Protect Yourself

Have you ever Googled yourself or something you wrote, only to find that your content was on someone else’s site, and it ranked higher than yours?

You’re not alone. And Google is trying to do something about these “scraper” sites.

Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, tweeted this on Friday:

The link in his tweet takes you to a form that says:

“Google is testing algorithmic changes for scraper sites (especially blog scrapers). We are asking for examples, and may use data you submit to test and improve our algorithms.”ย 

Provide the URL for your original content as well as the URL for the scraper site. But keep in mind,ย  this link doesn’t flag the site’s content. To make the alternate site go away you’ll have to report a copyright infringement.

Yes, it’s a bit of work. But in the long run, you’ll help Google better monitor the content thieves AND you’ll be protecting your work. Definitely worth the time.


And now, the winner of RIPPLE by Mandy Hubbard is:

Congrats, Susan!!! Email me with your snail mail address and I’ll get this book out to you.

Check back next week for another fabulous giveaway. Trust me, you’ll want this book. I won’t tell you the title, but I will say that when Echo from the Book Loft put it in my hands, I literally started squealing. It’s the lead title for Penguin’s fall releases and it’s already been optioned for a movie. It doesn’t come out until November, but you’ll have a chance to win a copy here.

Enough hints? Check back next week to see if you’re right!

20 thoughts on “Protect Yourself

  1. Yay! I won! *woot*

    And I'll admit I haven't paid that much attention to “scraper” sites. Has this happened to you? I know I keep coming up in those “Newspaper” sites that collect a bunch of articles together. Is that the same thing?

    Thanks for the heads up! (and the book!!!)

  2. Susan: Congrats!!

    Newspaper sites are fine as long as they point back to you as the originator. Scraper sites are different because they post the content as if they wrote it with no link back to you.

    Anne: I've had this happen with my blog articles and it recently happened with a video my daughter posted. I'm glad there's a way to alert Google.

  3. Matthew: I had no idea it was her birthday! Thanks for letting me know. And Happy Birthday, Susan!

    MG: I found out through a Google alert that led me to a site where a post of mine showed up. My daughter found hers through a straight Google search. It's annoying that people steal content that way.

    Beth: It probably gets harder to monitor as more stuff is available on the internet with your name attached. You would have to sift through pages of perfectly legitimate content if you Googled your name because there's so much out there about you and your books.

    Elana: You would be hard to keep track of. You're everywhere!!

    Krispy: Yes, I am a bit of a tease but the ARC for this book is a hot commodity right now ๐Ÿ™‚

    Christina: The content they steal can be so random, too. It isn't necessarily your best post or your most popular ones. Highly annoying.

    Susan: Just one more thing to watch out for on the internet!

  4. Interesting! I hadn't heard of the term “scraper” before! How would you search for your content, I wonder? Type in an identifiable phrase or something?

    Gosh, I have to admit, I'm not sure I have time to do random checks like that, but I'm glad Google is taking the problem seriously!

  5. Karen: I discovered my content on another site because I have a Google alert set to Solvang and they were dumb enough to take a post where I talked about Solvang. Other posts have probably been taken as well. But nobody can check everything on the web. The problem just surfaced for me since there isn't that much being written about Solvang on a daily basis ๐Ÿ™‚

    Dianne: Most people find out they've been scraped by accident. I just found out because they stole a Solvang post of mine and it's not a widely discussed topic ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like you said, I wouldn't have time to police the internet for all my content. But when I find sites that have stolen my words, I most certainly plan to report them.

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