Scraper Sites Stealing Your Clicks and Cash

by Mike Chiasson on April 3, 2010

Today I want to vent really quickly on how much I hate the auto scraper sites. I really don’t see why Google can’t use their algorithms to basically kill them from the SERPs as to not steal everyone’s traffic. Tonight I was working on email campaign and wanted to see if I could do some more tracking within Aweber for my campaign and began a search on google for it. I basically searched Google for ‘how to track subid with aweber’. Google replied with a host of helpful results, one from Ian Fernando and then some others that looked right up my alley. The post that actually helped me was the 1 and 3 results. I quickly noticed that they were completely identitcal articles and upon reading it, I immediately recognized the post to be one from Jonathan Volk from a few months back.

Now this really gets me that a quality tip that JV posted months ago isn’t even in the top 3 pages but two auto scrape sites get 1 and 3 rankings. It really makes me wonder how much of our unique content out there is getting pushed down by the scraper sites. Unfortunately since Google and the likes are fully aware of these sites and choose to do nothing about it we are pretty much helpless. Now if you follow the affiliate industry enough you will find that most people dabble into this technique. I mean to be honest you would be stupid not to. You setup a dummy site scraping pages and you might get 10k hits a year or something from seo efforts (loosely used term) and that might turn into a couple hundred bucks in various ads or what not.

So it seems pretty obvious why people would set a site up that does this but how can we stop them? Well we really can’t stop them but there are a few suggestions for sure.

  1. Use FULL links to your site. Instead of having a page link to like ‘/pages/page1.html’ have it use a full URL link ‘’. This way atleast you will get some links pointing back to your site.
  2. Use good anchor text in your links. If they are going to rip your content you might as well use those links to your advantage. So instead of having a linked phrase like ‘click here’ try ‘Download My Super Secret XXXX product now’. Ok, so that link would be lame as hell, but you get the idea.
  3. Block outside image use from your site. Set your website not to allow displaying of your images on other people’s sites. This can save you a ton of bandwidth from the scrapers and maybe make their copy post look more useless, etc. I’ve even seen some people with sites setup to replace images linked off their server to other domains with spam things, so for example if a scraper site had an image on your domain displayed on it, it might actually show a giant ‘THIS PAGE IS SPAM VISIT [YOURDOMAIN.COM] FOR THE REAL PAGE. Once again you get the idea.
  4. Spam the spammers. I’ve talked to a few people on the forum who actually have made dummy posts that get syndicated by the spammers and then delete the post off their site before it gets aggregated to the search engines. You could for example have a massive page all about porn and post it, let it get reposted then delete it. I have no idea how effective this is as sandboxing a scraper site in google but nothing is funnier than seeing a WordPress based scrape site with recent posts titled ‘I hate White People’ ‘I’m a spammer and I probably killed my own mom’ etc.

So if you find yourself the victim of these sites, do what you can, because you really can’t do much.

About the author

Mike Chiasson Mike Chiasson is the Director of IT for a publicly traded company by day and an Internet Marketer by night. He absolutely hates the words 'serial entrepreneur' but loves discussions about business. You can follow him on Twitter.

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