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  1. #1
    Millionaire on training wheels Justdoit's Avatar
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    How paranoid are you about other people knowing your sites and what lengths would you go to to avoid them being discovered? Especially for those of you who are making good money, and how can you really trust people. Just curious since I had a little site no more than 100 pages advertising so far at a ppc only and found out that most of it had been copied, dumbass forgot to change the referral links though. Needless to say, scrapped that site and doing it under a different domain. How far will you go to avoid being discovered?

    Of all the things I've ever lost ... I miss my mind the most!

  2. #2
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    I am more paranoid of the people that I actually know - such as friends, ex-coworkers, etc. stealing my ideas and/or websites. I don't tell anyone what I do or the urls to my sites unless it is my boyfriend or mother. I say that I do web design and advertising and leave it at that. I learned the hard way. You tell people what you do then you have every Tom, Dick, and Harry wanting you to show them how to do it and wind up recruiting your own competition. Either that or doing everyone elses work plus yours because most people are too freakin lazy to learn how to do it themselves - they want a damn handout.

    As far as people on the web stealing your sites - that is kind of hard to prevent. I have not had that happen - thank goodness. I would be pissed. I know some people have a code on their site whereas it don't allow you to read the source code. I would report the person to their isp that the domain is registered under.

    "Not until you open your eyes, will you see the pot at the end of the rainbow - So Dream Big or Don't Dream at All"

    JadaKiss

  3. #3
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    That really sux. They are lazy and stupid as well!!

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I build my sites from scratch. The coding I use is unique, some would say time consuming and inefficient. But it enables me to make my mark on my sites. I don't think anyone else would want to copy my sites, as it is more time consuming to maintain them this way. But it works for me.

    Face it though, your site is out there available for everyone to see. If you want to figure out someone's secret, it's not hard to do. The difference is what you do with that knowledge. To just copy their site and put your name on it is wrong. And (per SSanf) lazy.

    But to understand WHAT makes it work, WHY it works, and HOW to make it work for you is a challenge. There are only so many ways to build a successful site, and what works for others may not necessarily work for you. But there are key ingredients that have to be in place on all successful sites.

    I'd be interested to know if the copied sites make any money for the thief. I doubt it. The fact that some bozo doesn't even bother to change the links after copying it shows they aren't too concerned about the money. SSanf said it best: they're lazy.

    I've noticed a pattern to some of the successful sites. Once you figure it out, you just have to revise it and find a way to make it work for you. There's nothing wrong with looking at someone's coding, or link structure as long as you don't copy it. I look at lots of sites, and note the one or two things about each that I really like, as well as the things I don't like. Then I try to find a way to merge all of the points onto one page. Often you can't, but in the process of doing so you discover other things that work better for you, which gives you a unique design.

    After all, someone had to come up with the menu on the left side of the screen first. Lots of sites use that now, because people seem to like it and it's convenient, but that doesn't mean everyone has copied from the original. After all, there are just so many places one can place a menu on a site.

    I can understand the owner not wanting to reveal the name of a successful site in a venue such as this one, but the fact is, it's not a secret: it's out there, available for viewing 24/7, unless a server goes down.

    You just have to have respect for others hard work, and do your own thing. Make your own mark on your site. Anything that's worthwhile is worth doing yourself, and it's a good feeling to learn successful strategy on your own.

    I am not completely paranoid, but also don't want to advertise my sites either. That's looking for trouble. All too often we've seen someone take advantage of another's generosity here. Unfortunately, that does tend to spoil it for some of the others, who are here to genuinely learn the ropes of affiliate marketing.

    I hope the desire to coach and help others learn outweighs the fear of being copied, though. There is a lot of good advice here. You just have to set aside time to read through it all. It's amazing what has been archived here over the past year.

    Andy

  5. #5
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    I won't announce my URL in a room full of 5,000+ competitors.

    But. If you do your job right, you end up in the top of the search engine results and that makes you an instant target for theives -- both those who outright steal... and those who pretend they're "just getting ideas" by "looking at other peoples' sites" and who then "borrow" heavily. [edited to add: the previous statement was NOT written in response to Andy's message -- his message had not posted at the time I started writing mine.]

    At this stage, I'm pretty much clear that the thieves are part of the business -- do what you can to protect your site (and go after the thieves), just don't allow those pursuits to become your Business.

    Because "hunting down thieves" and "making sure no one steals your site" just don't pay diddly. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

    [This message was edited by Cedric on August 24, 2002 at 11:40 AM.]

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Because "hunting down thieves" and "making sure no one steals your site" just don't pay diddly. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The first part of that pays in emotional satisfaction. I find it REALLY satisfying to send a revealing note to the host of a thief's site.

    The second part is like paying for insurance. Of course it doesn't pay diddly, it's an expense. One I gladly pay considering the alternative.

    Ray

    Finally figured out why people spend $2.00 apiece on those
    little bottles of Evian water. Just spell it backwards for the answer.

  7. #7
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    &gt;&gt;I find it REALLY satisfying to send a revealing note to the host of a thief's site.&lt;&lt;

    Sure, it is! But when the host then does nothing? And their upstream service provider does nothing? That's NOT so satisfying and it can lead to a career of chasing down thieves.

    &gt;&gt;Of course it doesn't pay diddly, it's an expense.&lt;&lt;

    Right. And there comes a point when it is more costly to defend your copyright than it is to do business. At that point, you have to decide which it is you want to do.

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Cedric wrote:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> and those who pretend they're "just getting ideas" by "looking at other peoples' sites" and who then "borrow" heavily. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I know Cedric posted his message wasn't in response to mine, but I just want to make sure everyone understands that I'm not saying it's OK to borrow heavily from other sites.

    What I'm saying is there are going to be things that you like, whether it's the font used somewhere, the background color of a table, etc. Lots of sites will use the exact same fonts, colors, and to a degree, layout. How much can you change the basic layout of a site? The header is up top, menu to the left, content/text to the right of the menu, a banner here or there, and a footer at the bottom.

    There are millions of minor variations, and all can be considered unique to a point, but it's the overall way it's done, the way different components are assembled, and the wording used in the text, that is unique.

    I think we all take things away from the sites we visit, whether we realize it or not. I do not borrow heavily from other sites. I note what I do and do not like about various sites and use that as a basis to create my own design. Just because I saw someone use Copperplate Font on a site and liked it, doesn't mean I'm copying their site if I later use it as well. I also might shy away from using a bright yellow or green background somewhere because I didn't like the way it looked on a site I visited.

    By taking notes, I don't mean I bookmark that site to refer back to later; I make a mental note that I really liked a particular font or use of a color in a background somewhere.

    Anyway, I don't want to start a war or anything. I'm not condoning copying or borrowing of ideas, but I don't see anything wrong with remembering a font or color that looked good either.

    Andy

  9. #9
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    I understand what your saying Andy.

    I think we're all criminals of looking at webpages, we're all experienced surfers here.


    I think very few people actually "Steal" as a whole.



    I don't advertise that's for sure. I'm not making it a huge secret either. I don't do much link exchanges especially on a forum like this. I'm sure if people wanted to find out bad enough they could figure it out, but I'm not going to give it away either.

    Most people that make "tons" over $10, 0000 have more than one site, usually several. So if something was too get copied, chances are only be 1 site.

    If you sit at a term of the top 1 for a good keyword in Google, your bound to be set up, as the rest scrabble to figure out what you've done. It comes with the territory.

    I treat the "real world" differently than the "virtual world"

    As far as people in the real world, I'm not too scared, I don't tell anyone what I make a month, except my husband. I don't want them to "make me a site" thing or create myself more competition. I will tell them the websites I have that are advertised on my jeep, and they're happy with that knowledge.

    I even have some family (inlaws) that don't believe I make a dime, or very little. Which I am happy about, the less people that know the better. After all I only make $5.00 per month ( or is it $50,$500 or $5000 or $50, 000)

    People it seems think this is "easy money" around me, and I don't want family bums, harrassing me. to either build for them, or borrow easy money.

    At the end of the year, I'll see I met my year end goal or not.

    ------------------------------------------------------------Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open. Thomas Dewar

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I agree with a lot of what Canfree says. I don't do many link exchanges either and wouldn't put any revenue-related URLs on a forum full of competition!

    Even though the sites are right up there on Google, that's only half the story-the public half. The other half is if the sites are making any *money*, etc.--and THAT info is NOT available at Google.

    So even though detective work can find out practically any URL, I don't *reveal* mine. As for the purposes of getting legitimate (as in, they may BUY something) traffic, that's different. Advertising a site to the general public doesn't reveal whose site it is, or whether it's making any money. In other words, without that other info it's just another listing, or just another banner ad.

    As for making it a "huge secret", my own sites are no huger of a secret than the next person who won't tell his/her URLs...

    As for physical-world advertising, I haven't put the URLs on my car but that's mainly because it's sitting in the driveway most of the time so there's no real point in it!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> But when the host then does nothing? And their upstream service provider does nothing~Cedric <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's still only 2 prongs of Getting a Thief. Don't forget about "CONTACT THE MERCHANTS"! If even a few good performers drop the thief, the thief's possible revenue has just plunged. And not only that, the thief is Out of Luck if he would like to promote those merchants differently later.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> People it seems think this is "easy money" around me, and I don't want family bums, harrassing me. to either build for them, or borrow easy money.~Canfree <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I hear that! It IS "easy money" once the principles are mastered, but that doesn't mean I want to become the family charity. Plus, lending money only stirs up resentment and strife anyway, especially if it's not paid back, or if suddenly the "tap" gets turned off. Better not to turn that tap on in the first place...

    There is no knowledge that is not power.~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  11. #11
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I don't worry about it at all but I would take action if someone did steal my content. No one in their right mind would bother stealing my sites though. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]

    A little less talk and a lot more action.

  12. #12
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    It depends completely on the nature of the site. I have a dozen sites no one here is aware of. But I also have Elbow Creek Magazine, www.elbowcreek.com , which I feel by it's nature is not very copyable: If someone copies that site, it is going to be *very* obvious, and I will be able to sic 20 or so unemployed, p***** off writers on you.

    One rule to live by in this world: Do not p*** off people who enjoy spending HOUR upon HOUR writing essays, lololol...

    I drank what?? -Socrates

  13. #13
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    &gt;&gt;That's still only 2 prongs of Getting a Thief. Don't forget about "CONTACT THE MERCHANTS"! &lt;&lt;

    As long as you don't expect more than 1% of the merchants to do ANYTHING, that shouldn't be too frustrating. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  14. #14
    Millionaire on training wheels Justdoit's Avatar
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    Well looks like this turned out better that I hoped it would.
    Turns out the bonehead who copied my little site is hosted at the same provider. All it took was one phone call this morning and their site was offline within the hour.
    This bonehead even had the nerve to write to me after if was taken offline to let me know that since my site was on the net it was public domain and it was okay to copy since he liked the template I used to make the site.
    Someone needs to get a life!
    This however makes me really leary about telling anyone anything about what I do, or where the sites are. Glad to see I'm not the only one who feels this way.

    Of all the things I've ever lost ... I miss my mind the most!

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Even though the sites are right up there on Google, that's only half the story-the public half. The other half is if the sites are making any *money*, etc.--and THAT info is NOT available at Google. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Exactly - the only way you can know if a site is making money is if it's yours, or the site owner reveals the information to you. A top listing in the SE's doesn't guarantee big bucks.

    That's why I doubt many site copiers make any money from the copied sites. They don't know everything they need to know to be successful. You can't get that from copying someone else's work, and the only way to learn is by trial and error. When you find the components that all work together, you have to be able to identify why they work. Then you can make good money.

    Over the last 6 months, I've been playing with 4 different revenue pages to determine what they need to have to get a top listing in the SE's, and convert well. After countless changes to them, 2 of them are now in the Top 5 for their keywords. The other 2 are in the Top 20, so they need more work. Now I have to see if they will convert, so I'm going to give them a few weeks and if they just sit there, I'll know I need to make more changes to them to make them sell without affecting ranking.

    And that's kind of a precarious situation, since often the changes made to make them better sales pages do hurt the ranking. Good sales pages that are listed on Page 10 of Google still won't sell, because no one will find them.

    I sometimes click through a few of the first pages though when I'm searching for something, and I often find good sites listed on Page 2, 3, or 4. I don't often go above 5 though.

    Andy

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