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Why does Google AdSense sponsor "scraper" spam sites
zeus




msg:1367916
 11:17 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I remember when I signed up for google adsense I was a little nervous how professionel a site must be to be accepted, but I did not have any troubles.

I hope we agree on that site full of links/google search results is a pure spam site, if so, WHY does google adsense sponsor such sites, there are 10000 sites like that which a sponsored by adsense, dont they want good search results any more, be cause the more they support those site, more there will be in the serps.

I refuse to beleive that its just because of the money.

 

HughMungus




msg:1368126
 4:43 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

The key issue here is an element of determining "fair use" that attempts to figure out whether or not the VALUE of the copyrighted work has been diminished by its unauthorized use on another site.

I submit (and Google maintains) that search engine listings do not devalue the copyrighted content on one's site.

Sure it does. Now, when I need a phone number for a local business, I type in the name of the restaurant and the area code and the whole number comes up in the snippets. I never have to visit a website other than Google. Do you think the companies that have directory sites think that this hurts the value of their content? How is it fair use if Google does it but not if I do it? That's just one example. Caching is another.

aleksl




msg:1368127
 5:18 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Let's play a game - can someone point me out 3 differences between Google and a scraper site?

Things that don't count:
a) "it brings me visitors" - our sites get visitors from scrapers as well. Sometimes even backlinks, which you can't say about any SE. Also, as scraper site gets bigger and better with serving scraper pages to visitors, visitors will start bookmarking it.

b) "it's scam of the Earth" - beat it, there will be scraper sites above you in SERPs. In fact, there always be one giant scraper site above you even if you are #1, competing for your eyeballs with their "scummy" advertising - that is a SEARCH ENGINE.

yosemite




msg:1368128
 5:35 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think that scraper sites are parasites (not creating their own content but relying on everyone else's to earn their money fits the definition of "parasitic" to me), but I can't get too much up in arms when they scrape a sentence or two from my site. But when they scrape entire reviews (i.e. a long paragraph) that I have written, I think that crosses the line.

Atticus




msg:1368129
 6:39 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

aleksl,

Nice to see that you are now in the business of judicial review.

The fact that SEs bring traffic and scrapers kill traffic is probably the most important distiction in showing that scrapers do infringe copyright.

"Section 107 also sets out...factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair...(including) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

[copyright.gov...]

When are you scraper defenders gonna put your money where your mouth is and accept TC's challenge? It's one thing to cry about how your nefarious activities are really meant to help children and puppies, it's another thing to let your crimes stand out in the clear light of day.

bumpski




msg:1368130
 11:27 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is one very important difference between scraper sites and search engines; it's likely sometime in the past you submitted your site to the major search engines.

Remember doing that?

Did you submit your site to the scrapers? I know I didn't. At most all search engines have to do is formalize this and they're covered under copyright. Now which of us wouldn't submit to Google if they required submission? I'm sure Google would immediately and permanently remove your site from their directory if you asked them. Try and get in touch with a scraper site. So as you can see there are significant differences.

By the way in reviewing scraper sites referencing some of my sites it appears many, many, scraper pages are now "Supplemental Result"s, perhaps soon to be gone? And coincidentally my traffic and earnings are really climbing.

The Contractor




msg:1368131
 1:24 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here's the ignorance to you - we have 7 content sites, 3 years to 3 months old, NONE of them are in Google. Last, and largest site, was banned by G about a week ago. No reason.

Bet I could tell you the reason. There is always a reason - even if it's a temporary glitch with Google. To have 7 disappear I would say the 7 all had things in common.
Crosslinked?
Backlinks from the same places?
Duplicate content? (although that's a stretch)
Using same code/HTML?
Completely over-optimized (over abundance of keyword/related ratio)?
Reciprocal Link pages? (same ones between sites)

You simply did something to identify yourself…..

Spannerworks




msg:1368132
 4:24 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

> Why does Google AdSense sponsor "scraper" spam sites?

1. 70% of clicks on Google SERPs are to natural search listings.

2. PPC media buyers cannot buy enough clicks from the other 30% - they cannot spend their budgets even if top for all of their search terms.

Google has found a way of helping media buyers with their problem without doing an Ask on their SERPs. And, superficially at least, it still looks like their results are uncluttered with ads.

Who says those PHDs don't earn their bread?

scraperrob




msg:1368133
 5:42 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)


There is one very important difference between scraper sites and search engines; it's likely sometime in the past you submitted your site to the major search engines.
Remember doing that?

You don't have to submit your sites to search engines for them to do their scraping. The Robots.Txt standard says that if you are not dissallowed then you can scrape all you want. Like I said, ban all robots and your site will be safe from scraper sites like mine. I will still outrank you if you are in my niche.. but at least I won't advertise your url.

StupidScript




msg:1368134
 6:07 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Arguing for (a) listing in a "real" search engine like Google does not devalue the copyrighted content and (b) scraper sites do.

In consideration:
- How do people discover the links?
- In what context are the links used?
- How is the "trust relationship" impacted by clicking from Google or from a scraper?

(a) Google is a (relatively) "trusted" resource. When people intentionally go to Google and enter a search, they are very likely to place a significant amount of trust in the results, even as they filter through the less-trustworthy listings. When people click away from the results, either using a natural or paid listing, they are continuing the "sales" relationship in about as healthy a way as can be done online. The visitor then enters the target site with as good a chance of appreciating the value of that site as they would have had they typed in that site's URL directly, and often a higher chance, as the tacit approval of Google has bolstered their confidence that THIS site is of value to them at this time.

(b) Scraper sites have NO inherent "trust", and in fact (may) deteriorate the incoming visitor's appreciation for the content on the target site when clicking away from the scraper site, simply because the intervention of the scraper site in the "sales" process has jarred the momentum. Combined with the fact that scraper sites do NOT offer the product or support of the concern that operates the site(s) from which the content was scraped, the result is a depreciation in the visitor's perception of the value of the content, which carries over into the "sales" process and the trust relationship formed between that visitor and the REAL site from which the content was scraped, devaluing the original site's content and decreasing the likelihood that a sale will be completed.

Not to mention that most scraper sites exist to serve ads ... ads that we gladly pay Google for anyway, but whose value is depreciated when they appear on scraper sites and comingle with the various negative effects I mention above.

My PPC ad has one value when viewed from the Google site or from a "trusted" affiliate, and it has less value at the same expense when that same ad is included in a scraper site. It costs me "trust" at the very least, and in my business, that means it often costs me a sale, as that trust is very difficult to re-establish once it has been damaged.

This is true both for the copyrighted original content on my sites and the visitors' perceptions of the human team behind the website. I can't do anything legally to stem the effects on my team, but the copyright/devaluing issues seem pretty clear to us.

blend27




msg:1368135
 6:27 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

scraperrob -- The Robots.Txt standard says that if you are not dissallowed then you can scrape all you want.

you give me a user agent string and IP, that you use when scraping the content from the site I have and I will make sure to add it to my robots.txt file to disallow it, just for you. but that is not what you would like to do, ah?

blend27




msg:1368136
 6:36 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

the thing is, if a person creates scraper site, does it devalue the original site? if it does, why not create identical copy of the page, that will devalue tthe scraper site? but we don't do that, and question is why not start doing so...?

HughMungus




msg:1368137
 7:04 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

When are you scraper defenders gonna put your money where your mouth is and accept TC's challenge? It's one thing to cry about how your nefarious activities are really meant to help children and puppies, it's another thing to let your crimes stand out in the clear light of day.

I'm not a scraper, but, I'd bet most of them are waiting for case law to decide it.

hyperkik




msg:1368138
 7:06 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

You don't have to submit your sites to search engines for them to do their scraping. The Robots.Txt standard says that if you are not dissallowed then you can scrape all you want.

I don't think anybody could honestly confuse indexing by search engines with scraping. Nor the indexing by a search engine using its own robot with scraping by a content pirate who masquerades as somebody else's robot.

HughMungus




msg:1368139
 7:10 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

(b) Scraper sites have NO inherent "trust", and in fact (may) deteriorate the incoming visitor's appreciation for the content on the target site when clicking away from the scraper site, simply because the intervention of the scraper site in the "sales" process has jarred the momentum. Combined with the fact that scraper sites do NOT offer the product or support of the concern that operates the site(s) from which the content was scraped, the result is a depreciation in the visitor's perception of the value of the content, which carries over into the "sales" process and the trust relationship formed between that visitor and the REAL site from which the content was scraped, devaluing the original site's content and decreasing the likelihood that a sale will be completed.

Do you have any research to back-up your assertion that scraper sites devalue the site to which people are arriving via Adsense? I don't see how that would work. Yesterday I was looking for information on a certain type of concrete anchor screw. The (organic) search results were terrible in their ability to provide me with information about this particular type of bolt but I immediately saw an Adsense ad that had exactly the information I wanted so I clicked on it. So do Google's bad results mean that I think the website I went to next is also bad? No. In fact, the website I went to was BETTER than where I came from.

p.s. You never addressed my example of how search results DO devalue original content.

aleksl




msg:1368140
 7:26 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here's the ignorance to you - we have 7 content sites, 3 years to 3 months old, NONE of them are in Google. Last, and largest site, was banned by G about a week ago. No reason.

The Contractor: Bet I could tell you the reason. There is always a reason - even if it's a temporary glitch with Google. To have 7 disappear I would say the 7 all had things in common.
Crosslinked?
Backlinks from the same places?
Duplicate content? (although that's a stretch)
Using same code/HTML?
Completely over-optimized (over abundance of keyword/related ratio)?
Reciprocal Link pages? (same ones between sites)

You simply did something to identify yourself…..

You "honest" folks are too easy. Come on, attacking a person instead of an argument? You already lost. :)

I'll tell you what, one of them was a 302-highjack victim. One - our hosting moved it to a different server and gave us IP that used to belong to major spammer. 4 other sites are "sandboxed", in fact one brings close to 100 users a day from MSN alone (not much, year, but if it was in G....). My bad, one site is actually IN Google, I just haven't looked at it for a month or so.

Crosslinked? - No
Backlinks from the same places? - No
Duplicate content? (although that's a stretch) - No-no, completely different niches
Using same code/HTML? - No!
Completely over-optimized (over abundance of keyword/related ratio)? - Nope, just basic SEO
Reciprocal Link pages? (same ones between sites) - nope, don't use those.

Keep trying. What you are blind to see, is Google quietly is doing its own SEO - optimizing SERPs for higher ROI.

aleksl




msg:1368141
 7:31 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think StupidScript nailed it in msg#219. The only difference between Google and a scraper is "trust". But if you take off "trust" blinds, technically, I don't see a difference.

My "trust" treshhold for G$ is now lower than ever.

blend27




msg:1368142
 7:34 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

aleksl - have any of thouse sites had Adwords Pointing to them, in other words have you advertised on google for these sites? Adwords PPC?

Atticus




msg:1368143
 8:04 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Funny how scraper defenders come here crying "I used to build content sites, but G won't list them, so it makes the world a better place if I rip off others people's content sites."

So much for, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Claiming to be a victim of the very crime you are committing is a defense which only a twisted mind could conceive.

As for the suposition that no one has taken TC's challenge because they are "waiting for case law to decide," they aren't waiting for anything. They are continuing to commit intellectual property crimes. Accepting TC's challenge would be a great way to take this issue to the the 'Court of Adsense,' which is exactly the subject of this thread.

HughMungus




msg:1368144
 8:18 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

As for the suposition that no one has taken TC's challenge because they are "waiting for case law to decide," they aren't waiting for anything. They are continuing to commit intellectual property crimes. Accepting TC's challenge would be a great way to take this issue to the the 'Court of Adsense,' which is exactly the subject of this thread.

So are all search engines committing a crime by including snippets in the search results which, as I have explained, actually CAN devalue the content on a web page? How about caching?

StupidScript




msg:1368145
 9:10 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Mr. Mungus, please don't fall into the trap of extracting a single phrase from an essay and challenging it. Thoughtfulness is required.

The (organic) search results were terrible in their ability to provide me with information about this particular type of bolt but I immediately saw an Adsense ad that had exactly the information I wanted so I clicked on it. So do Google's bad results mean that I think the website I went to next is also bad? No. In fact, the website I went to was BETTER than where I came from.

You have added an illustration to my point.

The algorithm results were disappointing.
You clicked on a paid ad from a disappointing page.
The advertiser had what you wanted.

What if: You landed on a scraper site from the algorithm results. You saw the paid ad and clicked on it because the scraper site was so disappointing. You landed on the ORIGINAL site from which the scraper had taken their content but not the services or goods being offered by the "real" site. You have already been poisoned by experiencing disappointment with the same content on the scraper site. Are you going to investigate the second, "real" site with the same content as the scraper, or are you going to continue to hunt?

My bet is that you continue to hunt, as the original site's content is not "trustworthy" anymore. Heck, maybe you even think the "real" site is the scraper, now, further devaluing its content. It never had a chance to make its sale.

"Real" sites WRITE content to give value to their visitors and to support what they are selling. They cooperate with others in the interests of promoting the products or services they sell. They "make" things that provide value to others.

Search engines, in cooperation with "real" site developers and owners, provide a simple means for people who are seeking what the sites offer to connect with those sites. They "make" connections that pass on "trust" and "confidence" to the businesses that engage them.

Scrapers steal content so they have a place to sell ads. They cooperate only with the ad providers. They don't "make" anything except deception.

Nobody in the "real" world has any of their advertising budget set aside for gaining placements on scraper sites, because those sites do, indeed, cause the experience with a visitor who comes from them to be less "trustworthy" than visitors who come to them directly from a "trustworthy" search portal with whom the site has chosen to do business, like Google.

I do not want ads for my websites to be on a porn site any more than I want them to be on a scraper site. Neither has proven to have any positive impact on my business, and, in fact, visitors who come from such links have never converted. This is a negative impact.

When the level of trust is low (online buying) it is pushed lower with every deception (scrapers) until finally, when the "real" online businesses capture a visitor who has lost trust, the copyrighted original content on those "real" sites is NOT percieved in the same way as it would have been had the deceptions never been encountered.

Ergo sum, the copyrighted original content has been devalued through no fault of its own, but rather through the actions of the scraper site(s) that lowered the trust factor in the incoming visitor.

Mr. Mungus, would you please make your argument that scraper sites do NOT devalue the copyrighted original content on sites they (literally) steal the fodder from that they use to trigger AdSense blocks?

It would be nice to engage in a dialog.

<edit>
Quick one:
The difference between search engines and scraper sites is the same as the difference between movie trailers paid for by the movie production companies and pirated tapes made by sneaking a video camera into the theater and taping a film from between your knees. In both cases, the former are activities necessary to the promotion of the business (film) and the latter is outright theft of intellectual property in an attempt to make a quick buck with a low-quality product stolen from its creator.
</edit>

hyperkik




msg:1368146
 9:23 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

So are all search engines committing a crime by including snippets in the search results which, as I have explained, actually CAN devalue the content on a web page? How about caching?

The courts' view of the use of snippets by search engines is described in response #81.

zeus




msg:1368147
 9:28 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Still I look at this issue more as a web surfer, who dont want to get all those link sites in the search results and its not just google serps, yahoo also has a big problem, but they dont SPONSOR such sites, which I think is a problem, if you look at there terms of how a website should look to be included in the Google serps and now they also sponsor such scraper site. About the legal issue, maybe there is something there, but personaly I dont care about that, I just want better results and asome logic of why adsense are sponsoring such sites.

HughMungus




msg:1368148
 9:31 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

The courts' view of the use of snippets by search engines is described in response #81.

No, it is not. I read the rulings.

[edited by: HughMungus at 9:33 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2005]

The Contractor




msg:1368149
 9:32 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

aleksl
message #202
Here's the ignorance to you - we have 7 content sites, 3 years to 3 months old, NONE of them are in Google. Last, and largest site, was banned by G about a week ago. No reason.

and then in message #225
I'll tell you what, one of them was a 302-highjack victim. One - our hosting moved it to a different server and gave us IP that used to belong to major spammer. 4 other sites are "sandboxed".....

Uhmm...I'm confused...which is it? You state that your sites disappeared from Google for no reason in message #202 and then go on to state in message #225 exactly why each one of them disappeared or were not in the index to begin with?

And will people get back on the "real" topic and quit comparing themselves/scraper sites to Google - you ain't Google! As I stated before, Google sends me 100's of 1000's of visitors a month which in turn makes me money. Scrapers would be lucky to send a couple visitors a month and they would have rather had those click on one of their AdSense ads...hehe

Give me a break and quit being ignorant comparing your sites my 10 year old girl could generate and that of a multi-billion dollar company. If you can honestly say that you don't see the difference (both legally or otherwise) between your scraper site and Google, Yahoo, or MSN - you have more problems than these forums have to offer.

edited for clarity..

fischermx




msg:1368150
 9:54 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)


you have more problems than these forums have to offer.

?

StupidScript




msg:1368151
 10:04 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Mr. Mungus, what are your interpretations of the rulings you read that were noted (and explained from one perspective) in msg #81? If there is an alternate view of copyright law that allows scraper sites to continue without questioning the source of their content, I'd like to hear it. Really.

Re: The original topic ...

While Google seems to be abetting the activities of scraper sites by allowing them to (a) register as AdSense agents and (b) list them in the SERPS sometimes at the expense of those sites from whom the scrapers took their content, they are most likely waiting until the law is clearly defined in this area before they move to limit the amount of income they are generating for themselves. Most big companies play by those rules ... "Catch me with the law, challenge me in a court of law and win your legal case before I will consider the ethical ramifications of my bottom-line improvement scheme." All too familiar. No impetus for change.

Now our challenge is to rank higher than the scrapers (tough), and convert more (easy!). No games, just solid copywriting and SEO. Do the right thing.

The Contractor




msg:1368152
 10:04 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

fischermx what I'm trying to say is: Scrapers don't confuse yourself with sites such as Google, or have illusions of grandeur over your scraper site…it's not healthy and are signs of serious problems ;)

You guys are trying to defend yourselves as being "just like Google"… you're not, stop kidding yourselves. You are no more like Google than I would be if I copied the top 10 posts from each forum on WebmasterWorld into http:/www.search-engine-seo-web-design-help-information-forums.com
Yep, that would make my site just like WebmasterWorld :)

fischermx




msg:1368153
 10:16 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the explanation.

I thought I was seeing a funny typo :
"you have more problems than these forums have to offer."
isn't
"you have more problems than these forums can solve "?

:)

jonathanleger




msg:1368154
 10:21 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't know if this has been stated already (I admit I didn't read every single post), but I know of at -least- 3 people who have gotten AdSense accounts by submitting a scraper site to AdSense and being approved.

But AdSense doesn't like scraper sites? I'm a bit confused.

fischermx




msg:1368155
 10:21 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

As I get older I get worse, I need to update to English 2.0.

No games, just solid copywriting and SEO.

What is "copywriting" in these context? Webmaster slang? Can't find it in the dictionary.

StupidScript




msg:1368156
 10:30 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Copywriting = Writing content.
Copyrights = Ownership of content.

This 352 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 352 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 11 12 > >
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