If you write content, whether you write articles, blogs, website content – or content in various formats as I do – you’re probably the victim of content scraping, also known as splogging, or spam blogging. Basically, people scrape parts of, or entire articles & blogs, and use them as content on their own instantly content generated websites.
The reason I am writing this article, is to alert those who are using this method – who perhaps didn’t realize quite what they were doing. As I am finding that some people are being sold programs to do this, without fully realizing what they’re actually doing, and the possible implications for them.
EzineArticles (and other articles sites) clearly state that in order to publish an article on your website from EzineArticles, you must agree to publish the entire article including the resource box with the backlinks, and with no changes at all to the content. So, whether you’re scraping content from blog sites, or scraping parts of articles without the resource box – it’s theft, and you’re not likely to get away with it for long.
Hosts & ISP’s are concerned about this, and will take action if you pursue them – it does not take long at all, with most good hosts, for them to enforce their AUP (Acceptable Use Policiy) and close down a website.
If you steal people’s content, that they have worked long & hard to create – they are going to be very upset, and most will not even bother to contact you first to give you the option of making things right, they’ll go straight for your host, as well as attempting to get you banned from any of the partners you’re using to monetize the site, such as Google AdSense for example, Clickbank, or any other affiliate partner.
Personally, I spend time searching for websites that scrape my content – I email them first, if I get no response after a week then I do a Whois lookup & contact the host, and I’ll contact Google AdSense, PayPal, Clickbank, any other partner of the website to alert them of what is happening.
I did this the first time I started to search for people scraping my content, which was quite recently, and I was quite surprised to get what seemed like a very real apology from the website owner, who had bought into a piece of software with no idea that he was stealing content – that afternoon I went to his site again, and he had taken down every single page, as every page had been generated using content scraping.
It seems a lot of people are not meaning to steal content, they are buying into programs without fully realizing what they’re doing is wrong, and when they find out they are often horrified, and do take action straight away. Not all of them, of course there are some people who will be completely comfortable with what they’re doing, and will just do it for as long as they can before they get shut down.
So, if you are currently using content scraping and you didn’t realize what you were doing, stop now! If you were considering doing this, hopefully this auricle has helped to change your mind. And finally, if you’re a writer and you find people who are scraping your content – just send them an email first & give them the opportunity to realize they’re making a mistake, and to correct it, before taking further action.