The Brave Programmer - Blogging and coding
Not for the faint hearted
 

Blog Posts From The Brave Programmer

Minimize

Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

Sep28

Written by:
2009/09/28 07:49 AM RssIcon

Is scraped content a pain for you? Is your site being scraped of its content on a daily basis? The internet is a vast and magnificent place for knowledge. It has been a place where you can find almost anything. It has been said, if you can't find it on the internet, it does not exist. That being said, the internet is also a sewer of fraud, theft and corruption. Many original content sites have had their content scraped or stolen, then posted on some other site without their express consent or any credit given. For many years there has been debate as to how to stop this, if it can be stopped.

But Google's Matt Cutts says that content scraping might not be that bad of a problem, in fact it might actually benefit you.
 
Whether you own a blog or another type of website for any length of time, then there is a good chance that your content has been scraped at sometime or other. Perhaps even on a continuous basis. This is frustrating and many people believe that it can adversely affect your site or blog. But not so, according to Matt Cutts from Google.
 
Matt Cutts says that you actually may be able to slightly benefit from having your content scraped. The trick though, according to Matt Cutts, is to make sure the pages on your site have links to you in them, the scrapers may leave the links in and end up linking to you. He says these links can "help you along."

What is a Content Scraper?

In short a content scraper is basically a copy ‘n paste of content from one site directly to another site. This can be done manually or automatically with the use of content scraping software. A scraper site is a website that copies all of its content from other websites. No part of a scraper site is original.
Two big issues with this in the past have been:
  • It is regarded as plain theft and plagiarism. Many times these content scraped sites do not give credit or any link back to the original content or article.
  • Many times it has been said that these content scraper sites have ranked higher in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) than the original site. Basically stealing valuable traffic and rankings and even revenue from you. Thereby being indirectly penalised by the likes of Google.

How can we benefit from scraped content?

There has been much debate over this issue. Closely related is the issue of duplicate content. Answering a user question, Matt Cutts, from Google says that it might actually benefit you.
 
"There are some people who really hate scrapers and try to crack down on them and try to get every single one deleted or kicked off their web host," says Cutts. "I tend to be the sort of person who doesn't really worry about it, because the vast, vast, vast majority of the time, it's going to be you that come up tops, not the scraper. If the guy is scraping and scrapes the content that has a link to you, he's linking to you, so worst case, it won't hurt, but in some weird cases, it might actually help a little bit."
 
So it would seem that the important part of any content is to link well. Link well within your own site and blog, link well to other sites and blogs. We all know the importance of linking, so getting into the habit; if not for content scraping, will always be beneficial.
 

The Debate is Still Hot

Many would totally disagree with Matt Cutts, even going so far as to start calling him names and referring to Google as evil. In this debate many have experience the opposite to what Matt Cutts is presenting. Their sites have come off second best to these scrapper sites. Loosing valuable traffic, ranking and even revenue.
 
Matt cutts is full of it! smaller sites, new sites , site with low page rank are easily beat in the se results by scrapers. I've seen it happen many times to my smaller clients.”
“Google sucks! Fight Google!”
“I fail to see where this guy has a Clue”
I can see why some have a particular issue with Matt Cutts’ statement. I myself have not yet experienced any negative behaviour from my content being scraped. But then one has to think of an intelligent scraper, who, even if you do have back links, could easily insert the “rel=nofollow” attribute into your link. See my post on To follow or nofollow.  There goes the theory of benefiting from the back links. Does this happen? I have no clue.
 
However so do believe that you can benefit from being scraped.
 
“Yes, this happens to me frequently but I also borrow content from others. The key is, borrow content, give credit back to the source via a back link, and add to the conversation. Republished content can actually help spread the message. And that's a good thing as long as it's above board.”
 
 I mean I am getting links back from this scraper and my site always shows up before their site in search results, so what the hay... I'll just leave them be”
Some do in fact see and have experienced some benefit from scraper sites. Which goes directly to what Matt cuts says. But I do think that this issue can be site specific. It is clear that not all sites experience the same effect. Some might even experience different levels of benefit or loss.
Matt Cutts does warn that if you see a scraper ranking higher than you, you can consider doing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act request (DMCA), or if it's a true spammer (gibberish, etc.) you can go ahead and do a spam report on them.
 

Conclusion

So where do we go from here? I wouldn’t completely discount Matt Cutts. After all, he does carry an enormous amount of weight in the Search Industry. He sets Google trends and has great influence in their search algorithm and the way results are displayed as well as how pages are ranked. Google is King whether you like it or not. They might not be perfect, but then who is?
But I also believe that one needs to be prudent in this matter. Consider your own site and situation, monitor your articles. Keep tabs on your content. Then you can decide for yourself if it benefits you. But for the moment, all things considered, we might actually benefit from scrapers.
 
Related Reading:
 
What are your thoughts?
 

New here, or perhaps you've been here a few times? Like this post? Why not subscribeto this blog and get the most up to date posts as soon as they are published.

Tags:
Categories:
blog comments powered by Disqus

9 comment(s) so far...


Gravatar

Re: Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

Nice post Robert. I noticed quite by chance from a ping back that my blog had been scraped last week by http ://iluvsa.blogspot.com/2009/09/leonard-chuene-you-owe-country-and.html
In this case they did give me link love and quoted me as the source, but looking at the blog, it is clear that an immense amount of their content comes from scraping from other sites.

By Markoel on  2009/09/28 10:11 AM
Gravatar

Re: Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

@Mark,

Interesting hey. Well thats the good thing that they gave you some credit and link love. Would be love to see how this pans out. Won't you monitor it for a while, then report back. Would love to see if what Cutts has to say would apply here in this situation.

By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/28 10:19 AM
Gravatar

Re: Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

I've been through the pain of having my content scraped, and got really, really mad over it. But I hadn't thought that I pretty much always do leave links in there, and so would have got some benefit from it.

However, I think the whole act is horrendous, and it's only going to get worse as more and more people see it as an easy way to get decent content. I'll always send a cease and desist email when I find it.

By Mike CJ on  2009/09/28 10:34 AM
Gravatar

Re: Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

I shall have to do a search to see if my content has been scraped. Never heard of it before. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

By Gordie Rogers on  2009/09/28 10:56 AM
Gravatar

Re: Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

Thanks for sharing the info. Google is king!!!

By AntonRSA on  2009/09/28 12:10 PM
Gravatar

Re: Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

Great Post and also easily understandable by a new blogger like myself. Oh I can't wait until I reach trhe heady heights of being in the position of being "scraped". I will now be in the habit of seeding back links all the way through my stuff!

By Chris Downing on  2009/09/28 04:40 PM
Gravatar

Re: Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

Great Comment Guys,

Just a note I thought of. For those of you who use windows. I use Windows Live Write. IT has the ability to set up key words, and links for those key words. So that when you are typing, and a keyword is used, WLW will automatically insert the link directly into your content. Saves a whole bunch of time.
So as I develop more and more posts, I link those keywords to those topical posts. Then whenever I use that keyword, WLW creates a nice official back link for me.
Not that this will stop scrapers completely, but it does go a way to helping with those natural backlinks

By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/28 05:19 PM
Gravatar

Re: Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

I actually spent about half an hour earlier this evening deciding on what to do with 2 track backs, 1 from a site that has an article of mine as javascript launched popup and another where some automated program added a link to my post to what looks like it could be original content. Spammed the first one and allowed the second but stuck the ip in my moderation list to check up on in future.

Interesting post I've been using the Autolinking in live writer for awhile never considered that it could be useful in combating content scraping.

My concern with these scraped sites has always been that I thought that links from known black hat sites could cause penalties suppose you live you learn.

By Michael on  2009/09/28 11:48 PM
Gravatar

Re: Can content scraped from your site actually benefit you?

@michael,I suppose if you can't stop them use them for your advantage.There will always be issues around links from blackhat sites or the like. Many have thought in the past that Google will penalise you for that. I have my doubts, mainly for the reason that the owner of the site might be unaware that some blackhat or bad site is linking to him. Such things are out of your control. How to you then penalise a site or webmaster who has not encouraged or participated in such things.Linking out to such sites is another issue.Once again, only Google knows.

By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/29 04:46 PM
 
Blog Updates Via E-mail
 Blog Updates Via E-mail
Minimize

Do you want to receive blog updates via e-mail. Then just click on the link below. You will be redirected to Google's feed burner, where you can fill out a form. Supplying your e-mail address.

The subscription is managed entirely by Google's Feedburner. We cannot and do not collect your email address.

Subscribe to The Brave Programmer by Email

Print  
 

 

Latest Comments
 Latest Comments
Minimize
Powered by Disqus

Sign up with Disqus to enjoy a  surprise box of features

Print  
 
Blog Roll
 Blog Roll
Minimize
Print  
 
Categories
 Categories
Minimize
Print  
 
<h1>Search Blogs From The Brave Programmer</h1>
 

Search Blogs From The Brave Programmer

Minimize
Print  
 
Archive
 Archive
Minimize
Archive
<September 2014>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829301234
567891011
Monthly
Go
Print  
 
<h1>News Feeds (RSS)</h1>
 

News Feeds (RSS)

Minimize

Mon, 26 May 2014 13:39:24 -0500

Mon, 19 May 2014 13:10:38 -0500

Tue, 13 May 2014 05:00:08 -0500

Mon, 12 May 2014 05:00:43 -0500

Sun, 11 May 2014 05:00:26 -0500

Tue, 06 May 2014 05:00:02 -0500

Mon, 05 May 2014 05:00:34 -0500

Fri, 02 May 2014 05:00:52 -0500

Thu, 01 May 2014 05:00:00 -0500

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:00:38 -0500

Print  
 

Follow robertbravery on Twitter

Blog Engage Blog Forum and Blogging Community, Free Blog Submissions and Blog Traffic, Blog Directory, Article Submissions, Blog Traffic

View Robert Bravery's profile on LinkedIn

Mybyte

 

Robert - Find me on Bloggers.com

Tags
 Tags
Minimize
Print  
 
Contact Us Now
 Contact Us Now
Minimize
 

Email  us now or call us on 082-413-1420,  to host your website.

We design and develop websites. We develop websites that make a difference. We do Dotnetnuke Module development.

Web Masters Around The World
Power By Ringsurf
Print