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There's lots of talk lately about the value and possible devaluation of some links, among them scraper links. That said, I suspect riding the crest of scraper link waves can carry you at least part of the way to page one of the serps.
I don't doubt that some, maybe all, scraper links are devalued at some point in their life. But I'm not sure that happens right out of the gate on a new scraper site.
Since it appears that new scraper sites appear a fairly regular basis, on brand new, never before used domain names and previously registered but clean domain names, it might be reasonable to think that there is at least a short period of time when a scraper link carries a more normal value. It seems reasonable to think the SEs need a bit of time to evaluate the quality of the link source.
If that's the case, and if your site is scraped often, it might be that there is a link value wave crest that remains fairly normal. That could happen as old scraper links are devalued but are offset by new scraper links carrying a more normal value.
The net effect on your site could be a fairly consistant, even growing number of one way inbound scraper links that carry a normal amount of value for links that appear on a new page, and thus benefit your site.
Individually these new scraper links may not have much value, but added together, they might help you get to page one, or at least help you stay there.
[Just as a side note about new scraper sites and links, the fastest I've seen appear as a backlink was 4 days from when the scarper domain name was registered untill I got a Google Alert showing a link to my site appearing on the new scraper site.]
I really wonder if that happens. Maybe it's more likely that scraper links, like dmoz clone links, simply don't give much value at all and for the following reasons: low pr, not appearing in the top results set for a particular serps, and not having many IBL from outside IPs themselves to lend any authority to the scraper page and the links that spawn off of it.
I think the advantage of scraper links (I hate to use "advantage" and "scraper" in the same sentence, but so be it these are times we live in) is simply the same advantage bestowed by gazillions of dmoz clone backlinks: individually worthless, but, cumulatively, they add up with a bang.
I have cited this one example many times: I know of a site that bought text link advertising on a network of online newspapers. The total backlinks came to 500,000 plus. Ridiculous it seemed to me. And, yes, the site was sandboxed for months on google (not on msn or yahoo). But...when it came out of the sandbox, it sailed to the top on google. To this day, it is still at the top and has made little and few attempts to gain other links.
I think to google, some links count more than others, no links penalize, and pathetically weak links in GREAT NUMBERS can get a site rocketing upwards. Like ants. Individually weak. A swarm will eat you alive.
I believe they can adversely affect a site because they screw up your inbound anchor text density.
I hadn't thought about the anchor text issue until now.
So I reviewed some of the Google Alerts that list some of the scraper links pointed at my site.
While the anchor text may not be perfect, it looks like most of it is pretty well targeted and quite varied, at least in my case.