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When is a Vertical Search Engine just a plain old Scraper?

Rash of new 'vertical search engines' to trigger new round of content theft


man in poland

4:25 pm on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

OK, as a publisher of original travel and events content, we're used to the odd ding-dong battle with people using our content without permission. Normally a quick letter is all that is needed to get the offending article(s) removed. Now up start popping these so-called 'vertical search engines' with their own rules - basically they take whatever they want, squirrel a no-follow link back to your content miles away, if not on another page, and when you complain, claim self-righteously that it is simply their intention "to drive additional traffic to your website." Thanks, guys.

Such a 'vertical search engine' is happenr.com (currently in beta - I trust their lawyers don't let it out into full production unless they are looking to lose a lot of money in legal fees very fast)

This particular 'search engine' took lots of our events in full (no 'snippets' at all) Anyone else seeing a similar pattern in this sector of niche 'search engines'? I wonder where it is leading?

This particular 'search engine' also encourages users to embed their 'search results' on their own sites - potentially perpetuating the whole problem.


5:19 pm on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Yup, it's good old fashioned copyright theft.

man in poland

5:31 pm on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi Quadrille, what annoys me most frankly is the holier-than-thou attitude of these sorts of outfits. They think that just because they call themselves a 'vertical search engine' and have smart-looking websites they are somehow above the law and that we should be grateful to them for deigning to include our beloved content on their sites!

Funnily enough, since I complained they have removed my site from their 'search engine' and thanked me for my 'valuable feedback' - haha!

Interesting to see Kosmix has further funding for its raft of 'vertical search engines' including Meehive and Righthealth - so I see this as a problem about to get a lot worse across many sectors.

Has everyone just got tired of writing original, witty and descriptive content and just given up and gone the automated route? If so, do you think this is because they believe the reader no longer cares about the quality, but just wants a quick answer?


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