Scraper sites

Well, if you read a bunch of DIY/decorating/crafting blogs you’ve probably seen the scuttlebutt over the past few days about the “scraper” sites stealing our content and what we’re trying to do to prevent it.

When I say scraper site, I mean a site that takes content from other blogs and pulls it onto it’s own…basically taking my posts and putting them word for word on their blogs. (Here’s more info on them.)

It’s been happening for a while now, but in the past six months, and especially in the past three…it’s gotten absolutely out of control.

I get two to three emails a week from bloggers who have found my content on another site. And it’s never the same site twice. :) When that happens I have four options – email the “owner” of the scraper site and tell them to stop stealing my content (which is always through a comment because they don’t have any contact info on their site). Or I can pay a lawyer to contact them, report them to Google, or ignore.

I’ve done all of them but one – I found out how much it would cost to pay a lawyer to keep up on this and about spit. I’m talking hundreds if not thousands a month (and that’s just for the ones I know about.) This is because the first contact usually results in nothing – it’s going to take more than one email to make them stop. And these blogs are made up entirely of stolen content – so unless they’re being forced, they’re not going to go through and delete hundreds of posts they’ve stolen from my site.

I’ve tried emailing the jerks who do this and that’s a joke. I’ve tried reporting it to Google and if you’ve ever tried that you know it’s just not worth it – it happens so much I can’t even imagine how many of those they get just in one day. (And when someone is stealing hundreds of your posts this option is impossible anyway – you have to link to each questionable post.)

I’ve also tried ignoring them. But lately the rate at which it’s happening is staggering, and it’s not just me. If you’re a blogger and have been blogging for a while now, you’re content is probably being stolen too. I don’t say that to freak anyone out, it’s just a fact.

Thing is, they are getting traffic. I only hear of them because a blogger searched for a project I did and the scraper site came up instead of mine. And if you’ve linked up to one of my linky parties in the past few months, if you look into your analytics you’ll probably find traffic coming from a few of them. These people take the entire post, including 400 links from you all and put them on their own site. (The entire July Before and After Party was taken.)

So. I tell you in all honesty I’ve done what I can to stop it and I’ve come to a decision I’m not happy about, not in the least. If you read my site through Google Reader, after tomorrow (Wednesday) you’ll have to click the title of the post in reader to come to my site. It’s called truncating the feed, and although I hate truncating posts (and never plan to do them on the actual blog), it’s the only solution I’ve found -- at least right now.

This prevents (or at least makes it MUCH harder – so hard I hope they’ll give up) for these scraper sites to take my content. I try to be as transparent with you all as possible and wanted to let you know before I did the switch because I know it will affect how some of you read my posts. I am fully aware that some of you who read TDC through Google Reader will not want to click over, and I get it. But I do hope you will.

I’m nervous as all heck about this because I never want to make it hard for someone to read my posts, but as a business owner it’s a call I had to make. I know I’ll lose some readers and that kills me…this is not a decision that was made lightly. I just don’t have any other choice right now – a fellow blogger told me the other day that I should get an award for the number of sites who have stolen my content this year. Nice. :)

So bear with me…it sucks for my Reader followers I know. But I have to do something and this is all I know to do for the time being.


By the way, if you don’t read TDC through a feed, then you won’t notice any change at all.

If you are a blogger and would like to see if your content is on some of the scraper sites out there, send me an email and I’ll send you links to them. I’m not about to link to them here so they get even more traffic. :) And if you’ve seen my posts somewhere else, I would love it if you would send them my way.

Thank you to those who continue to send me emails about the ones that they find, I really appreciate it. As always, I am so thankful for my readers and am grateful to each of you who choose to spend some of your day with me.