I received the following e-mail:
From time to time I find a link back to a post I made (either on my WordPress dashboard or Technorati) in which the blog linking to me appears to be just links to other posts surrounded by Google ads rather than a real blog: there is no original content, just series of links and ads. Many times they use my name, but sometimes they have really weird names attributed as the author of my post. The link, however, does go back to my original post. I don’t mind when real bloggers link to me — I love it — but I don’t want my posts just used for ad revenue. Is there anything that can be done about this kind of thing or is it best just ignored?
What you are describing is called scraping and is illegal. Scraping is essentially stealing a blog’s content and using that content to gain revenue. Needless to say this hurts you because you are the owner of the stolen content, it messes up your search engine rankings, someone is making money off your content and it ain’t you, they may have content on their site that you wouldn’t approve of (including adult content), and they may link back to you thus reinforcing that you are associated with said inappropriate content. The list goes on and on.
I’m terribly sorry this is happening to you. It’s a practice that should not be ignored. Three things you can do are send an e-mail/letter to the offending site’s owner, contact the site’s ISP, and/or seek legal council. John-Paul Micek has an excellent article with more in-depth information on these three options. Be sure to read the comments because his readers offer even more advice.
Other articles to read:
- Four Ways to Enforce Your Copyright via SEOmoz
- Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act
- Copyright via Wikipedia
Not sure if you’re being scraped? You can try MyBlogProtector. Before you sign up, though, read their Terms of Agreement and Privacy Policies thoroughly to see if it’s the right site for you.
Some ways to help prevent scraping on your own site: