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Troy

What to Do When Another website Steals Your Content

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I couple of days ago I noticed a newly created domain has copied my site: http://aalbc.com.  The offending site, created last week, is http://noturmomsfish.com. I noticed this because it is generating a large number of requests for my ads.  

Some may argue that this is a good thing because my content  and ads are being is being displayed in more places and I'm generating more ad views which means more money.  Actually this is the exact opposite of good.

On may 18th one page on this site generated over 17,000 ad views.  This type of activity, left unchecked could get me dropped from Google's Advertising network, which would materially impact my business.

Besides, I can't have another site spoofing my content; this is bad for branding, it is terrible for SEO, besides I have no idea what the ultimate intentions are of the people who set this up, but I'm pretty confident they are not good.

The software developer for my ad server Renegade Internet provided these tips.   I'm sharing them here because the World Wide Web is like the Wild Wild West there are no rules that are not unbroken and there is no one responsible for ensure people work together. This is why I'm always writing about the importance of working together.

This kind of thing happens all of the time, to varying degrees.  In fact a few years ago a very large site wn.com apparent business model was to copy content from other website and serve a ton of ads.  They only copied excerpts and even linked back to the source, but they did not generate their own content.  This site copied countless pages of content from my site.  The worse part was that they were beating me in search results on my own content!  Which cost me real money for a many months.

Ultimately after getting beat up by webmasters like myself Google updated their algorithm and essentially put these site types of sites out of business, but at the same time I also believe they hurt Black newspaper sites because they all rely heavily on wire services that all the other uses which makes these sites carbon copies of each other.  But again I digress...

So how do I stop this from happening?

  1. Contact the website owner Sent them a cease and desist letter. You can usually find the website's owner by doing a whois lookup. In my case the web owner has hidden their contact information privacy protected, (no surprise there)
  2. Contact hosting company and asked them to take down the site because it was hosting stolen/copyrighted material.  In my case the web hist is Amazon.  Now this is surprising because I full expected a non-american company.  A company like Amazon is very likely to take care of matters like they provide a form for reporting abusive website they host: https://aws.amazon.com/forms/report-abuse
  3. Report the offending site to Google and request that they remove this site from their index.  Google provides information on how to report malicious websites here: https://support.google.com/legal/answer/3110420?rd=1  In my case the site is too new to have been indexed by Google's search engines.  But I'll report them nonetheless and hopefully preempt and potential damages.
  4. I also stopped my advertisements from being displayed on bogus domain to prevent my website from running afould of Google Advertising Network policies.

There are no guarantees here and I'll let you know how I make out. 

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The site is already down so good job on that. There isn't much you can do, but your advice is proactive and helps. I caught this happening when I was visiting my Google dashboard for adsense and saw a site listed as one of mine that I didn't create. I guess being vigilant is the only key. We have to keep checking and updating our info in order to see the offending sites. Sharing work with a redirect is one thing. Copying with the intent to generate ad revenue is another. That's why I hate those assholes who sit around telling people to build sites strictly for affiliate marketing. 

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Actually the site is still up; I inadvertently picked up the period when creating the hyperlink.  Here is the correct URL http://noturmomsfish.com/

At this point the site is serving my ads with my ad code, so any revenue should flow to me, but again that is for right now.  Tomorrow the site could serve malware and victims might assume it is me. Again I don't really know what the ultimate motives of these people are, but it can't be good.

Another problem is that I have linked to the domain and have visited the site several times.  Lets assume I had not taken the actions of reporting the site to Amazon and Google, and that this was replicated against hundreds or thousands of other domains; this could be a great to generate traffic and backlinks to a new domain.  I've seen similar scheme work.

Those affiliate sites only work for the people selling them and they definitely degrade the web, fortunately Google deals with these sites quite effectively. 

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I noticed before, it had the period - I removed it and entered the correct address but when I go to the link I don't see aalbc .   So you're correct something malicious is underfoot..  If you have dropbox I will share with you the screenshot - so you can see what I see.  

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Hi Mel, I'm sure I see the same thing you see. Since they copied the page completely along with the code, I'm able to prevent them from displaying the content on their website by preventing that specific rogue domain from displaying content served from my website. 

I'm afraid if I got rid of too much Amazon would not have enough to go on.

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Just saw the Kam and Djimon interview there... that's crazy!!!!! But I've found sites with my shoes on them, with reviews and other information. The www is still the Wild Wild West so it's best to be vigilant and stay on top of it. 

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