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Why does Google AdSense sponsor "scraper" spam sites



11:17 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

I remember when I signed up for google adsense I was a little nervous how professionel a site must be to be accepted, but I did not have any troubles.

I hope we agree on that site full of links/google search results is a pure spam site, if so, WHY does google adsense sponsor such sites, there are 10000 sites like that which a sponsored by adsense, dont they want good search results any more, be cause the more they support those site, more there will be in the serps.

I refuse to beleive that its just because of the money.


2:30 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My argument is/was that genuine search ... er .. scrape-engines* do not violate copyright's "fair use" doctrine, at the very least, not based on whether they devalue the copyrighted original content on a website that they cache and/or keep a title and description of in their public index. And that scraper sites do ... see above.

And I gave you a great example of how they do (the phone number lookup). Too bad you don't see it because it kicks the legs out from under your fair use argument.

And again: I'm not a scraper.


2:33 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

wow, this is a ton of posts . . .

My comments - if you are going to play this game

a) always provide easy removal / contact info

b) don't run Adsense on it - there are plenty of aff. programs that you can mess wit / profit from - without risking your full account.

Example - I just picked up 60+ domain names. I very clearly map out the goal and strategy for each one (shades of gray) - when in doubt just leave Adsense out. (see that even rhymed)

build what you want but -
REPEAT: "when in doubt just leave Adsense out"


2:34 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)


Owners of sites that believe G devalues them can block G. Do I stutter?

One of your scraper heros said earlier in this thread that the only way for me to stop him from using parts of my site was to ban all spiders. He said he scrapes G (in violation of their TOS). He scrapes all the major SEs and if I appear in them, he will use my content. He says he is doing this to take over the SERPs I have previously occupied in G. He says that when he takes content from my site, he changes the link target so if someone clicks on what looks like a listing for my site, the user is sent to an advertisement on the scraper site.

Yeah, that's the same as G....


2:35 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hugh (May I call you Hugh? I feel like I'm getting to know you.)

Yeah ... the phone number lookup is quite disturbing. I blogged about it, a bit. I wonder how many other ...?

BTW, you can get them to take you off of that, pretty easily. (Should I compare to scrapers? Nahh! :)

And I'm glad you're not a scraper, just a scrapper!


2:39 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Owners of sites that believe G devalues them can block G. Do I stutter?

They can?


"The news agency said it asked Google to stop linking to its content but the search engine had not done so."


2:40 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Well, SS, I'm not arguing just to argue. I just hate to see people waste time worrying about stuff that they really can't do much about (and also because this is a great learning experience).


2:56 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Human Gus,

So now you are defending the French? Just how low ARE you willing to go?

And when you asked G to stop spidering YOUR site, did they?


3:00 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I knew I argued with one dude from Ohio, didn't know there were 2 of you.

Atticus, you might want to remove your last comment. This is WebmasterWORLD, remember?

Huh, kids....


3:00 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

And when you asked G to stop spidering YOUR site, did they?

I haven't. My point is that the AFP case demonstrates that Google will do what you ask them to do until it affects their bottom line.


3:14 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)


Here in the USA jokes about the French have been a staple of everything from dinner table conversion to top ten sitcoms for decades. It's so common that everyone knows that it's meaningless. Personally, I believe it's because Americans see a foil in France for their own arrogance and xenophobia.

Je regrette, I do apologize to any and all French persons and Francophiles who were genuinely flabbergasted by my faux pa. Excusez-moi, s'il vous plaît.

Oh, and so sorry, USA...


3:36 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Human Gus,

Looks like G is having some trouble with that whole French news thing. I'll have to look into it more before I can discuss it intelligently (maybe not even then, huh?)

But as to your contention and that of other scraper defenders that scrapers are significanty similar to G in their operations, I offer to you Scraperrob's Greatest Hits (snippets scraped from this very thread)...

"So we are "harming" the sites we link to? I was thinking that last nite too. So with the urls I display I no longer link to your sites.. Instead I link to an affilate page of mine that offers different affiliates to chose from. Affiliate signups went through the roof today. Also, I am probably going to start ranking pretty well for your url. Just a few minutes ago, I put an explanation on this page stating to the effect that it has come to my attention that sites on my page do want want to be linked to. Choose from the many high quality widget here."

"So I for one will stop "harming" your sites by linking to them..... I was actually losing traffic by users clicking on these links and you guys have convinced me of a better way to show these links."

"No thanks is necessary for my removing your links."

"the way to get your site off of one of my scrape "SPAM" sites is to disallow ALL robots... I contend that my sites are simply highly targetted meta search engines. I personall grab data from all three search engines which makes me a meta like engine."

Does this sound anything like G's business model? If G tries to use this defense in court, the French will surely prevail.

Henri: "I win? France has won! France has won!"

Fraiser: "There's something you never hear." (excerpted from Cheers, Episode Number 248 - The Magnificent Six - first aired on October 22, 1992).

P.S. That Cheers info was gleaned from a site which makes really nice "fair use" of copyrighted material which is informative for the reader and does not devalue the original copyrighted work. This is an example of what I mean when I say that there's tons of ways to produce real content on all sorts of topics -- legally -- and with some panache.


4:31 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Some guidelines for Fair Use [education-world.com] are spelled out here.

* Is the section of the original work used the most important part of the work? The less significant the portion of the work used, the more likely it is to be considered fair use.

When a scraper site scrapes an entire review, they are not scraping the "less significant" part of it. They are copying the heart of the review and making it less likely for the visitor to click on the author's site to read the rest.

Copyrighted works that are used for another purpose or designed to appeal to a different audience are more likely to be considered fair use.

I think the answer is "no" with scraper sites.

The guidelines do not allow users to:
use copyrighted work without attributing the author.

Scraper Rob admits that he is now scraping content without linking to the author's site. (i.e. not attributing the author.) That is not fair use.


4:57 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

How can any of you talk bad about "scraper" sites and not bring up dogpile.com. How are Dogpile's results any different than many of the "scraper" sites you are complaining about?

Dogpile says:
"Dogpile was founded with one simple mission -- to give you the best Web search results. We do this by searching all the most popular engines and then giving you the best combined results all in one place. "

Are you going to try to shut them down? Who is to say whether or not one of the "scraper" developers will be the next dogpile?

I agree that there is a problem when the owner of a directory or small search engine redirects the link - but beyond that I think it's sour grapes.

After reading this forum for the past few days I think it is pretty clear that the ones complaining are the ones getting beat in the Google SERPS.

Realistically, however, CPM and EPC are higher on traffic from Yahoo and MSN


5:31 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)


"After reading this forum for the past few days I think it is pretty clear that the ones complaining are the ones getting beat in the Google SERPS."

Well, we are also having our content reproduced by unauthorized scumbags. If they weren't using our content to try to steal our money (see scraperrob's posts) do you really think we'd be complaining?

Think about it, there are about 32,000 sites that outrank me according to Alexa and you don't see me complaining about them, do you?

P.S. Dogpile pays money to aggregate that data. You do understand the difference between authorized and unauthorized use of goods and services, don't you?

[edited by: Atticus at 5:34 am (utc) on Mar. 30, 2005]


5:32 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

How anyone can try to justify scraping honest content just beyond me.
Comparisons to search engines are ludicrous.

If this discussion were about Arson instead of Scraping, I can just imagine the excuses
* Others do it. * Pyromaniacs stimulate the economy.
* Forest fires are part of the natural cycle.
* What about lightning? .. Kids playing with matches?
* Today's arsonist is tomorrow's rocket scientist ..
* The building owner is a wet blanket.

Wrong is wrong. Theft of intellectual property is wrong.
If you scrape content you are pond scum. -LH


5:37 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh Larry,

You're just upset because celebrity-ringtones-arson-insurance-fraud.com outranks your site. Get a life, already!


5:38 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

To be honest I don't often check to see how well my sites list with the search engines—though I am always pleasantly surprised with how well many of them do. (I just checked one of my sites, and it lists well on the first page, and certainly not below any scrapers.)

From my perspective, Dogpile differs from scrapers in several areas: they actually link to the sites (something that Scraper Rob now admits he isn't doing anymore), and they "scrape" a sentence—usually the meta description we put in our sites. They don't scrape the heart of the content and then (at least in Scraper Rob's case) never even link to us.


5:59 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So, if a scraper site pays the SEs for use of their content, then you won't have a problem with that site?

Or what about a small startup that uses their own crawler and grabs snippets from web sites and compiles it in a database and starts their own search engine? Then the content on the web site pages would be unique - and no different from any other search engine's business model.

Isn't the real problem that Google spiders these pages and includes them in their results? What if they spidered Yahoo and MSN? Wouldn't Yahoo and MSN be considered scaper sites then?

The reality is that there seems to be two types of sites:

1- a true scraper site that does not link back to the originator of the snippet and probably does not pay for the content - but uses a meta-script, or other means to get content.

2 - a site that is accused of being a scraper site - but links back properly, has original, grass-roots search results, or leased results.

Either way, it seems that both will be hard to beat in SERPs.


6:09 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)


All your little tricksy methods to justify copyright infringement have been discussed ad-nauseum.

Try re-reading the thread.

I for one am getting closer to the idea of sending some spam complaints to G. At the very least I'll continue to cheer on Blend27, "The Scraper Killer." The legends say "He killed him a scraper when he was only three..."

P.S. "Either way, it seems that both will be hard to beat in SERPs" Yeah, go ahead and put all your AdSense eggs in THAT basket.


6:19 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It is not copyright infringement if you lease results from Google, or one of the other search engines, and the past threads say nothing is wrong with grabbing snippets if credit is given properly by linking back to the proper web site.

If it is such a clear cut problem, where are the lawsuits. And it is easy for Blend27 to say he had "scraper" sites banned. Anyone can say it - but where is the proof? There are too many variables that can cause a site to lose ranking or be dropped.

And Atticus: "little tricksy methods"? Are you a lawyer?


6:22 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Are you the attorney for scraperrob who got him that sweetheart deal with G?

While I am not a lawyer, I tend to call out, "Stop thief," when theives steal from me and say, "Ha, ha! I am stealing from you and there's nothing you can do about it!"

[edited by: Atticus at 6:27 am (utc) on Mar. 30, 2005]


6:24 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Actually, my eggs have been in that basket for over 14 months, and for the last 8 I have had my adsense check hand-delivered - FedEx then UPS - and now DHL.

AND I used this same site you would call a 'scraper', my one and only web site, when I applied to adsense - and it was approved.

I have never had pages dropped in Yahoo, MSN or Google.

Maybe what I should do is shut my web site down you you have a better chance at out performing me? Need a boost?

My search engine is home grown, and with over 10.5 million urls in the database I probably have links to your web site(s). AND, I probably sent traffic to your web site(s).

My business model is different than yours - and mine apparently works better. It is not short term - as history has shown.

So if this offends you send me your web address and I can easily remove your site(s) from the database.

[edited by: ipoem at 6:33 am (utc) on Mar. 30, 2005]


6:33 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)


Then I don't think that I would consider your site to be a scraper. What's your URL? Your site sounds like a valuable resource and I'd like to check it out.


6:36 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Name one person who would be dumb enough to give out their web address here - in front of all their competition.


6:43 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about europeforvisitors? I don't think he's dumb at all. Looks like a pro to me and his history is as long standing as my own (since January '96). Look through the member profiles and you'll see a few others with homepages listed (not me though!)

But of course, I'm not as good as you are. By not giving the readers of this forum your URL, you are denying us the opportunity of learning from our foolish mistakes. If you really believe that you have been sending me all that valuable traffic, why not tell us who you are, so that I can make an informed decision about whether I want to be in your handy-data database.


6:58 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

sticky me your email address and you will have your wish. I also took The Contractor up on his offer - but I am asking $5000. I have no fear.


7:00 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Human Gus,

I read a little bit about the G vs AFP thingy and I gather that G was slow in removing AFP's listing, but is now trying to comply.

AFP says they will continue with the suit whether G complies at this stage or not.

So G was wrong, in my opinion, not to remove the links when requested. And AFP would seem to be beating a dead horse.


7:03 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

ipoem -- I did kill me a scraper, gods honest truth, the latest site was using yahoo SERPS to generate content, and had as I said before 1280x760 full of Ads By G, we wrote a letter to G from a Yahoo Email account stating the obvious, the site was taken down with in 36 hours, We got a confirmation from G. We simply mentioned that IT WAS NOT FAIR to the small businesses to see this type of SERPS. the site is not in SERPS for those keywords any more, not in the first 1000, as far as I could tell, and they were in top 10 for at least 700 or so. At first every page was linking out as a 302, then they switched to straight links, then they stopped out linking completely. Then they got nuked, if you will! As to scrapers, I have a small but effective theory for them.

You still my content -you get it between the eyes. No questions Asked.

Atticus - #289 - it is a Slayer not a Killer ---


7:10 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)


It has been my experience that those who boast most loudly about having "no fear," are usually the biggest cry babies on the playground.

Don't think I'll be sending you my e-mail any time soon. I admit that I have some trepidation about corresponding with those who may be ethically challenged.

What seems funny to me is that several folks seem to have joined this forum just to come here and defend scraper sites. Seems that we have got your attention and that you felt compelled to take some action to justify your so-called business model.

If you publish a legit directory that is not purposely trying to oust other publishers by using their content, using sneaky redirects and metarefreshes, etc., then relax. No one is complaining about you.

BTW, I'd considering taking some of that $5k action, but I gotta know your URL first. I mean, you could give us a site about spatulas, say it was a scraper and call us welshers if we didn't pay up.

And before somebody brings it up, I apologize to the Welsh, already.


7:43 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


You just joined less than two weeks ago yourself.

And who is "we"? The moral compass of the Internet?

Give me one lawsuit, one case where anyone was successfully sued for putting snippets from someone else's web site on their own site. And where are the lawsuits from the search engines in their attempt to take down the meta-search sites? If this is such a wide-spread disease corrupting the Internet don't you think they would do something about it? The savings the search engines would receive in bandwith alone would justify it.

Come on! Where is the hero of your group. I am not ethically challenged. I have just been doing this for a long time.

You mean to tell me there isn't one of those "we" in your group that has filed an infringement case and won. I mean, it is such an ungodly circumstance that you are all facing - all the money you lost by being unjustly out-ranked, and not one of you have stepped up and proven your claim in a court of law?

Did anyone file at all? Did anyone find any case law that applies? Your claims are gutless, and any thinking person would see there is much more bravado being spread on your side than hard facts.

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