Can Google Really Stop Content Scraping?
If you have a website, content scraping and stealing is a major problem. What's Google's role in all of this and can they really deliver quality listings?
What The Heck Is A Tough Drive? (Can Google Really Stop Content Scraping?)
As a webmaster and e-marketer, article marketing is a vital part of my whole marketing strategy and I have been writing articles for over 6 years. Nothing ticks me off than seeing one of my original articles scraped and mutilated on the web. Yesterday, I came across another example.
Moreover, despite Google's recent crack-down on content farms and low quality content, they are still indexing scraped content... but can you really blame Google? Unless they have a thousand little Watsons in the background which can filter out gibberish content, you will always see rubbish listed. In other words, until Google's robots can intelligently read web content and judge its quality, then they will always have poor quality stuff in their index.
In the latest example, someone had scraped my content and then used article spinner software to made countless senseless changes, such as replacing "display resolution" with "show decision" and "hard drive" with "tough drive"... and they changed the whole concept of the article (Last Thing You Should Check Before Buying A Gaming Laptop) when they replaced "heat" with "warm"; which for some reason I found very amusing. However, this whole issue of content scraping is a serious problem and nothing less than the whole integrity of Google's Index is at stake.
Can Google really stop it?
Well, in the example above, not only was the scraped article/content displayed on a popular article directory (one which was hit hard by Google's recent Panda Update) but it was indexed by Google. More alarming the links in the resource box of my mutilated article were pointing to a site which was plastered with Google Adsense ads.
Even more alarming this site was listed in the Google SERPS for some very popular tech keywords. In the top five positions for some keywords. The content on the linked site was more readable and could possibly pass for acceptable information, at least it didn't have scrambled nonsense content like the scraped article. But it is clearly an Adsense Site - one that is mainly created to get clicks/revenue from Adsense.
Hopefully, Google will cut down on low quality content, but the above situation shows how difficult this job will be for Google. It also shows that Google's interests are squarely tied up in this daunting battle.
If a site itself has OK content but that person is using scraped material to build links to that same content which has Google Adsense Ads on it, what do you do if you're Google? How can they lower a keyworded domain which may have acceptable content and other valuable backlinks? Even if that site is monetized with Adsense - there is nothing basically wrong with this practice.
But it is an extremely tough call, especially when you have to consider, in the cut-throat world of lucrative keywords, someone could even try to sabotage another's top rankings by planting scraped content. Don't laugh, there are many "black hat" tactics being used to de-rank legitimate sites than many naive people would like to believe. Google has to have the judgment of Solomon in many of these cases just to figure out what's going on, never mind discovering the guilty party.
Moreover, if you have a high quality article or web content, you can be assured that it will be scraped and/or copied out-right from your site. This has been going on for so long and involves so many inferior sites... judging the original creator of this content can sometimes be very hard to do.
But is Google throwing out the baby with the bathwater?
If you check with all the fall-out from the latest Google Panda Update, many good high quality sites seems to have lost a lot of their U.S. traffic to what they believe are inferior pages and sites. Many legitimate sites feel they have become a casualty of all this duplicate and re-hashed content, especially major important article directories like Ezinearticles and Buzzle.
One key solution - Google should know who FIRST publishes content on the web. Its robots should know which site originally publishes a page or article on the web. Webmasters should make sure they have mostly unique content on their site. Many experts say you should place your own articles on your site for several weeks before you submit them to article directories. To be on the safe side, it is probably best to only place your promotional articles on article sites and NOT on your own site.
Which brings us back to our original question: Can Google really stop low quality and scraped content from appearing in its listings?
Again, it will be a very daunting task, judging the quality of any piece of content is extremely subjective and if we're not using human eyes and reasoning... that task becomes even harder. Until Google creates something like "a thousands little Watsons" which can intelligently and subjectively read web content the answer will have to be no. Even then you still have the problem of "spun" stolen content which the search engines would read as unique and index it.
As for figuring which site is the creator and owner of the original content, that should be a little more easier, since in most cases, the site publishing the content first will usually be the owner. All Google has to do is instruct its robots to note the date and site... then de-rank or penalize any page which copies that content, unless of course the article is linking back to the original site/owner of the article.
Regardless, as we are seeing with Google's latest update, honest webmasters who are doing their best to create quality content, just hope Google gets this right. Or we all will be wondering what the heck is a tough drive?
To check to see if your content has been copied use this site:
The author is a full time online affiliate marketer who operates numerous niche sites, including: marketing tools Titus Hoskins Copyright 2011.
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