It seems like a lot of people are ripping off content from RSS feeds these days and calling it their own. A lot of sites scrape blog feeds so they can plaster their own Google ads on the site in hopes to make some easy cash off others content. This puts the scraper in an awkward legal position since in most cases an email to Google AdSense or their hosting provider can shut them down in a second. Their new strategy my allow them to get around any legal issues this time however.
The past few weeks I’ve noticed some of my content being scraped on the web but rather then the whole page, they just have the first 2-3 sentences and the title/permalink of the article. Not quoted mind you, but at least its not a full rip of the site and they do link back (with no follow links too – how rude). The scraper site then proceeds to integrate its Google AdSense ads into the page working off the content of 5-10 of these external link snippets.
This still kind of upsets me, as I’m sure it will other bloggers and content writers. Why? Because if they are scraping together crap sites and beating my ranking in Google just so they can redisplay my link then it takes that many more clicks for a user to get to the actual content they are looking for. Can anyone make an honest buck these days or are people just going to piggy back on the success of others forever? Ya, don’t answer that – its rhetorical.
Of course you could look at this in another light which might actually make it sound beneficial. If all the links on the scraped page are related then perhaps a user searching for something else you didn’t have in your first paragraph will bring up your site among the links thus resulting in a possible new visitor. However the benefits are few and far between since all the link backs they give are tagged as “no follow” links. If you were a nice blog you might consider giving back to your readers.
I guess I’m more interested to know how everyone else feels about this as I feel a bit biased since its engrained in me that blog scrapers = bad. If you have any thoughts or comments, please post them below.
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