Until today, I had no idea what "scraped" meant.
I have a Google Alert set up to search for certain keywords, like when my name or book is mentioned out in the ether. But every once in a while I find one of my blog posts copied almost VERBATIM on another blog with no information as to who the blog belongs to or why it exists.
With no way to contact the blog owner, I was forced to allow the piracy to continue. The occurrences were rare and random and sometimes they appeared to have been translated to another language and back to English. Surprisingly, this last one inadvertently gave me credit as the author, but only because my name was listed within the article.
Today I found out there are scraper bots that harvest information off blogs and re-post them on other blogs. According to BlogCoach these are completely robotic operations.
I generally delete my old Google alerts, but I decided to check out the most recent capture. I checked out the link yesterday morning and did some minor sleuthing.
I didn't get far but I promised myself I'd dig deeper when I got back to my computer that afternoon.
On my return, I discovered the blog was suspended. Hmm...
I will be keeping a much closer eye to my alerts from now on. I suppose it is a backhanded compliment that someone wants to steal my content, even if it is a robot. There's gotta be a human behind the curtain somewhere. I will be on the lookout for him from now on.
BlogCoach gave some good suggestions to dissuade these thieves which I will start to implement.
The one protection device I will not use is to truncate my blog posts. These show up as a headline or a short paragraph. To read the rest you have to go directly to the blog. I absolutely HATE this. I don't like being coerced to visit a blog. If you want people to read you, put it out there.
I put blogs on my Google Reader for my convenience. If you make it inconvenient for me you'll lose a reader, not gain one.
I'm sure people do the partial feed to protect themselves, but BlogCoach had much better ideas for that. From now on after every one of my posts I will place a copyright statement and try to add more links that come back to one of my older posts--at least for my favorite posts.
I'm glad people like the information I share, but please link back to it. There's no honor in stealing.
How about you? Have you had content stolen? Have you done anything special to protect yourself?
It's us against the bots and their despicable owners.
Copyright © 2009 Maria Zannini -- http://mariazannini.blogspot.com/.
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