Google Slaps the Little Guys and Lets China Do Whatever It Wants

grim-reaper 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.

content-theft 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.

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14 Responses to “Google Slaps the Little Guys and Lets China Do Whatever It Wants”

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  1. Dugg and stumbled. I hope the douche bags on Google’s spam team are paying attention because I just told them they’re owned by China.

    • Lin says:

      Hi RT,

      Darn, I intended I use those two phrases in the post but forgot. Douche bags and “owned by China”. Heh Thanks much for the Digg and Stumble.

  2. Rudy says:

    Money is the motivation for everything, isn’t it? The only way scrapers will stop if Google will stop rewarding them with Adsense dollars. It’s upto Google. There’s not much anyone else can do, except not reading scraped contents.

    • Lin says:

      It is absolutely up to Google to put a stop to this. Unfortunately, some people don’t know that they’re actually reading scraped or stolen content.

  3. Periapex says:

    I’m sure it takes lots of time and effort to research and create your posts. Understandably, it almost feels like a violation when you see your post elsewhere. Unfortunately it’s the nature of the internet that encourages this and I really don’t know what the solution could be.

    Plagiarism via the internet is a problem, not just for bloggers, but for educational institutions. It’s so very easy, these days, to get your hands on an essay or paper on pretty much any topic within a few minutes.

    • Lin says:

      Periapex, my college-aged son and daughter were just telling me about how plagiarism is running rampant in educational institutions. It’s ridiculous to me that when content theft is reported that Google doesn’t knock em over the head with a frying pan with tough penalties.

  4. Todd Morris says:

    Hi Lin,

    First off, I know how much work you put into your posts, and I understand completely how frustrating it must be to see them published elsewhere without permission.

    That being said …

    In the scheme of things, I’m having kind of a hard time seeing the down-side of your articles being posted on that elanso site.

    – There’s a followed link back to http://www.tellinitlikeitis.net right at the beginning of the page.

    – Each of the articles have at least 5 (and in some cases more) keyword targeted followed links back to your site; through the “similar posts” list at the end of each article.

    – As far as I can see, they even left all of your amazon affiliate links intact.

    Again, not to down play the fact that the site didn’t ask permission to republish your feed (although they do link to the CC license you have in your sidebar, and I’m honestly not sure they violated any of the provisions; unless you consider translation to be a derivative)

    … but I think if I were in your situation, I’d be trying to promote this elanso site, rather than get it banned.

    You’re getting some SEO value from the followed links. And, unless this elanso site ever outranks you for a specific search term that you’re targeting (which looks highly unlikely to ever happen) I can’t see any way that you’re losing any readers who would have found your site by some other means.

    True scrapper sites will post part of your article: “Lin made a great post about …. yada yada yada … read the rest of the article”.

    No upside at all for you when they republish your feed (especially since they also usually strip out all of your internal links).

    This elanso site, on the other hand, strikes me more like a directory … one that people might even willingly submit their blog feeds to. (in fact, I’d almost bet that your feed got there because someone who is a fan of your writing submitted it)

    Just my three pennies …

    Todd

    • Lin says:

      Hi Todd,

      I appreciate your view on this. If I had been given the “opt in” opportunity or choice to be included (or NOT), along with the ability to make reasonable restrictions on how much of my posts are used, I might feel a bit different about this.

      I HAVE found where Elanso HAS outranked my posts from time to time, and since they’re showing my posts in its entirely (as opposed to a short snippet paragraph with a “more” link), it bothers me a lot.

      I see no difference between Elanso posting all my posts in its entirety than other blogs who steal entire posts and put them on their own blogs as if it were theirs, not mine.

      Sure, there are some keyword targeted links in the posts that direct to my blog, but that in itself doesn’t mean this practice is ok or should be tolerated.

      For example, there was a time when the site fav.or.it.com used to have all my posts, images and comments in its entirety on their site, without my permission or consent. After contacting the site directly, I managed to get my blog “banned” from fav.or.it, which I couldn’t be happier about.

  5. One of the commenters on my post about internet theft said we shouldn’t get mad, just get even. He was right of course, but getting even is not always as easy as he made it sound, and not getting mad when you see your content has been stolen is also easier said than done. Thank you for the link!

    • Lin says:

      Hi Vered, I’ll have to check and see what he said about getting even. I doubt it’s quite as easy as it’s made to appear. Getting even (from my view) would be to get the s.o.b’s banned, but that’s just for starters. 🙂

  6. Janet Fox says:

    Content theft is serious business. Blatant plagiarism can still be easily spotted. But there are cases when people steal ur articles and blog posts, re-phrase and re-write it(i.e. include synonyms) and post is as their own. This absolutely gets on my nerves. Unlike blatant content theft, you cannot even ask Google to take any stern action.

    • Lin says:

      Hi Janet,

      Whether people refer to these situations as content theft, plagiarism, stolen content, splogging or scraping, it all boils down the same thing. Someone else is taking your original content and posting it as their own, and it makes me mad.

  7. wilson says:

    Oh my god, I’m feel so sorry for this unpredictable incident, Lin. It must be very terrible indeed!

  8. Quite frankly Google obviously don’t give a toss. They’re happy to come down heavy on easy targets when it suits them, but ignore the most flagrant abuse because it’s too much effort to actually sort it out.