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  1. #1
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    Are all screen-scrapers the same?
    I always thought that 'screen-scrapers' stole my page, repackaged it as theirs and put some (unknown to me) link on the page so that they got the commission. I just went to a couple to look and I find they put a few Google ads up ahead of a short list of affiliate links with (at least in my case) a good, Google-like synopsis of what is on my page - fairly tastefully done. Their link to my page leads directly to my page with my links intact. So they appear as a subset of Google leading to my links - is that a really bad problem or am I missing something?

    Charles

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    They are not advertising your site via PPC, if you click on the ads, they don't go to your site at all, they go directly to the merchant (after routing off a dummy site). Please visit the thread about the "Scraping Cloaking Affiliate Gets Caught...etc" there are links there to helpful information. Your content has been scraped to use for DTM PPC and you can lose your page rank for it. It should be reported to Google as Link Spam and to your network.

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I just went to a couple to look and I find they put a few Google ads up ahead of a short list of affiliate links with (at least in my case) a good, Google-like synopsis of what is on my page - fairly tastefully done. Their link to my page leads directly to my page with my links intact. So they appear as a subset of Google leading to my links - is that a really bad problem or am I missing something?
    It's probably Google-like because they scraped Google! Or some other SE.

    There ARE a few types of scraper sites--they do NOT all follow 2busy's explanation. 2busy actually gives them too much credit! There are a whole lot of wannabe-blackhats who buy some cheap software that does exactly what you just described, and think that's all there is to it. It's the BH equivalent of expecting to get rich off a banner farm--only, they decide that maybe 1000 banner farms might be a good idea. Remember, there are always way more n00bs in any field than there are people with skill!

    I can't *guarantee* that this explanation is a match, since I haven't seen the site in question, but: What you're describing sounds exactly like a fairly typical MFA (made for adsense) setup that uses "content" scraped right off of some SE. There may or may not be other advertising present. Sometimes the scraped SE is Google, but some of this type of scraper prefer to use weenie engines like Gigablast instead.

    And, some of them DO actually link to your site, probably to make them look like real "directory" pages. Or maybe it's just scrapers who haven't thought of, or don't know how to do, more shady stuff yet. I'm sure that somewhere out there, there's a "canned" software that makes these things.

    I do know that there's more than enough of 'em...I've checked my sites with Yahoo's link: tool and gotten pages and pages of results. All from that junk. So there are plenty who do link.

    But, they are a problem, sometimes a big one. Just not for the reasons that seem to be expected!

    They're like zebra mussels. One mussel doesn't do much. It's the fact that they eventually collect into THOUSANDS that's the problem! Then when the SE algo runs on your site, they see you have your 20-100 or so quality links...and hundreds and hundreds of no-quality links. IMO this does dilute the benefit of the good links, just because there's such a vast preponderance of junk!

    To eliminate this kind of problem takes a bit of ingenuity, and a lot of time. Their bot doesn't come to YOU, it comes to some engine, so banning it from your site(s) won't work. You need to figure out what engine they're getting your snippets from. And if it's not one of the big 3, ban THAT bot. Eventually, that engine will drop you, and when the scraper finally refreshes his/her page, your snippet disappears. Problem is, neither the weenie engines nor the scrapers do many updates.

    Prevention is the best medicine for this particular variety. For that, I can offer a 2-word suggestion.
    BAN GIGABLAST and any other weenie little engine that doesn't send you a significant amount of traffic. Keeping your snippets off of engines that don't help you lessens the chance of them ending up on those pages. Of course, if the scraper goes for G, you're SOL, unless you think your face will look better with the nose cut off it...

    If you look for some scraper threads from about 2 years ago (or maybe 3), you should be able to find some complaints about this particular variant of scraper. It was really prevalent for a while around then, or at least, making posts about it was.
    Last edited by Leader; March 30th, 2008 at 06:46 PM.

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