Content theft, scrapers, sploggers, copyright infringement and plagiarism. Just a few words to describe what many of us bloggers and writers have found to be the bane of our existence on the internet. While we work hard to create valuable and informative content for our subscribed readers and/or search engine readers, many of us are also dealing with idiots who choose to steal our posts, images and/or comments, posting stolen content on their own websites and blogs as if it were their own without our permission.
Not only that, but many of these low-life dogs have the nerve to put text ads, banner ads and Google AdSense around OUR content in order to earn revenue from stolen content, since they’re too stupid or lazy to create their own post content themselves.
The main problem of dealing with internet scrapers, copyright infringement and content theft is that search engines can index the scraped/stolen content before our own original content, resulting in higher PageRank in search engine results, more page views and ad revenue than our original post. Not only that, but our sites can be Google slapped as punishment for duplicate content even though the freaking originating post came from our site, not the scraper’s site.
I’ve dealt with content theft issues head on before, and while Google lays out the steps necessary to fight against content thieves, I sometimes wonder if Google cares about us little guys and gals (or big shot bloggers for that matter), or if websites owned and hosted in countries like China are ever going to be Google slapped to the point where a well-deserved reckoning occurs against those who are knowingly and willingly guilty of content theft.
If you’ve ever discovered stolen content from your blog outranking your original content in the SERP’s, you understand the harm that comes to your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to get your posts ranked on the first page of Google search results with your keywords of choice.
Just like many of you, I’ve done numerous searches for information on how to prevent, fight, stop, and protect my blog against content theft, and have taken the required steps to contact the guilty S.O.B’s directly, as well as notify Google and other search engines any time I discover my post(s) have been stolen.
Add to that the time it takes to track down the website owners host with whoishostingthis.com and who-hosts.com, filing complaints with any and all revenue generating affiliates found within the site, as well as social media sites the thieves are found to participate in, and the whole debacle quickly becomes a full-time job leaving you no time to create new posts.
In my opinion, one of the most insidious forms of copyright infringement and content theft is by so-called aggregator sites and translation sites, who steal full posts, images and even comments without the copyright owner’s permission. Elanso.com is just one of the most recent websites I’ve spent time fighting against content theft, which continues to steal my posts without my permission or consent.
Emails sent to China’s Elanso.com contact person, Andy Qian, asking/demanding that my content be removed from the site have of course been ignored and I’ve received no response from Andy or anyone else associated with Elanso. Perhaps if I were to email Elanso’s Andy Qian in several different languages all at once, maybe he could use his own translation service to translate the repetitious DMCA notices he’d be receiving. Not that it would do any good whatsoever, but it’s an interesting idea of how to deal with content theft taking place outside the U.S.
Oh sure, I notified Google of the infringements by fax on February 5th, including 5 links to offending stolen posts on Elanso, along with my own 5 matching original links showing the copyrighted posts belong to me. Included in the fax to Google was a link showing Elanso has stolen ALL of my posts, not just 5.
After a few days, I received notice that the 5 offending links were removed from Google search engine results. Close, but no cigar. What about the other 300 or more Telling It Like It Is posts displayed under Elanso’s Telling It Like It Is profile page that was mentioned in the fax, along with the url link providing proof? Huh Google?
Elanso’s “reliable translation” site displays ALL 300+ of my posts, links and images without my consent or permission, but in order for Google to take action and Google bitch-slap Elanso.com for copyright infringement, I’m required to jump through hoops and take the time to send Google each and every one of the 300+ offending links found on Elanso.com along with my 300+ links showing my posts are the originals.
I can’t even imagine how time-consuming it would be for bloggers with thousands of blog posts to submit each and every offending link vs. my few hundred blog posts, which is likely why some bloggers choose to ignore the copyright infringements.
Some bloggers are of the opinion that we shouldn’t get too stressed about blog scrapers stealing content from our blogs through full RSS feeds, and that “the more popular your blog gets, the more you will get scraped and the more you will realize that it just isn’t worth wasting your time with these people”. Sorry, but I don’t buy it.
Just because Google has the ability to determine where the original article came from due to inbound links and from the authority of a website, sometimes Google gets duplicate content wrong and I’m not willing to stand by and do nothing while some sleaze ball gets away with stealing my blog posts without so much as a fight, nor do I want Google to make the mistake of thinking Telling It Like It Is is the content thief.
If anything is ever going to happen that actually stops content theft, scrapers, sploggers, copyright infringement and plagiarism in its tracks, it will have to come from Google big-shots taking us bloggers and website owners seriously, that we want swift action taken to stop the growing problem of content theft on the internet, and guilty content thieves to be de-indexed and penalized to such a degree that maybe, just maybe, these losers would get a real job rather than being low-life thieves.