www.toprankbl...licate-content/





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