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Now to my current problem. I show up pretty well on Google and for the past while this other company did not show up at all. In the past i had alot of hidden text on my site and have since cleaned it up. However when this other company copied my site they now have hidden text everywhere. Google has since updated their site as of today and this other company is out ranking me. They have yet to even update me. I still have old pages. What can i do to help resolve this problem. Legally i don't know if i want to stir up anything. While i did not create my site on company time or steal any of their current customers it would be to big of a hassle.
Any suggestions? Please Help. What would you do in my position?
Just so I'm understanding right: you had a site up with hidden text that the other company copied. Then you took your site with the hidden text down and replaced it with a new site without hidden text. They still have the site they copied up, still with hidden text, and they're outranking your current site?
It sounds like you have a few choices. You can try to make them take it down and put it back up yourself (with the hidden text), you can report them, or you can try to get them to take it down and not use it.
At this point it doesn't sound like it would be easy to get them to take it down, and it wouldn't be too wise to go back to using hidden text yourself.
You can let it all go and just try to beat them with your current site. Are you absolutely sure they're beating you now as a result of having that hidden text?
2. Do the spam report and explain the situation to Google. They may even have dated caches of the sites in question that can support your story.
But because of your previous relationship to the infringer, I would tread lightly though. And they have the hidden text pages, and you do not. Now, if they go and copy your revised pages, then that should be when you would consider flexing that legal muscle ;)
Google has just recently inclued this company back in to their searches. Google has not updated me in about a month at least not that i have been able to tell. In the cache of Google my front page is what i was using in Feb.
Start carefully documenting your work, with dates created, upload times, screenshots, etc. Accumulate substantial, dated evidence, just to be on the safe side. If they're getting crawled and having Fresh updates and you're not, work on getting Fresh listings for yours.
You could try nicely letting those people know that it's copyright infringement (with a link to the proper government docs and good resources) and request that they start creating their own content.
Oh, and if you're in the U.S., I could be mistaken but I believe it costs about $35 to copyright the entire contents of a site. Do that according to whatever country you're in just for an extra measure of protection and to establish that you're serious.
Again, it's most likely not the hidden text causing them to outrank you, so do what you can to beat them in the meantime.
[edited by: Marcia at 4:23 am (utc) on June 13, 2003]
As for the spam report i have filled them out. I filled them out last month and also filled them out again this afternoon.
My biggest fear is that i will not be ranked because of duplicate content. when i found out that they stole my new pages i quickly re-did them and added information and changed my title and description around so that at least it would be alittle bit different. Will i be penalized if someone else has duplicated my content?
Please report your progress back to this forum as there are other winers anxiously waiting to follow the same advice.
keeping on the clean side :
send a letter to their ISP and Them stating that plagiarizing a copyright website is against The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and you will take legal action against both parties.
There are loads of darkside techniques you could use. ;)
They have also copied some of my new site for new products that have just been released. Basicly the owner is a lazy bum.
.. my name is still written within their meta tags.
Looks like they are not checking what they are copying. You can use that to your adventage. Make your links absolute so:
1. visitors clicking on those links on his site will end up in your site
2. you get some PageRank from his site.
If you now have a link to page 'product12.html' like this:
change it into
The only problem can be, that if that site gets penalized, your site could be penalized too. So don't link back. (My guess is you didn't have any intention to do so).
I'm just brainstorming here... browsing the wget docs (assuming that's how he's copying your site), it says:
Wget can follow links in HTML pages and create local versions of remote web sites, fully recreating the directory structure of the original site. This is sometimes referred to as ``recursive downloading.'' While doing that, Wget respects the Robot Exclusion Standard (/robots.txt). Wget can be instructed to convert the links in down-loaded HTML files to the local files for offline viewing.
That's the good news. The bad news is that wget can masquerade as any user agent it wants to, and can even be configured to ignore robots.txt, so it's pretty hard to avoid if the thief is determined.
I think that the coolest thing would be to make your site dynamic and, when you figure out where the guy is coming from, publish inflated prices or bogus product images or descriptions instead of the real information to requests from his source IP. Even if he finds a way around it, there will be an embarrassing period before he figures it out.
If they're stealing your bandwidth by taking images straight from your site, then you have the wonderful option of renaming all of your graphic files and replacing all kinds of interesting things under the old file names. Banners saying "this site sucks" would be good, but I'm sure you could come up with something juicier if you put your mind to it. With a bit of luck it'll take them a while to notice.
There's also a way to imbed ownership information in GIFs, so if they were to be outright taking and using graphics there are services that track and report those.
What kind of recourse could this company have. Since i worked their. I never did anything to sabotage their site before i left. In fact i did not quit until i had it perfect. But i did create the site while i was working there but not while i was at work. However i did make several sales for my company through the use of my cell phone while i worked there
Keep a record of their doing, in case you need to proof things in the future and I would keep contacting Google about this.