Google’s ranking algorithms are not perfect as we all know, but there’s one deficiency that guaranteed to make your blood boil…
A spammer, or some web scraper robot, comes along to your site, scrapes all of your unique content, publishes it on their site, and then Google can’t always determine who exactly is the original author of that content and who is ripping it off.
If the spammer’s domain is older and more authoritative than yours, Google could decide that YOU’RE duplicating THEM!
And your site’s rankings could drop as a result!
That’s even if you’re using Google Authorship to tell Google what content is yours (though this step does make the above scenario much less likely).
It’s happened to me in the past and I complained about it to Google.
You can always fix this problem by reporting the spammer’s site, or rewriting your own content, but that costs you time and money – you still end up out-of-pocket because someone stole your content.
Prevention, as with most things, is the much easier and better option.
I just came across a WordPress plugin called ScrapeBreaker that helps prevent two of the common kinds of scraping techniques, that grab and republish your site’s content.
What’s more is it’s free and you can read the full description on the above page in the WordPress plugin repository.
Install it through your WP admin panel like any other plugin.
To quote the developers…
Website scraping comes in two forms:
1) sites that place your content in frames on their site, and
2) server-side scripts that get the contents of your page and insert them into another page using, PHP, ASP, etc, making it look like the scraper site created the content.
This [plugin] will test to see if your content is present on a different domain, and if so, will redirect to the original content’s URL.
ScrapeBreaker is not guaranteed to protect you against every type of content stealer out there. But since it has no adverse affect on your site, and could prevent common attacks, there’s really no reason not to install it on sites you care about (particularly new ones, where you have a lot of unique content out there on a new domain without much authority).
Give it a shot. It’ll help protect your intellectual property!
Filed under: Building WordPress Blogs