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This 70 message thread spans 3 pages: 70 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Google Penalizing Original Content - copy sites rank higher
macman23




msg:3265029
 5:41 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of my websites contains a glossary of terms and definitions that I have written from scratch. When I copy a sentence from one of my definitions and put quotes around it in Google, there are 13 results. However, it only shows the top 11. My site doesn't even show up in the list unless I click the "Show omitted results" option. Then it ranks at the bottom.

No wonder my traffic from Google has tanked. I have invested hundreds of hours researching and writing these definitions and over 10 sites that have DIRECTLY COPIED my content rank higher than mine. And my website seems to be penalized somehow and filtered to the bottom. You can imagine that I am a little frustrated.

Any ideas on how I can remedy the situation?

 

Optimus




msg:3265089
 8:02 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Use [copyscape.com...] to fish out the plagiarists and back up your evidence with historical data from the web archive, then file a DMCA complaint with google. They do act on these complaints.

[edited by: encyclo at 3:04 pm (utc) on Mar. 4, 2007]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]

soapystar




msg:3265113
 8:48 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

welcome to the new club.

When your text becomes so widely used on multiple sites you will find chasing them will take all your time. This is now a big problem people don't seem to be grasping. The general feel is that this happens because your pages are under a demotion or penalty. To me this is a bigger underlying problem than being under a penalty.

Marcia




msg:3265121
 9:07 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've had two copy text off one of my pages. I found it by copying and pasting the first line of text at Google. My page has been up with exactly that text since 2002.

The other two, newer with fewer links an neglible PageRank, were listed as a search result. For the third you had to click again to see the page omitted because of being similiar. The one you had to click to see was MINE.

waynne




msg:3265164
 10:14 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

IMHO Google seems to kill your page if it is showing as more recent than the copied pages! So much for keeping a site fresh and regularly updating it.

This is a growing problem that Google must address in some way - it is too easy to nick a sites content, stick on Adsence and then take the traffic from the original site.

Oh wait a minute Google earn more money from the plaigerists sites so I guess it's not such a big issue after all.

experienced




msg:3265203
 11:08 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

google should have a system to check which content is original and which site has copied. The age of the page and 1st indexed date with the cache version may do the job. And i feel google have something similar with them but sometime it does not work.

I have a 8 month website with all brand new content, were ranking high for 3 month, but now all r supplemental results. There is no similar site or content is available but still. Google gone mad i believe. Google must visit to Dr. Dang.

soapystar




msg:3265211
 11:14 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

waynne good hit.

This not something i had considered. You may be on to something there.

thedigitalauthor




msg:3265237
 11:48 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wayne >>

I also did not think about it that way -- I think your theory is valid.

Another quick note -- I have a lot of original content on my site, and I believed, up until Google began penalizing me for being a dupe, that others on the web were free to copy it (I inlcude a notation at the bottom of the page asking for a cite reference & link back). [I do not solicit anyone to copy, but if you happen to come to my site for research and want to use part of it, I think that this is part of what the Internet is for.]

Now, I am beginning to rethink this. Since the pages of my site need to be updated to keep up with the news of the individual issues, my original content is now sometimes considered a dupe (I think).

Should I stop adding new content? -- No, then the site would go stale very fast and it would be worthless to continue

Should I go after everyone that copies content from me? No, then I would be going against my whole idea of what the WWW is for -- sharing information.

These are very trying times for webmasters who are not working at big websites with money behind them.

macman23




msg:3266408
 7:23 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the feedback. It's nice to know I'm not the only one getting unfairly penalized for content copied from my site. Though now I am actually more frustrated that Google's algorithm is working against webmasters who create their own content.

Optimus, thank you for the info on Copyscape. That is a good place to start. I have considered filing a DCMA complaint with Google, though it seems like a lot of needless work to create an official letter and mail it in. There should be an easier way to formally submit copyright violations to Google. I have used the "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" link at the bottom of the search results several times and it has never led to any noticeable changes.

Google's algorithm should be able to find out which site had the content first, as some of you mentioned. Getting ranked in the omitted results just adds insult to injury.

experienced




msg:3266430
 7:56 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

copysape does not work sometime and later on once you are all set to go with the content, site hosted and indexed, then pages comes in duplucacy, and its too late.

soapystar




msg:3266465
 9:15 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

often a quick email simply stating your intentions to place a dmca and seek damages if the content is not removed is enough. You must send a cc to their hosts as well. Its important you cc and not bc the hosts as it helps if they know their hosts will be involved. Oh and of course where in the world you and the copied stuff is matters so i always throw in catch all terms like 'Intellectual Property'.

kevsh




msg:3266561
 12:13 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>>
You must send a cc to their hosts as well.
>>>

Good point, however I have found from personal experience that some are more helpful than others. I've seen where they ask for a copy of the DMCA before they will take action.

You can always try with a detailed message first, but certainly if you send in the DMCA request cc the host too.

Lorel




msg:3266698
 3:21 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have considered filing a DCMA complaint with Google, though it seems like a lot of needless work to create an official letter and mail it in. There should be an easier way to formally submit copyright violations to Google.

I have a client who has a competitor that has consistently copied my client's articles (even officially copyrighted) and press releases, etc and falsified the names and urls in those articles for over 2 years now. The competitor had also set up several freebie websites that copied my client's website which we easily had removed. However, we wasted a lot of time getting those sites taken down and proving ownership of articles and press releases posted elsewhere or having them taken down.

My client recently sent in a DMCA to Google including correspondence with this crook and proof of years of dealing with this crook (about 100 pages full of proof). The competitors articles and press releases are now disappearing off the net and even the competitor's main website (which the compeitor had carefully not copied any data onto) has dropped in PR and now has only 2 pages in Google's index.

So DMCA works, if enough proof is included.

soapystar




msg:3266880
 5:52 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

yes it works but the problem is when you are dealing with multiple websites and you do not have a large team. You will end up doing nothing BUT working on getting the sites removed.

mattg3




msg:3266892
 6:09 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I had some university projectin india copying the Sun Java tree under a decompiler. So a search for my name popped up as first hit a decompiler.

As I was applying for Java jobs at the time, no joy ...

Others have copied my logo and my videos.

Needless to say waste of time .. to chase this up. No answer from India.

Eventually it went away after a year.

My gf says copying is the sincerest form of flattery... or flatulence whatever side you are on that fence..

Stolen content is at least a quality signal.. ;)

dangerman




msg:3266899
 6:14 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes it is a real slog dealing with this. I am just going through my (penalised) site right now. So far only 1 out of 3 sites change or remove the plagiarised content. So you either have to change the copy on your own page or file DMCA complaint. Changing the copy is quicker, but why should we have to do this, especially if it is already quality original copy?

jdMorgan




msg:3266918
 6:39 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

It just takes resolve. Once you file a DMCA, other potential copiers may beware of you, so you help yourself by protecting yourself. You also help all other Webmasters by "spreading the word" that copying without permission is illegal. If you file a DMCA against your top problem copiers, you may not have to DMCA them all: Just send them an e-mail with a link to the public DMCA filing on chillingeffects, and ask them if they'd like to join the "dissappeared-from-google-copier-site club."

Folks who take action instead of waiting around for someone else to fix their problem prosper out of proportion to those who depend on others...

And taking action to protect yourself protects the Web as a whole, so it should not violate anyone's sense of "sharing" -- The whole idea of the hyperlink is to share without copying.

Jim

[edited by: jdMorgan at 6:39 pm (utc) on Feb. 28, 2007]

arubicus




msg:3266932
 6:49 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

We just fought a minor battle with someone who copied our COMPLETE site. Not just articles the whole thing - about 2000 pages. A little digging and we got them shut down for a small while without a DMCA - a technicality lead to this. Getting them shut down was our first priority. There have been so many people copying our stuff it is a full time job and I am tired of doing it. Most of them rank ahead of us now and it is ashame.

Another thing helps is have pre-made DMCA complaints generated to where you just fill in the blanks to speed up the process. Usually go after them at the host level first and proceed from there.

[edited by: arubicus at 7:13 pm (utc) on Feb. 28, 2007]

outland88




msg:3266942
 7:02 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

>"Oh wait a minute Google earn more money from the plaigerists sites so I guess it's not such a big issue after all.<

That one tickled me because it's so true it makes you laugh. I will test out your theory this week because of Soapy's posts.

After filing at least 300 DMCA's (spammers love my content because it is unbroken) all related to Adsense I would say it is best to deal strictly with hosts. Google simply screws up to much to risk DMCA's with them. Once you file with Google they have leverage over both sites and they might not like the activities of either site.

This primarily applies to large chunks of stolen content because I rarely go after the scrapers. To time consuming. You can block the scraper feeds off your site if the offender is repeating to much of your content across many pages.

arubicus




msg:3266993
 7:35 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Agreed go after the host first if there is no contact information on the site - usually is the case. Even registrars can remove the domain to where it does not resolve. Usually they make you file a DMCA but alot of time people who intentionally copy use fake information to register a domain (An example of a technicality). Once it is taken down just use the removal tool in google if you want a quick 6 month removal.

Another thing you can do for quicker response when contacting anyone through email is to use an email address that contains the word legal, legal department, etc. but be nice and helpful yet stern in your requests.

soapystar




msg:3267042
 8:00 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

i always do a multiple cc using the website email address then the ip whois for the website using all contact emails technical, webmaster etc....then the host abuse address and regular contact address...it would be rare for at least one of those to get a direct hit.....make sure in the email you would be looking to action against both the website and the hosts.....all bases covered with one email....and once you've done a few you have a ready template....i like to take a random page and use a link to the waybackmachine showing the dates the content first appeared on your site and then their site...

the whole point of this is to avoid the time and hassle of full dmca action....

macman23




msg:3267062
 8:20 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have contacted several of the webmasters who have copied my content and tell them to 1) add a clear reference and link to my website (or the page it was copied from) or 2) remove all copied content.

Fortunately, many webmasters have complied and most add links back to my website. If this is the case, shouldn't my website rank first? I remember Matt Cutts saying that if mulitple pages have similar content, the site with incoming links from the similar pages should rank highest. That is certainly not the case in my situation, as my site is ranked last out of a dozen or sites and only shows up when the "Show omitted results" link is clicked.

Google could clearly use some improvement in this area. I find it discouraging that there is no one at Google to contact about the problem.

outland88




msg:3267125
 9:44 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of the tricky things though is it is much easier to find hijacked content in Yahoo. Obviously many content thieves want to be listed in the major engines not just Yahoo. Makes you wonder if Google is penalizing the original but you never see that it directly does so.

Bewenched




msg:3267205
 11:34 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think this is one area where Google is failing. I believe that if you have your site registered with sitemaps and list your content pages taht there should be a way for google to recognize that you did it first... or at least there should be.

I've had sites go so far as to even copy our mission statements and even our own copyright statement at the bottom of the page, obviously a bot scraper, but it was funny to find.

optimist




msg:3267206
 11:37 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

This can also replace the GEO ranking of your site. If the infringing mass is from another country, lets say India, then you may rank well in co.in searches and no longer where you actually belong.

Your best bet is to re-write all your content completely as quick as possible, and never believe that competitors cannot harm your site, if they duplicate it to nothing then the claim is a farce.

macman23




msg:3267469
 6:35 am on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Your best bet is to re-write all your content completely as quick as possible, and never believe that competitors cannot harm your site, if they duplicate it to nothing then the claim is a farce.

Yes, but that shouldn't be necessary. The point is that, while copied content is a nuisance, Google should not be penalizing the sites with the original text. It amazes me that with Google's advanced algorithms, sites with the original content get forced to the bottom of the search results.

The site I run that has been copied ranks ahead of the duplicates in Yahoo!, MSN, Ask, and every other search engine I have checked. Google is the only one that has hammered me down to the bottom. Preventing spam is one thing, but it seems that Google has over-extended their algorithms so that sites that deserve to rank highly get filtered out. I can only hope that Google will see this as a serious issue.

nippi




msg:3268626
 3:15 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think its a content ripped off problem that has caused the penalty. Its more likely you were penalised for some other reason, and now even scrapers appears above you.

asher02




msg:3268767
 8:44 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Dealing with content theft is a waste of time. You deal with 10 thieves and 20 new one pops up in no time.

So once in a while I send the webmasters a pre made warning email which works most of the time And wait for Google to find a solution since what ever they do now is not working.

soapystar




msg:3268858
 11:01 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think its a content ripped off problem that has caused the penalty. Its more likely you were penalised for some other reason, and now even scrapers appears above you.

Yes this is something that seems to be often repeated. However i wonder if you meant what you just said. You are saying its now widespread for original content pages to be more heavily penalized than pure scrapers. And if this was true are you saying thats not an issue?

Marcia




msg:3268863
 11:18 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think its a content ripped off problem that has caused the penalty. Its more likely you were penalised for some other reason, and now even scrapers appears above you.

Oh, come on now! Upon what kind of factual basis are you basing that assumption?

Added:

The site of mine on which there's a page that's below the copies is *not* penalized, it's in the top ten for all the targeted search phrases.

There's no penalty (in my case), but isn't it possible that for those plagiarized pages, for that exact phrase (which is not one of the coveted search phrases), the thieves are getting a boost for the "freshness" of their pages, since their stolen copy is more recent?

There is actually a PATENT online about scoring based on freshness - so this isn't something that's being made up out of thin air.

[edited by: Marcia at 11:30 am (utc) on Mar. 2, 2007]

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