Anyone who has been blogging for more than 90 days or so has likely seen their work sucked up and re-appropriated on a spam blog. (In fact, I'm pretty sure this article will end up on one or more, ironically.) I noticed on Twitter the other day someone asking how to deal with this people, who use your hard work to improve their keyword positioning. They are most certainly thieves. Some thoughts:
Two kinds of sploggers
There are two kinds of folks, in my view. Those who write stuff like, "Lisa McNeill at Ignite Social Media had an interesting post today": and then copies all or part of the post. These folks are clearly keyword stealers, but at least they are giving credit for the work IF they provide a backlink. It's frustrating, but in the digital age, content aggregation is becoming the norm.
The fully repugnant ones are the scrapers. They fully act like your content is their content, even when they give backlinks. Here's an example of a splogger who is scraping. See the effort they put into making it seem like this was their content? Lisa's name is a link to their site. The headline is a link to their site. Now these folks did at least give us the "About Ignite Social Media" and the link at the end. There are many others who are worse than that.
Top 5 Ways to Deal with Sploggers
- Decide how much time this is worth to you. You can spend your life chasing these idiots, you can ignore it, or you can do something in between.
- Use internal links to your site within your post. If nothing else, sploggers are a reason for including internal links to your site within your posts. If they have high SEO and you can embed a link to yourself within it, at least there can be a payoff. This is often easy to do as your posts are building off earlier concepts anyway.
- Use a footer that states that the content is yours. Some folks recommend putting a copyright disclaimer at the end, others prefer a creative commons approach. There's a WordPress plugin that puts copyright at the end of your posts. I haven't tried it yet, but plan to check it out today. If it's not good, someone let me know.
- Contact the site owner. The next couple of ideas come from a good post by Joel Burslem on this topic. He's a bit more aggressive than I am on this, but he has good ideas. The first of which is to email them and tell them to stop. It could work for sploggers who still have a soul. (Doesn't seem to have worked for Joel, but he did get his splogger to pilfer and post an article calling himself a thief.)
- Report them to Google. I learned from Joel that you can report people by clicking on the Ads by Google link on the offending site, then "Tell Google What You Thought About These Ads" and then "Report a Violation."
- Use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Even Joel says he hasn't gone this far yet, but he does note that it is possible to use the DMCA to hit these folks.
Those are some initial thoughts, half mine, half Joel's to help you begin to deal with these folks. My personal favorite (since it's easy and can help your site's authority) is the internal linking within a post. This doesn't need to be conspicuous or repetitive, but it can be done within the natural flow of the conversation.
I'm sure people smarter than me have thought of many other ways. What else works? Or do you ignore these folks, as we often do?