What Bloggers Don’t Know About – Blog Scrapers

Everyone is blogging these days. It could be a personal website aimed at social interaction or business related sites. Of course the main objective for every blogger is to keep the traffic hooked and make it grow. Ironically, most bloggers go to any length to achieve this objective, and mostly through wrong means.

Never copy other peoples’ web content. It is illegal.

Always write your own blogs. It is alright to rewrite an idea but never take another person’s work and use it on your website. The fact is that, the internet has too much content and when you search there is lots of similar information. This is why the search engines are becoming very sensitive when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Copied information is detected immediately.

Most times I have heard friends who are bloggers talk about their blogs being stolen. At first I thought it was far from the truth, but it took me a while to verify this. This is why I felt I should put some light on the problem of Blog Scrapers. There really are people out there who actually steal other peoples’ blogs and put it on their websites, or use them as “Splogs”. These Splogs are spam blogs which people email to their clients to maintain huge traffic.

Blog scrapping is actually the process of searching the internet for blogs. After finding them, blog scrappers use them on their websites – like stealing. Some in fact use software applications to search and copy the blogs. There are friends of mine who have been victims of blog scrapping. When their blogs got stolen and they approached the site owners, all they got in return were false claims of ownership. It was quite a mess.

The problem is that people don’t realize this is illegal. Instead of stealing blogs from original sites, just ask the owner for permission to use it. Strike a deal or share links, this is better and helps both parties. Of course the writer has his or her right to protect the article. This is what we call “Copyrights”.

Those of us who want to protect our blogs can get them copyrighted. The best site for this is creativecommons.org. It is a simple process and easy to do.

There is also CopyScape.com, a site that will compare your web page and search the rest of the web for copies of that content.

Just as there are copy scraper applications, there are those which detect the copy scrapes. For example; you can use the HTML Agility and Silverlight browser applications. There are some applications like node.js which actually detect screen scrapes. You never know to what extent your webpage may be copied.

So once you put something up on your website, always copyright it immediately and check for blog scrapers.