Content theft has been around ever since the inception of the Internet, but in the early days people would take content others had written and claimed it as their own. Now stealing blog content, or blog scraping, doesn’t sound like much, but it’s why they’re stealing it and what they’re doing with it.
Last night I posted about things to make you think and it wasn’t even seconds after I posted it that I noticed on my blog stats page a link back to the article and thought, hmm, that’s quick. But when I followed the link, I noticed some obscure blog site with my exact post (word for word, including pictures).
When I looked around their site I noticed different content in different languages from different blog posters, and what made my suspicious were the additional links to keywords like “adult”, “porn”, “sex” on the right as well as medicine keywords (levitra soma tramadol) at the bottom of every post with links to an online pharmacy website to purchase them and then the penny dropped. They’ve scraped (to date) almost 27000 blog posts with any kind of content and added their keywords with links to the pharmacy websites which when indexed by Google will enable their links to come up higher in the results as they receive higher page ranks.
For people who host their own blogs and have to pay for their bandwidth, beware and look at ways to prevent their IPs from accessing your sites and put in redirects if the referring site is theirs so that they can’t leech your content from your website. They’re not the only ones or the first to do it – there are many out there.
Another way they make their money is through AdSense on Google, there are steps you can take but it’s a laborious process.
Here’s another great post about blog scraping, what it is and what you can do.
Plagiarism Today is also another blog by a concerned citizen trying to do something about it.
I hope this post helps other new bloggers (like myself) understand what’s happening and why.
Another useful post from Sean on his blog here – and in his comments below mine (before I did more research and posted this post).