Content Scraping a Form of Piracy or Flattery? - Broadley Speaking


Content Scraping a Form of Piracy or Flattery?



“Content scraping” means stealing original content from a website and posting it to another site without the knowledge or permission of the owner of the “scraped” content and some websites are able to drive a lot of traffic by scraping high-quality content. Many times the original author’s name is not mentioned, other times it is mentioned but without a clear attribution.
Search engines have not yet found a good way to filter out unique content from scraped content, so scrapers continue to scrape and the legislative framework is still very vague and opened to interpretations.

We recently found one piece of our original content (how to integrate SEO with other Marketing and PR functions) cut and pasted on other blogs without our knowledge. We work hard to add valuable content on our blog and seeing it word-by-word on other people’s websites is still an indication of the value we provide, but there is one rather annoying difference between the original text in our blog and the cut-and-paste text which appears on the Scrapers’ blogs: this latter is filled with ads, which is a way for the Scraper to make easy money using other peoples’ work.

If the scraping website has contact details, you can reach out and ask them to remove the scraped content but, in our case , no contact details are provided. Many of these scraping websites are sending spammy links and Google will penalise them sooner or later; just make sure you disavow any links your website should receive from scraping websites, or Google might penalise you, too.

Google used to have a content scraping tool to report any such cases but now it is no longer accepting submissions.

This is a fight we are not going to win until we have the proper legislative tools. In the meantime we can only quote Google itself: “Take the time to create original content that sets your site apart. This will keep your visitors coming back and will provide more useful results for users searching on Google”.