Hit Scrapers Where It Hurts: Adsense

By Daniel Scocco

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article titled “Google Ranking Scraped Material on Top?,” where I described that for very narrow search terms Google was ranking splogs and content scrapers before the original content.

By the time I was not sure about the best approach to combat these forms of plagiarism and content theft. Filling a DMCA, as Google suggests, is a laborious process (you even need to send documents via fax…).

Reading through the comments, though, I came across some solid advice from Andy Beal. Andy was basically suggesting to report an Adsense TOS infringement instead of filing a DMCA.

Getting someone that is violating copyright kicked out of Adsense should be faster and easier than getting the content removed from an anonymous blogger account (despite that being the optimal situation).

In order to report the Adsense account of the scraper you just need to click on the “Ads by Google” link that appears on all Adsense units.

googleadsensereportlink.png

On the footer of the following page you will see a link saying “Send Google your thoughts on the site or the ads you just saw.” Just click there and follow the instructions.

googlereportadsensecopyright.png

I started to to employ this method with some sites that are copying my content on a consistent basis, and I will keep you guys updated on the results that I will get.

Have you had any luck combating scrapers? What methods did you use?



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48 Responses to “Hit Scrapers Where It Hurts: Adsense”

  • Renee

    I have spent too much time on trying to figure out how to prevent it, and what to do about it. In my case, the plagiarism is blatant, and has continued. But then, the thief also puts his own blog (with my articles) on Stumbleupon claiming it’s the best and has claimed it on Technorati. Humorously, he takes a well known newsfeed, which carries my articles, removes original information and voila! We now have a Blues Expert that Google adores.

  • medyum

    I recently had a situation in which I found one of my articles copied word for word. I decided to make a post about it and direct the copier to my post. Eventually, he removed the copied content, gave me a permanent link back (not sure of any value in that yet), posted a public apology on his own blog, and sent me a gift certificate for Amazon.com large enough to do some fun shopping with. In the end, I feel like I made out pretty well this time. If we could only be so lucky all the time.

  • Scott

    I had this exact problem and I think this is the most effective method. For one thing, the sites not only steal my content, but running Adsense on an alcohol-themed site is also against TOS apparently. Double whammy for them! Thanks for the tip!

  • joe gelb

    are these scraper sites linking out or are they grabbing that content and keeping the system closed?

  • Ben Moreno

    I had this happen a couple times where sites republished my full articles. Some of them had links back to my homepage so i didn’t really mind.

    At the time I was not aware of the no follow rule so now that I know that it does kind of bother me.

    Based what I read it sounds like there is not much you can do about it though.

  • Michael Clark

    Re: Anonymous Bloggr: You should have your lawyer (legal counsel) file on your behalf. Your lawyer can keep your identity secret. Or you could assign your rights to someone that does not mind being identified with your writings; and have them file the complaint. IANAL.

  • anonymous bloggr

    Hello!

    I have a splogger stealing entire articles–title and all content word for word.

    It’s clearly a violation, right? I alerted google.

    Problem is, you can’t file a DMCA complaint without giving your full name and address. I am an anonymous blogger.

    I assume the complaint with identifying information is passed on to the person being complained about. In some cases they even post it on chilling effects.

    I blog anonymously for legitimate reasons. Is there any way I can file a complaint and protect my identity???

    Thanks!

  • Jim

    Complaining about copyright only results in you being asked to submit a DMCA notice. I’m trying the AdSense policy option instead, on the basis: “No Google ad may be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant” to complain about an obvious Google Ad farm on this domain: kittann.com (it has lots of sub domains with blogs that scrap content).

  • Alyk

    Just a quick 7-day update:

    I report every stolen post using this method and still no response: the scraper site still uses my content.

  • Michael Clark

    I submitted a splogger that was scraping my site via the “Ads by Google” link. I got an email back that said I needed to fax the documentation to them, basically file a formal DMCA complaint. I did that. And nothing happened. The splog got stopped when their web host finally turned off the web site, two weeks after I filed a DMCA complaint with them.

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