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Yahoo, ok, I see them more, but even so, only for obscure terms.
Is it possible that the engines aren't paying much attention to the scraper sites because they don't feel they're a real problem? Because 99% of users are searching for terms that a scraper site will never appear in the results for?
Is all of the griping about how scrapers are "polluting the search results" only coming from webmasters who would rather see their own sites show up for these obscure terms, and not from people actually doing normal searching on the web? Or from webmasters who are upset because their content was "stolen" and put up on other sites? (I quote "stolen" because unless they have a robots.txt file in place to prevent spiders other than those they approve, they can't really claim that their content has been stolen--unless G/Y/MSN are all "stealing" it too).
Just some questions I've been thinking about and hoping to see some responses to.
I'd love to see a few major (or semi-major) keywords where scraper sites show up in the top 10 results in Google.
What are your thoughts?
It is a mass thing, most scraper/html spam producers do it in such mass that as a single site you would barely notice but when they own several hundred if not thousands of websites all with hundreds of thousands of pages it adds up fast.
G removes them sometimes eventually or eventually they are driven down in rankings but to only be replaced by there next batch and on and on the cycle continues.
As long as there is a web to crawl this problem will be here now. I have seen firsthand some very serious setups with a few guys running some hardcore html spam houses numbering in the thousands of domains now. It is 100% automated im sure as I can tell from the code.
People are not going to spend this kind of green on thousands of domains and build a custom backend unless it is extremely lucrative so it must be producing some crazy results for them or they just like wasting a few hundred thousand bucks hehe.
However for keywords I'm targeting I am up against spam like sites, in so much as they offer little real content on a subject but manage to outperform pages seemingly due to the way search engines rate pages (be it due to excessive keyword use or mass interlinking within a network).
Also, my perception is that Google has improved things somewhat in the past month or so. I rarely come across them by chance now, no matter how many keywords I throw into a search.
The "problem" of scaper sites affects other webmasters, not surfers. That doesn't make it any less real of course. Most webmasters take offense at seeing their work copied by a scaper site, as do I. But the fact is, it's our problem (as webmasters) and it affects the web at large very little, if at all.
The term "scraper site", while accurate, exists only in the world of the webmaster. Most normal web users wouldn't recognize one if they saw it and they couldn't care less that they exist.
The term "scraper site" may exist only in the world of the Webmaster, but normal users are definitely aware of the sites and and their impact on search results. (My son's girlfriend being a case in point: When she looked for the Web site of the corporation where she'll be interning, she had to dig through a list of scraper results to find it. My son's question to me: "Do you have any idea what's up with Google these days?")
People complaining of the 'MANY' scraper sites they see at the top of SERPs are those who are spending large part of their time fishing for such "excellent" keywords to optimize their content around (or to build new content around it). That's why many people here are complaining from the presense of many scraper sites at the top of SERPs, because many here are doing SEO and are doing it using methods similar to the ones used by WordTracker (keywords that have high searches, and only few sites cater for, those are the "excellent" keywords). WordTracker does this by enclosing keywords in quotation marks, which it claims is the right thing to do, when actually it is not the most accurate way, but they do it because it is more practical (I'll not go into details of why is this so).
Those who never do such "excellent" keyword fishing very rarely bump into scrapers sites, let alone find them at the top of SERPs.
Conclusion: (many would DISAGREE with me) Scraper sites, and scraper sites appearing at top of SERPs is not a wide phenomena, its persentage compared to the total searches is probably VERY low, but we tend to see it here so much because we are so into SEO and use methods similar to those of WordTracker to fish for best keywords to use.
People complaining of the 'MANY' scraper sites they see at the top of SERPs are those who are spending large part of their time fishing for such "excellent" keywords to optimize their content around (or to build new content around it).
How odd. I never fish for excellent keywords or optimize my content for AdSense, and I see quite a few scraper sites. My college-age son and his older sister, neither of whom is in the Web business, have also commented on scraper sites (without using that term) in Google search results. Are you suggesting that we're only imagining what we see?