I’m back! Thanks for dealing with my rant about scraping my site’s content. I’m happy to report the offending site has been taken down all is right with the world. For now.
I’d be naïve to think that this won’t ever happen to me again. Truthfully, blog content is commonly stolen (or scraped). The offenders could care less if you have copyrighted your content or that it is protected through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). They don’t care if you send leave nasty comments in all caps shouting at them to take down your work at the end of the stolen post. They often don’t have have a way for you to contact them…The About Me section is a dead link and there’s no e-mail address anywhere on the site or any info about the blog’s author. That’s because they don’t want to be found.
Over the past 2 weeks I’ve gotten many suggestions about how to combat blog scraping and also a lot of questions including:
When I started blogging, I wanted to know who was linking to me, talking about me, etc. and signed up for Google Alerts. Google crawls the web constantly and by setting up some search terms on Google Alerts, Google e-mails me every time my search terms pop up elsewhere on the web. Note: You can also have the alerts delivered via feed to Google Reader.
There are currently 6 types of alerts that you can set up- news, web, blogs, comprehensive, video, and groups. The most useful ones to me are web, blogs, and comprehensive. A web or blog alert comes when the search term you have entered come up in results from a Google Web or Google Blog search. A comprehensive search pulls results from news, webs, and blogs and provides maximum coverage. You determine how often you want the alert to come. I prefer daily but only get an e-mail if a search term is found.
Is Google Alerts perfect? No. Since I have search terms with multiple words (Tech Savvy Mama, Little Miss Techie, Captain Computer) it will return results when a post or any news article contains all three words in a single piece or writing. Sometimes I will get an alert from other sites that feature my button or when one of my posts is featured in Widgetbox on someone else’s site. I don’t mind the extra e-mail though since I prefer to know what’s out there that might relate to me.
Will it always find your content in a timely manner? Sometimes. Usually after I publish a new post, Google is great about sending back an alert telling me that they found some of my stuff. I’ve also found that I get immediate alerts sent the same day when a site has published a post linking to me and mentioning my name. However, it was a couple weeks into the month of August before I got an alert that another site was running my content. Better late than never though since I am much happier to have known late than not at all.
How was I able to get the site taken down? Persistence and luck because the offending site was a Blogspot blog. And to make matters worse, a Blogspot ad running Google AdSense. Meaning that offending site was trying to make money from the stolen content. Gah!
Anyways, Blogspot is owned by Google and they frown on copyright violation Google has a form for bloggers to fill out when their content has been scraped.
I filled out the Google form, listed the URLs of my 12 stole posts, and 2 days later I got an e-mail that they had taken down the post. I was thrilled with the speed at which they processed my request but really? 1 post out of 12?!? And 2 had pictures of my kids! I hit reply, started by thanking them for their speed in handling the matter, and then listed the URLs of all of my posts before hitting send. 2 days later another e-mail. Again, only 1 post deleted! This time I replied, again starting with thanks, and then reverted to bad netiquette and writing most of the rest of my email in CAPS telling them it was my 3rd request, listing all the URLs, angry that pictures of my kids were being reposted, and that it was time to take the site down.
And they did. Hooray!
I’d be naïve to think that this won’t happen again. Truthfully, it probably will but for now I can blog without a huge pit in my stomach thinking that whatever I write will be lifted by someone else without my permission.
There are probably tons of other ways or services you can search for your content if you are a blog publisher but honestly, Google Alerts made it pretty easy for me.
If you are a blogger, please feel free to share any tips you have for others! Thanks!
This post was written in the interest of sharing. No compensation was received for promoting Google services through this post.
Original post on Tech Savvy Mama. No scraping!
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama