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Competitor that stole content now removed from search results

     
7:43 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I posted here a couple of weeks ago about a competing site that stole word for word thousands of pages from my site.. they were also stealing thousands more from others. I reported them to Google search and AdSense abuse.. this site had over 40,000 stolen pages listed in Google and showing AdSense on their site.. I just checked today and it appears that Google removed all 40,000+ pages that the site had listed.

I predict that this site will try and retaliate against my site and I am concerned about my status with AdSense. I have been a proud publisher for over 4.5 years and I am a man of integrity.

What do you all think I should do? Should I let AdSense abuse know that someone may be trying to get me banned soon by illegal clicks or some other activity that I might not know about? Or do I just trust their system?

Advice appreciated.

hunderdown

8:38 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How will they know it was you that reported them?
8:47 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They won't know IF they were ratted out or simply found out by Google. And if they guessed that they were ratted out, they'd have no idea WHO ratted them out.

It's very likely their network was much larger than you suppose and those were taken down as well, making the process of guessing who ratted them out that much more difficult.

I've never heard of anyone being retaliated against. All the spammers I know simply move along and build again. Not saying it doesn't happen, but if it does, it's definitely very rare.

If possible, I prefer to contact individuals with a letter advising them of my options and most take my content off their site immediately.

Here is the curious part: Instead of thanking me for asking them first instead of busting in with DMCA guns blazing from each hand, they generally respond with a huffy email stating there is no need to threaten them.

Hahahaha! Yes, there is a need... suckers! ;)

9:28 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If possible, I prefer to contact individuals with a letter advising them of my options and most take my content off their site immediately.

They do? In my experience, they ignore me. I've given up sending letters and just file DMCAs now. I don't have the time to try to let people fix their mistakes.

And if they guessed that they were ratted out, they'd have no idea WHO ratted them out.

Depends on the type of report. If you file a DMCA, Google sends a copy to the publisher. The DMCA complaint has your name, physical address, and e-mail address. I'm not worried about being retaliated against with clicks because I don't run AdSense, but if there is a DMCA, people know who sent it.

9:32 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Copying your content may have had nothing to do with their ban. Unless this is their first spam site they are used to this. These kinds of people are in a constant battle with Google. I doubt you are the only one they stole from.
10:27 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm thinking of a new line of work:

The G-Search Witness Protection Program, LLC

10:49 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I predict that this site will try and retaliate

Why? There's no benefit to them and surely they're fully aware they stole the content. If anything they'll probably keep scraping and keep putting up throwaway sites.
10:58 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Depends on the type of report. If you file a DMCA...

Right, good point. But the OP didn't file a DMCA. So that's not applicable to this discussion.

According to the OP:

I reported them to Google search and AdSense abuse...

He filed a standard spam report and sent a love letter to AdSense.

Filing a DMCA will indeed out you to your target and open you up to an attack if you're vulnerable. Which is a good reason to contact an individual by phone or email in an effort to settle it amicably.

In the OP's case, he did it clandestinely, and because many of these networks are so large, I doubt the target of his reports will be able to guess who did it, nor will they spend time trying.

Hopefully, vengeance-minded mobsters weren't behind the sites he outed. Now that would be a headache, wouldn't it?

[edited by: martinibuster at 11:19 pm (utc) on Dec. 16, 2006]

11:02 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm thinking of a new line of work:

The G-Search Witness Protection Program, LLC

G-man?

12:36 am on Dec 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well theres are all good points and thanks for the responses... Just to clarify.

I emailed the site owner days before Google removed them.. I asked them to remove all content and they did..

This wasn't the most spammy of sites, as it was more of a human-generated size and nature.. they copied a couple of my sites, but not all of them.. and it appears that the site had been growing semi-organically albeit through hand copying pages from other sites.

Due to the proximity of my message asking them to remove my content, and the apparent ban by google I think they will know that it was me that raised the red flag on them. I don't want problems, I just wanted them to stop the stealing it was unfair to me and the others they had stolen from.

12:44 am on Dec 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I emailed the site owner days before Google removed them.. I asked them to remove all content and they did..

In which case, if you're still worried, maybe an email to Adsense support outlining the situation and asking what, if any, steps they suggest you take to protect yourself from possible retaliation.

Forewarned, they may at least stop and think before pulling the plug on you, should anything untoward happen.

Good luck!

11:16 am on Dec 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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well if you are worried about retaliation then i really don't understand why you emailed them and told them about your site asking for stolen content to be removed. You must have known there was a chance they would be bombed by Google after contacting adsense!

let's hope they have better ( or worse ) things to do because you have now made it absolutely clear who is responsible for getting them obliterated from the Ssearch engine results.

1:24 pm on Dec 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Adsense knows there are greedy webmasters out there stealing content from sites.

It is against the adsense policy to use stolen content & you can be thrown out if you are a continue stealing content.

see this link:
[google.com...]

Scroll the above page and Read under "Account Termination"

" Google will, in appropriate circumstances, terminate repeat infringers. If you believe that an account holder or subscriber is a repeat infringer, please follow the instructions above to contact Google and provide information sufficient for us to verify that the account holder or subscriber is a repeat infringer."

1:39 pm on Dec 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You better get thicker skin my friend, one of our sites is copied usually 4-7 times a year. The bigger you become the more this will happen, between the 200 hackers a day trying to gain access to our properties, scum stealing our content or whole sites, DMCA headaches and the always fun DDOS, you may be in the wrong business if your concerned with what these scumbags may do.
7:32 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Word of warning: if you suggest to google your going to get illegal clicks they will protect their advertisers over their publishers. (you'll get banned just telling them because they don't want the #*$! going down (TRUST ME I've seen it happen))
5:04 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If he copied you, chances are VERY good he's copied a lot of other folks too. Most of these content stealing no-talent bozo's don't focus on just one, it's kinda like potatoe chips to them (can't eat just one).

They take a shotgun approach, copy everything, then hope some of this rises to the top...

I bet they got letters from more folks then you.

Most webscum try to stay under the radar and keep a low profile. They don't retaliate as a rule, they move on to the next victim. Most folks doing bad things have a backup plan, are prepared for failure, and immediatly move on to another "fish" out there.

Don't start barking at the door until the thief is actually on your property... A lesson my schnauzer needs too...

 

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