Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Stealing Content (again)

I use Technorati to check who is linking to me and a few days ago I discovered something that I am getting quite alarmed about. Someone has apparently created a whole network of "psuedo-blogs" and are copying content from a wide variety of food blogs, including mine. They summarize what your post is about in a kind of weird way, and then give a link, (which does go to your blog) but the link is credited to Google Blog Search. It looks like the purpose is to get people to click on other links which are google search ads, but I can't find any contact information anywhere.

Here are some examples of their "blogs"

Salad Recipe



Cheesecake Recipe


Soup Recipe


South Beach Diet Recipe


Easy Recipe



There are at least 10 of these "psuedo blogs" with my content and maybe more. There are lots and lots of other blogs I recognize too who are also having their content used this way. In fact, in the short time I spent looking through their "blogs" I bet I saw 50 blogs that I recognized.

Advice? What can we do about this?

This Post was written by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen.

12 comments:

Joe said...

Kalyn,

I noticed the same thing with a number of recipes from our blog as well.

stephen said...

I don't see any ads on the site and they are linking to the original blogs so...where's the foul? (I'm always slow to figure it out when I'm being ripped off so please help me understand...

plum said...

Hi Kalyn - I was reading recently about problems bloggers were having with their material appearing on a site registered in the Ukraine. Charming, But Single posted this today about further problems and her current solution seems to be turning off her RSS feed and complaining again to Google Adsense.

http://charmingbutsingle.blogspot.com/2006/03/fyi-part-two.html

stephen said...

My understanding is that you don't have to turn off your RSS feed entirely (which would cut you off from all your Bloglines subscribers, and others who use similar services)...you just need to reset the feed to deliver a short excerpt, rather than the whole post -- since scrapers operate automatically, just taking whatever's in the feed, rather than manually, which would involve actual copy and paste from your site...again, I'm fairly clueless about these things so if I've got this wrong please, school me!

William I. Lengeman III said...

My site's probably not popular enough yet to merit this kind of attention, but I'm sure I'll get nailed eventually. I think the best you can do about this sort of thing is to limit your RSS feed, complain to the offender's hosting service - if applicable - and then forget about it.

Barbara said...

I feel lucky to have thus far avoided this sort of thing, but I agree wit Stephan--as shady-looking as this site is, I didn't see ads, and they do link back to the original site, so while I think it does look like "stealing" it appears to be that these folks are trying in an ass-backwards way to be some sort of aggregators.

Now, I could be wrong--this could be phase one: ads may be coming along shortly.

I don't know. But the site looks so shady, I can't imagine anyone being attracted to it to peruse it.

Kalyn said...

Thanks everyone for the advice. I wish I could say I was feeling better about it, but now I count 17 different psuedo blogs that have my stuff on them. I see more every time I check Technorati. I feel sure that ads are coming. And I don't really want to shorten my feed because when I read bloglines I hate having to click through to read the whole thing. It's a dilemma. I want to scream and complain and I don't really know who to complain to.

I also worry about whether having these crummy sites with so many outgoing links linking to me will screw up my google page rank or technorati rank. I'd love to hear from someone who understands how that works.

Erin Eats said...

I saw some of my stuff on some of those the other day, for now, it looks like it's just a recipe catalogue that only posts a snippet and takes you directly to the original post. I think it's just a sort of easy recipe finding system? I'm not really sure.

Andrew said...

Have you reported the sites to technorati? I did this some time ago with similar (although they full posts I think and ads) and, although technorati didnt reply, the listings disappeared soon after.

You need a reason though and as they give full link and only partial details of post there is no real reason fo rthem to be removed.

And for those going the partial feed route - many people will delete the feed if it is not full. I am one...

Kalyn said...

I just spent an hour on the phone with my brother/blog advisor exploring these links. Here's what we discovered. (If you click on one of the links I put in this post you can see what I mean.)

First, click on one of the psuedo "blog" links. Then click on Google Blog Search in the post. Then click on Related blogs. Bingo! You have now arrived at a page with all ads, no content and nothing else to click on. They are all sponsored by the same person. I don't know how they got them to come up at the top of the page on Google blog search, but for sure our blog content is being used to lead people to a page with ads.

We are still exploring what to do, but for one thing I am planning to report it to Google. This is absolutely a violation of adsense policy.

For those who are not paying much attention to this, I suggest you explore it more. I think most of you will find your blog is being pirated and used for this purpose.

paul said...

Can I suggest we take Kalyn's word for it and NOT click on this vulture's links. No reason to give them even one extra clickthrough and make them think this theivery is a worhty business plan.

deccanheffalump said...

Darn these people.I had mentioned a site called kitchencomputer.com on my blog some time ago, which has ripped off practically every food blog I know, with no link back to speak of.
How does one do the excerpt thing?