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EDU Site Taking MY GoogleTraffic
Google doesn't always get it right!

 3:47 am on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I put up a detailed post about this and it disappeared .. so I'll try to summarize ..

I have an older 'travel maps' site .. maps of a given region. On the home page is a map of a subject country. I drew the map using AI and several different source images with different features .. map has logo, 'all rights reserved' and URL.

For a year it was featured in Google serps as a thumbnail above the results .. got lots of traffic.

The image is still there, but it now redirects to a university .edu domain. Investigation shows that a webmaster took my map for a personal project. My logo is still showing.

So apparently, Google gives a duplicate content tie to the .edu over the .com. I wonder if it's the same for text content?

You may want to check your images that are / were getting good traffic.



 9:37 am on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

makese sense even though it sucks for you. EDU sites for the most part are much more trusted given the many links they have from other trusted sites. While there is spam from edu sites, for the most part they are more reliable


 1:03 pm on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

To edu sites "priority to copied content" is one problem another is "priority to most torn and old content". I watch a "city name" KW and for this there ha been an edu site listed on top for last 8 years. The content of that page is so old and irrelevent now but Google will stick to it. Anyway visitors do the justice too.


 1:55 pm on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you drew the map and it was stolen, why not contact the university to demand that it be maken down? If that fails, you can file a DMCA complaint with Google.


 3:08 pm on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

One factor that I have not seen mentioned here before is that not all .edu sites are "real" educational institutions - and if the name holder got the domain far enough back in years, then their ownership is grandfathered in by current policy.

All institutions holding names as of October 29, 2001 in
the .edu domain will be allowed to keep them without regard
to institutional eligibility requirements at this time.


So if an infringing edu website is one of these grandfathered domains, there may be no legitimate educational institution to be in touch with.


 3:24 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you drew the map and it was stolen, why not contact the university to demand that it be maken down? If that fails, you can file a DMCA complaint with Google.

I have contacted the Uni .. and they claimed to have removed the image .. but I still see it. It could be the proxy server cache here in TL.

I'll give them another couple days then go for the DMCA.

Maybe someone not in Thailand can have a look for me? = PM


 3:37 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

makese sense even though it sucks for you.

Am I misunderstanding what you said?

Someone with a page on an .edu site steals some content. Then Google's, with their bias toward .edu sites substitutes their URL in the redirect. And you say it makes sense?

Many 'projects' are student or faculty pages on the uni server had have no more authority than any other page on the web.

I certainly don't understand your reasoning.


 4:18 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

What doesn't make sense to me is that Google is still susceptible to replacing the original source in the SERPs with a more recent, stolen version. I don't care what the tld is, or whether the file is an image, a video, or a full page. This particular problem must be a big challenge for them, because it just keeps on happening - even with content that's been online for years.

Sounds like you got some action from the U, old_expat, and the situation should clear up. If not, you know the way forward -- good luck with it.


 6:06 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Tedster, did you happen to see the story in threadwatch?


Um .. yeah, you other guys too! ;)

[edited by: tedster at 6:42 am (utc) on June 25, 2007]
[edit reason] make link live [/edit]


 6:44 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Even though your issue is with an image, not an html page, I'd say yes -- that is pretty much the same thing. This is a current and growing problem at Google.


 11:01 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'll toss a bit more fuel on this fire. It doesn't appear that the person who conscripted my map is even on staff at the uni .. but more likely a relative of a staff member.

So can anyone with a friend at an organization with a .edu put up a page, steal content and let Google send them the traffic the victim deserves?

Looks like another type of abuse that needs fixing.


 11:08 am on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think you dont understand universities, or edu organizations, ring them up or send them a cease and desist order to the department. You wont need google to get the page down, that student or whoever it is will get there butt kicked big time. They HIGHLY frown upon plagiarism, they will enforce it big time.


 1:15 pm on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)


I'm sure old_expat understands UNIs, he contacted them, and now knows that the boosted image has been removed.


As tedster noted there is still a problem on the SE side regardless of what the UNI does, doesn't, or should do.

[edited by: theBear at 1:16 pm (utc) on June 25, 2007]


 1:29 pm on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

sure, but you cannot compare those institutions to normal websites. There is a reason why wikipedia rules the serps and as well as edu's. More often that not they are high quality deserve a special boost if any. Sure, one offs may occur but they like .gov are highly regulated and criticized internally. If you notice any issues you can definitely get your problem solved with some contact and im sure the penalties would be rather stiff if there is a serious breach. Unfortunately though it proves that some manual intervention is still required in the serps now and then for spammers. But i believe the benefits to the web far outway the negatives in giving them a benefit (although not sure they get much more)


 1:49 pm on Jun 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Simplified for us woodland critters

Here is a clue if content shows up on a domain for the first time today and you have the same content from anytime prior to today you have just retrieved a copy.

I'll let you determine which of the copies is original if both copies appeared within say 72 hours of each other.

Not perfect but it beats marking a copy retrieved years after it was first posted on the world wide wobbly as the original one and then rank it in place of the original.

Yes I'm aware of the cpu cycle usage considerations. Good for heating the cave.

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