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How Do I Get Someone's Adsense Suspended

     
9:45 pm on Jul 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Long post, bear with me.

I have been dealing with a very chronic content thief for a long time. This has ultimately rendered all efforts on one of my sites useless.

Google in its infinite wisdom constantly ranks the duplicate content directly above mine when the title or excerpt is searched verbatim.
As a result, I have suffered serious loss of traffic and revenue.

The thief has been at it for over 2 years, and at this point has duplicated nearly 1,000 pages from my site. ONE THOUSAND. That is insane.

What makes it more complicated is that neither the thief nor his host are in the US.
I contacted the site owner and firmly told him to cease the theft, but he literally refused.
I filed a DMCA with Google Search, but they decided not to take action, and suggested I work it out directly with the thief, and they'll adjust their search results accordingly.
What nonsense!

I went ahead and filed an abuse complaint with his host, but no action appears to have been taken (it's been about 2 weeks). Although his host is notorious for harboring such sites.

Now, the main question is since Google's reporting process seems the same for its products, is there a more direct way to report the abuse to the adsense team?
Mainly because Google did not act on the initial Search engine request.

The thief has adsense on his site which is entirely duplicate content, copyrighted music downloads and such.
A few copied posts here and there can be overlooked, but almost 1,000 is about 60% of my entire site content and can't be overlooked.

I put in a lot of effort on this site, and to watch someone else get fat from it at my expense is a huge buzzkill.
10:55 pm on July 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Depending on where you are and where the crook is located (and their host) it could be that a DMCA is not able to help you. DMCA is a US law, it has not got much effect outside of US sites and hosting. Google does not take down every AdSense site accused of wrongdoing without investigating for some clear reasons. (What if the crook claimed you copied their site?) That's why they expect you to document your attempt to handle the problem and the responses (if any) before they take action. Europe has their own version called WIPO, stronger in some respects. It can be difficult to document the details and determine where the people involved are located and what laws might carry weight in their location. If you can show that you have tried to deal with the problem and cannot, then you might have what Google would want to see as evidence.

You might find useful information in a previous similar discussion here: [webmasterworld.com...]
11:29 pm on July 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Are they copying in content external links from you site? If they do that opens up a lot of possibilities.

Also its not a certainty that getting adsense pulled will help you. The site could still outrank you. And they likely will move to another ad network. I would concentrate on ways to outrank them.
12:05 am on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@not2easy
Yeah, that's why I said it is more complicated, being that I am in the US and the thief is elsewhere. His host operates out of Europe and Canada, but he isn't in either of those places.

The crook can't really claim I copied their content, because many times, they've been too stupid to remove my site name from within the posts.
e.g they take a post containing things like "today at mysitename, we are bringing you..." and paste it verbatim on their site. Not the smartest thieves alive.

I don't think his host has a parent host, as they're pretty large, but I'll try to find out. Thanks.


@romerome
I'm not sure what you mean by "Are they copying in content external links from you site?"

Getting their adsense pulled will not help rank-wise, but it will land a massive blow on their operations, and ultimately deter their actions.
Also, it could prompt Google to put them on their global crap list (as they should be).
1:20 am on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@mr_jefe

For in content external links. I mean in your content if you link to a site like www.xyz.com" do they copy that link. Or do they strip out all the links

If they are there are there are ways to hurt their rankings.
2:28 am on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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For in content external links. I mean in your content if you link to a site like www.xyz.com" do they copy that link. Or do they strip out all the links

If they are there are there are ways to hurt their rankings.


No, I very rarely have external links, but they do remove the internal links I use.
5:50 am on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There is no need to worry if a site ranks for snippets of plagiarized text. It's meaningless if all the site ranks for is snippets of text. The only time stolen content is hurting you is if the content thief displaces the original site in the SERPs for real-world competitive search queries.

Any PageRank accumulated by a content thief is attributed to the original source. If Google's aware and said they'd adjust their SERPs then this is what they did. The more links their content attracts the more authority it brings to you.
6:37 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I've had some success filing DMCA complaints directly with non-US hosts. You may also want to just contact the host(s) and ask them what their process for handling such complaints is.
8:08 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@martinibuster
The other site does displace mine for real world queries for the content, so it is directly stealing the traffic.
The site is a lot more popular than mine, so it appears Google is going off of that to present their copy first.

Google said they weren't taking any action. That if I get the other person to remove the duplicates by legal action and such, THEN they will update the search results.
In essence, if you can't sort it out with the thief, then tough luck.


@Chrispcritters
I had called them before filing a complaint. However, they said all such complaints had to go through their abuse form page. The agent said sometimes they don't respond to the emails, but take action.
The automated email received after filling out the form said they have no access to content of sites, so they can't directly remove things. However, they forward the request to the customer.
Since they have not responded, and the pages are still up, it means they've done nothing.
8:24 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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To the OP
Your original posts states that Google told you they'd adjust their serps accordingly. Your words. Now you're saying they're not taking action?

Don't wish to quibble however your first post says they're out ranking you for exact match on title tags and excerpts which is what my response to you answers.

Now you are changing your post to mean that the thief is ranking for more than just your title tags and excerpts. So I just want to encourage you to be more accurate in describing what's happening because it makes it appear as if you are exaggerating or leaving things out for appearances.
9:45 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@martinibuster
I have not changed anything from my original post.

For the Google part:

- Original post, I said
I filed a DMCA with Google Search, but they decided not to take action, and suggested I work it out directly with the thief, and they'll adjust their search results accordingly.


- Subsequent post, I said
Google said they weren't taking any action. That if I get the other person to remove the duplicates by legal action and such, THEN they will update the search results.


I'm guessing you missed it, as I did not edit those sentences after the fact. Both statements are practically identical.
Both say any action on Google's part is contingent upon the thief first removing the content.

In fact, here is a copy of the response from Google:


Hello,

Thanks for reaching out to us.

At this time, Google has decided not to take action on the following URLs:

[List of URLS]

We encourage you to resolve any disputes directly with the owner of the website in question. Visit [support.google.com...] to learn how to contact a site's webmaster and request a change. If you pursue legal action against this site that results in the removal of the material, our search results will display this change after we next crawl the site. If the webmaster makes these changes and you need us to expedite the removal of the cached copy, please submit your request using our webpage removal request tool at [google.com...]

Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don't control the content of these webpages. If you're concerned about the content on a particular page in our search results, we suggest that you directly address the webmaster of the page in question. To learn how to contact the webmaster of a site, please visit [support.google.com...] For more information about our Terms of Service, please visit [google.com...]

Regards,
The Google Team



As for titles and excerpts in search, I don't see how providing you additional information amounted to changing.
I said he ranks higher for verbatim titles and excerpts. You made your observation, to which I added that it indeed outranked me even for real world queries.

It doesn't change the first statement, it only specifically confirms that "real world queries" are also affected.

I'm sure you're here to help, and have no reason to speculate on my intentions, the same way I have no reason to exaggerate or put up appearances.
Therefore, there is no quibbling going on here, but a conversation.

[edited by: Mr_Jefe at 9:50 pm (utc) on Jul 20, 2016]

9:46 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm not going to go look it up, but I distinctly remember Google saying something to the effect that they'll go ahead and rank scraped content on a more trusted / authoritative domain if they think it's a better user experience (or at least something close to that). I have that happen all the time with news outlets that scrape my event listings; for the most part I've been able to stay ahead of them in the rankings by continually adding value and trying to be the most authoritative in my niche even if I can't beat out the authority of an entire large market newspaper site.

First of all, don't expect fair. There is no fair in search. Whether or not there should be is moot, because there isn't. The goal is not to fight with Google, it's to gain traffic and make money (I scraped that from WebmasterWorld user 'wheel' ork ork)

Second of all, you can beat your head against a wall trying to get Google or some hosting provider to take down 1000+ pages on this site that's outranking you, or you can spend your valuable time and money trying to make your site better, trying to make it so that your users *love* your site, and come back to it again and again - preferably without even looking in Google first. By being more authoritative in your niche (and not this other site's entire niche).

If you don't feel there's any way to do that (I might argue that, but it's your call) then it might be time to expand your niche or pick another one.

Yea, there are times you can get someone's AdSense pulled down - it usually takes weeks or months of reporting the site to Google pretty much every day, and it has to be very very very blatant, pretty much the entire site has to be a scraped or malware mess. From what I've seen, Google usually won't yank an AdSense account on a large site for content purposes unless a significant portion of the content is obviously scraped. If this other site has a million pages, and only 1000 of them are your own scraped pages, I don't know that you'll get anywhere with trying to report them. If it's a 2000 page site and half of it is scraped, might have a better chance.

Just trying to be realistic here.
10:17 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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1.) Is the scrapper automated or manual? You can determine this by adding a temp link with fake content and hide the link (CSS: display: none;) and see if a bot comes barreling through; if so you can setup a script to automatically block it which would take an experienced programming 20~30 minutes if even that. That leaves you with manual scrapping...

2.) You didn't mention the medium of the content being scraped (audio, images, text, video, etc) though except for text. Except for audio and text you can and should watermark everything. With audio it's clear to announce that your site is the source and not just at the beginning where some nub can easily crop the audio...I'd put it at a point where music is transitioning so any cropping would be clearly apparent. If it's text then all you need to do is use the server to detect Google and allow Google 12~24 hours of access before the scrapper can gain it (don't rely on the user agent, ever) though this is technically cloaking and search engines do verify for cloaking (Bing to be duly noted).

Learning is the detection of patterns and so all you have to do is establish what patterns this person is repeating. Yes, if you post something publicly to your server it's free to the world though if you're having trouble with just one person then block enough IP addresses and your problem of stolen content starts to become their problem of not being able to afford another twenty or thirty IP addresses. It will likely require blocking the IP addresses of common VPNs for example which unfortunately I've found lots of dumb spammers abuse though the potential loss of a few legitimate visitors will be outweighed by negating someone who has that much lack of a life.

John
10:24 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@netmeg
Everything you say is true. However, I still feel it doesn't hurt to at least attempt to combat their activities.
Their site is much larger and much older, even though there isn't a single word of original content on it.

What they're doing is essentially converting my site into a category on theirs.
e.g if my site is a Mercedes site, then theirs is a general information site. On which the drop-down category for Cars>Mercedes contains almost exclusively content from my site.

It's frustrating to see, to say the least.

The reason I started the site was because I found there was no authority site in that niche, in that market. My site is doing decently in gradually assuming that position.
While I'm doing my part to make that happen, and have dedicated users who visit daily, I still feel their activities are hurting noticeably.
They're not after that niche authority, or any for that matter, as they publish almost anything they can copy/paste.

So yes, I do put in a lot of effort into the site, which is what makes it more frustrating to watch them reap from the sweat.
Their activities aren't the death of the site, but are an awful itch.
10:37 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I understand, and I have had the same experience (I've talked to news organizations on the phone about this who have told me "tough sh*t, we can take whatever we want" in as many words) and it's fine to do what you feel you can, but it's also all too easy to get so caught up you lose sight of the forest for the trees. If they're much older and much larger, they have an advantage that may be insurmountable (or surmountable but at huge cost) Set yourself a time limit or a money limit or an effort limit, after which if you haven't made any headway, it will be time to let it go and focus inward. For the sake of your sanity, if nothing else.
11:48 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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drop a few dofollow links to your website in the content (use random keywords, etc.) How much is the site worth to you? If the user isn't based in the US, you could get a default judgement and force removal from SERPs. Yeah it will cost money...but if the content in question is pulling in $5,000/mo or more it's probably worth it. You can even seize the domain.
11:53 pm on July 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It sounds like they are a much larger site. Trying to get adsense pulled is pretty much pointless.

First of all its going to be harder to get adsense pulled if they are bigger.

More importantly for a smaller site getting adsense pulled is a big deal and might make them quit. For a larger site that simply isn't true. They have other options for revenue. Outbrain, taboola, direct advertisers etc. So the percent drop in revenue is smaller when they lose adsense.

So instead of going from making say 1000 a month to 150 (if a small site loses revenue). You are talking, for example, of going from 30k a month to maybe 27k. And basically no one is walking away from 27k a month.

The best thing for you (and that would hurt them as well) is outranking them. I'm not saying its easy. And I understand the situation you are in with these guys is annoying as hell. But its probably the best avenue.

Blocking the bots is not a bad idea as well. Also if they scrape manually I think there is a way with javascript to block people from copying content. Not 100% effective but is somewhat of a deterrent.

[edited by: romerome at 12:15 am (utc) on Jul 21, 2016]

12:14 am on July 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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You've probably already done this, but one thing I did that helped mitigate at least some of the scrapers was to disable all RSS on my sites. If I'm gonna be scraped, I'm at least not going to make it easy for them.
4:27 am on July 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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My nuclear option when I find a big offender that is a real threat (I try not to sweat the small stuff otherwise I'd go berserk): they're often guilty of copying other web sites, so I take detailed note of these infringements and notify the other web sites, giving them all the info I gathered to easily send their own complaints to the offender's host/advertisers. A big number of complainers (some of them may have deeper pockets than you or already have lawyers) is more difficult to ignore.
5:30 am on July 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Nice one, koan. It's been a long time since I deployed that one, lol. Thanks for the reminder. It works.
5:12 am on July 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@JAB Creations
The scrape seems to be done manually, or at least involve a check and edit. The content is a combination of text and embedded video. However, I am only concerned about the text.
I don't bother tracking the thief's IP, as he is in a place where they don't use static IPs. Also, since a lot of my visitors are also in the same region, I'd rather not block wide ranges.


@netmeg
Yeah, that's the plan. Do all I can within ethical limits to get them to stop. Otherwise, let it be and put that energy on the site. I've considered blocking the RSS, but I am not 100% certain what other effects that could have, and they seem to be manually scraping now, so I don't know. Maybe I'll try and see.


@eek2121
They remove links in the text. The site isn't worth anything significant at this point. However, for me, it is not a drive-by project. I'm building it to fully occupy a position of authority in that niche of that market, as the market steadily evolves toward consuming more of its type of content.


@romerome
If I can get their adsense removed, it will be a big blow to them.
I disabled the ability to highlight/copy text from the site. This had only stumped them for a few days, as these clowns are relentless. They manually type the damn thing now. Especially since the posts aren't very long. I know, as sometimes theirs contain typos I didn't make. Even more obvious/annoying is they replace my site name with theirs in the posts, blatantly stealing its voice.
So if I say something like "we did ABC at mysitename, in order to get XYZ...," they just substitute their site name in there, and their visitors take it as they see it.


@Koan
I'll take a look at their site and see what content from major sources I can find. Their site is almost entirely stolen content, so hopefully I get just the right content belonging to aggressive copyright holders.


Thanks to everyone who has chimed in so far.
6:35 am on July 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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"I filed a DMCA with Google Search"

Does their response not leave them legally liable? Ask a lawyer about this.
4:27 pm on July 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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In addition to turning off RSS you should also nocache it because scrapers scrape google cache. Also block archive.org as well. Indirect scraping is something you want to prevent.
9:33 pm on July 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Yup, I do all of that too.
9:43 pm on July 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@graeme p
I really don't know. I can probably get a general generic legal opinion on that on Avvo, as I don't intend to hire a lawyer for it. At least not now.


@martinibuster
Main reason I haven't bothered with RSS is after I disabled highlighting/copying on the site, they now manually type up the text. Which just makes it nearly impossible to stop.
Initially, I thought they were using archive.org, but I noticed the archived site is usually a few months behind. However, the thief accesses my content almost daily.


Not the end of the world though.
11:07 pm on July 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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1. Write a few new articles and, concurrently, ACTUALLY FILE for copyright at Copyright.gov office . . so you are now entitled to "statutory damages" (~$100,000.00 USD per act of infringement).
2. Wait for it . . . (the infringement, that is)
3. File suit. Follow all necessary steps to secure jurisdiction and a proper monetary judgment. (Retain IP counsel.)
4. Docket judgment in California / G HQ, i.e. "where the money is / is payable from".
5. Levy against the thief's G account, i.e., attach thief's right to receive payment. In other words, funds that accrue to thief will be paid by G to you instead of thief, by virtue of the judgment and levy.
3:40 pm on July 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Someone copied my entire site a long time ago and made an ebook out of it, and no, they didn't bother to remove any references to my site within the content. There's not a thing anyone will do about it, and I've been battling it for years. And the name of my site is trademarked.
9:40 pm on July 25, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@webwork
That sounds good (at least in theory). However, at this stage of the site's life, I believe its execution would amount to somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory. I appreciate the suggestion though.


@azlinda
Frustrating to say the least.


@netmeg
I have gone ahead and turned off RSS feeds for the site. I'll monitor it for a week or so, and see. I'm guessing since they steal content from numerous sites, it won't be feasible for them to individually check each site for updates. That way they lose track, and hopefully interest. Although, I doubt they'll shrug off years of dependency so easily.
1:13 pm on July 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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These brain dead people are still at it.
However, it appears the RSS shut off threw a little wrench in their wheels today, as their duplicates are using my titles as the post content instead.
Still observing.
2:29 pm on July 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Just throwing this out there. And its risky. Assuming that 1) They are copying your content from RSS and 2) its some intern doing it who is not reading the content (seems pretty likely)

You could fake your rss feed, and obviously not have adsense in the rss. And for good measure block google from said rss. Then have stuff in your faked rss feed that violates adsense guidelines. Don't do anything illegal just talk about po r n, gambling, drugs, sales of prescription drugs and/or whatever else. To hide it I would put it in the middle of paragraphs (and not be in bold or anthing)

Then wait for them to copy said content (assuming they will have adsense ads on the copied content that now violates guidelines). Ideally wait for them to copy 10-15 corrupted articles

Then report them. You are basically using the fact that they are copying your content as a trojan horse.

Make sure your actual content does not point/link to your rss feed.
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