Readers, I have had my full blog posts stolen and reposted on other blogs for years, but recently it has reached an unacceptable level. We call these thieves ‘content scrapers.’ When a blog’s focus is news or politics, as is mine, we are particularly vulnerable. My biggest offender is FavStocks.com. As I look through their many posts, I see numerous bloggers who are blogging friends, and I’m fairly sure their content is scraped as well. To make it worse, FavStocks has Google ads on its site and so benefits monetarily by our original work. As I worked to stop FavStocks this week, I found one of my articles on, wait for it… CBS News with credit to FavStocks. That’s CBS Market Watch at a markets.cbsnews.com url. I have found another on the CBS site, but don’t have time to search for more.
The theft happens through allowing a Feedburner service to collect content of full articles, and then send them to a subscribed reader’s email inbox. Mine sends out one email a day containing everything I’ve written that day. The service is one I have loved, because people can read without coming to the website, but they still have access to all the live links and videos. Now that has to end. Instead of receiving the full post in inboxes, subscribers will receive summaries. It’s the only option I have to stop the content scrapers.
When I first discovered my writing on FavStocks, each article credited the author as ACLU! The link took the reader to the ACLU website homepage. Nowhere was my website linked to the FavStock article that was thieved. After leaving numerous remarks in comments of each of my stolen blog posts, they began showing the author as Maggie M. Thornton and linking to my homepage, not to the article. Linking to the specific article is blogging ettiquette. I was forced to put a link back to my original post at the bottom of each.
Over the past month, the practice has ballooned, and I’m seeing my work in many other places. Most do not use the name of my blog, but do included the article url for readers.
FavStocks is located in Singapore. I have reported them to Google Adsense and to Networked Blogs, where I found them with my work posted. It appears Networked blogs has removed them. I found them on Facebook a few weeks ago. Today Fav Stocks is private. Don’t know for certain they are one and the same. Currently, there is no other FavStocks (Fav Stocks) on Facebook.
The other 800-pound gorilla in the room is the possibility of content scrapers hurting a blogs Page Rank and articles being indexed on search engines ahead of the originating blog. (#F&%0&GN@#%&*PK)
Bloggers generally do to not take an entire blog post and repost it, but sometimes that is the best way to make a brilliant point and pass it on to your readers, with full credit to the author. Doing so includes the blog owners permission. Never should a blog take quantities of a person’s own original work.
So, my apologies to my subscribers and my many thanks for signing up to enjoy some pith with your morning coffee. So sorry it has to end. The newsletter will keep coming with article summaries. Here’s a good article explaining content scraping and what Google has tried to do about them – without success.
Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook