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But he does have a forum, and he posts (at least, I assume it's him) extremely large chunks of the copy or code of my website in order to steal my search engine traffic and/or rankings.
I have screenshots, I am considering complaining to his ISP, however, I think it might only escalate the "war" and I fear retaliation.
But you may be able to just ignore what he's doing. If I understand the "duplicate content" penalty that Google uses, his copy of your content will be detected as a copy, and will not even show up in a search.
Do you have any evidence that this copying is actually affecting your traffic? I know it's annoying to see someone doing this, but if he's not successfully stealing traffic then his may be a case of "ignore him and he'll go away."
Since the material is showing up in a forum, he may be able to claim that he's not responsible, unless of course his name is on the post! But if it's not responsible, I think all he would have to do is take it down....
He took it down after I complained, but after that he engaged in a smear campaign.
I have 3 craft websites. One is quite prominent in the SEPRs, and 2 aren't. He is targetting all 3. Because his forum posts come up so high in the SERPs, and these 2 websites so low, I am beginning to suspect that I am the victim of a duplicate content penalty, indeed.
But yes, the tought of his reaction is something that is preventing me for complaining.
It's like high school, and a bully is stealing my lunch money everyday. I can't complain to the teacher, because he might beat me up.
Or...don't tell the teacher. Take him head on, or take him out on the sly.
This could be as simple as doing something that forces the engines to take a good hard manual look at his site (obviously not white hat) and hope for a manual and permanent ban.
Just curious if anyone else has experienced this.
Does he run AdSense? Then you could complain -- anonymously, or ask a friend to do it -- via the "Ads by Google" link on each AdSense block. You'd have to do it on a page where stolen content appeared. Basically say "the page where this ad appeared is content taken from another web site."
Consider registering your sites with the Copyright Office. You get some protection now, but if you are officially copyrighted, you can sue for statutory damages, rather than just asking for something to come down. Put the site on a CD, pay a $35 fee, fill out the paperwork, you're good. There is info. about how to do it at the Copyright Office's site.
Which gives me another idea. Once you've registered the sites, have an attorney write him a cease-and-desist letter. Many a loose cannon, when confronted with something like that, will back down.
He is using an old forum program that automatically creates a hard html page for every post. The type that hardly exists anymore, because every gambling and weiner enhancement site webmaster want to put his/her link on it, and when word gets around, is flooded with dodgy link spam posts. Because the links in these posts are highly effective, search engines lap them up.
I am not sure what I could do to get search engines to look at his site, though he does violate the AdSense TOS with a label above the ad units that say: "sponsored blue widget links" which should be, in accordance to TOS, no more than "sponsored link."
I contacted his ISP asking specifically to tell me what they could do, before taking action. Unfortunately, they pressed ahead and gave the guy MY CONTACT INFORMATION! After the threats and intidimation I received from him, I blocked off his email address.
I'm am trying my best to build up the sites. They contain 100% original artistic content for crafters. It's like running up escalators that go down, if SEs outrank my legitimate pages with his phony posts.
Thanks for the tip to copyright my efforts. $35.00 is a bargain. I will do it.
And YES, he does run AdSense on these pages, and hasn't taken them down yet. I will contact AdSense immediately.
I am blocking him in htaccess with his IP, his ISP, AND his computer type/browser combination with some fancy code kindly provided to me by the nice helpful folk that haunt this forum.
He must have access to some other computer in order to carry out his shenanigans.
Last year, he was trolling my message board to harass some fellow he doesn't like.
At that time, my site was not competition to him, and he didn't care about me. He was after that other fellow who is in fact a really nice, helpful and intelligent guy. Then he started to harass other members of my forum with nasty PMs.
He was using proxies. But his computer is an oddball combo, and very distinctive. I eventually figured out is was all him.
That's when I started to block him in htaccess.
Ignoring his increasingly threatening link requests, blocking him in htaccess, and the increasing prominence of my websites turned me into some arch-enemy.
So here's what he did, and it's kinda funny.
He found 6 boards where people with strange interests find each other through adverts. Like people that love animals enough to propose marriage, if you get my drift. He create profiles with my email address, and wrote up some adverts he felt would generate maximum interest.
My mailbox was flooded with requests from individuals that find romance in barns and sties.
I managed to remove all such adverts, and one very nice webmaster was kind enough to confirm that it was his IP.
A few months later, he created a bunch of links with anchor text for my websites, that lead instead to sites that specialize in featuring flesh tones.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
That's who I am dealing with. ;-)
It gets better and better.
The webhost has given the clown 72 hours to respond.
But they've admitted that because his copyright offenses are in forum posts, basically, they CANNOT FIND HIM GUILTY.
I know he is guilty, because he's been stealing my content in forum posts AND directly on his website, as invisible text, for some time now.
But the webhost cannot, of course, take my word for it.
They will only suspend his account if he refuses to remove the DMCA-violating posts.
TIP OF THE DAY:
Install an antiquated message board program that creates hard html files with each post.
Impose a duplicate-content penalty on your competition by posting large expanses of your competitor's copy in posts.
If caught, play innocent, and remove the post.
Repeat if necessary.
No one, it seems, can do anything.
However, WebmasterWorld, has a no-name policy. Fortunately ;-)
It's for my own protection, haha.