As hubbers, we know that our content can and will be copied. We file DMCA complaints. We try to use CopyScape. We try to sign up for Google alerts.
Is there any other way to help protect our content BEFORE it happens, rather than suffering the after-effects of losing Google traffic and having to chase rogue site-owners down?
I know that nothing is fool-proof when it comes to online content in general.
But, I ask because it took me 5 hours today to file so many DMCA complaints (over 30). That is really, really time consuming.
I am definitely open to suggestions and would love input.
Thanks for posting this, cclitgirl - I agree, we need a team strategy of some sort. I hope to get the "Google Authorship" thing connected to my subdomain, but I am wondering if that does any good other than establishing proof.
Meanwhile - I admit I am frozen as to whether to publish new hubs. It's a bit like feeling you're putting water into a pot with holes in it. I love HubPages, and I love the staff - I want this site to succeed! But what is the best tack for right now (or for the next time things are stolen)?
I will be interested in hearing the thoughts of everyone else here.
There's no point in publishing new hubs until this most recent round of content-scraping is stopped. Sounds like new hubs are being taken all the time. I would love a strategy to try to stop it from happening in the first place, but unfortunately I don't have any suggestions. Hopefully someone else will.
If they made me Queen (hey - I tried!), I would find some way for sites such as HP to directly communicate to Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. when widespread copying happens - the entire site is being scraped, and it can be documented easily. Just an official email from the site could save everyone (including Google) a ton of time. It is so easy to see what is happening, but it's being addressed piecemeal - one Hubber at a time, in 10-hub increments.
Marcy I made a suggestion the other day. I realize I am new, but how about if one of the more experienced hubbers wrote a hub as a petition kind of thing and we all shared the hell out it and got tons of comments from the hub community and signatures of whatever and sent it to hub staff, google or even media. Maybe in numbers we can do something. I don't even know how to check if my hubs have been stolen, but I don't want to spend my time policing, I think like the rest of us I want to write! Do you think this would work?
Sheri - that's a great idea...but sort of what we're trying to do here in the forum: hash out ideas to help out HubPages and ourselves so we can be more pro-active instead of re-active. And I'm hoping that, yes, brilliant minds will come together and maybe we can find a solution to this ever-present problem. :\
I would have thought that in this situation Google etc would have appreciated that kind of approach - all the information in one document from a known organisation - rather than their staff wading through thousands of DMCA forms from individuals all of which relate to the same scraper.
Indeed, Jenn-Anne. This is my fear. I am AFRAID to publish because I know that my work will end up somewhere else, that I won't be able to find it (my CopyScape searches did not catch those 10 or so sites today and I had no idea until they were shared here) AND I'll be penalized by Google. It's not a strong motivator to publish and I was going to do a 30/30 challenge next month.
I'm afraid to publish, too, cclitgirl. I have several hubs I am working on, and I want to get them going, but not while this is going on. And, afterward, how should the site and all of us keep it from happening again, or control it if it does?
The first time this happened to me, it was on a blog I have on blogspot.com. It could have been a disaster had I not noticed my traffic pattern changing drastically. I got onto Google AdSense forums and asked the experts. They advised using Google Chrome, as there are more safeguards built into -Google Chrome from the get-go. It has helped.
How do you use CopyScape? Do you put the URL of each and every Hub in one at a time?
Ugh. CopyScape (free version) is useless. CopyScape (premium) isn't much better...
I agree with you. Just for fun (or not) yesterday I ran a couple of the hubs that were stolen through Copyscape and nothing came up. My browser was right there on the offending site viewing the hubs and Copyscape was showing me links from Hubpages that were linked in the same category.....
Well, I just spent the last hour or so searching for and finding a bunch of my copied Hubs. Then , I tried searching for the actual content of the Hubs, and none of the copied content appeared. So, I am thinking these copies rank really really low on search engines, or are so fleeting that they don't really cost us much in the way of lost visits. Can anyone enlighten me on this? I may just be full of schiess.
It may be that Google has already taken these out of search results. I don't know this for a fact, of course, but since they've had a ton of complaints about the same site, and it's very clear (once you look into it at all) what has happened, they may have addressed things broadly. That would be great, if that's the case. As I said - it's just a hopeful guess.
Still wondering when it's safe to come out of the foxhole . . .
Paul Edmondson has acknowledge your concerns and has posted a link here for you to provide examples for him to have for google. Here is the link:
I am also concerned abut this. I have articles that were "scraped". I have seen my traffic go down a lot in the last several days. I know we can file DMCA but not only is it such a time consuming hassle - it's also disheartening. I can't believe we can't find a solution with as many genius people and contacts there are on HubPages. I fear my google ranking is suffering...I noticed I no longer have a photo next to my articles so no authorship? Is this why?
Oh dear - I didn't know the rankings were being affected yet, too - (although that doesn't take long).
Okay - my whole game plan is on 'hold' right now . . . I need to figure out what to do.
There are many, many Hubs written by those of us who have lived through this nightmare, and continue to do so. Check terms such as "stolen content", "plagiarism checker", etc. It honors the Hubbers who have gone before you when you read the helpful Hubs they have written through a veil of blood, sweat and tears.
I've seen those hubs (many of them) and also the numerous forum threads that have popped up in just the 14 months or so I have been here. I'm in awe of the help the longtime writers offer us, and of their tenacity in continuing to publish. But I am also sad that, after all of that history, there's nothing in place to either prevent copying (as much as possible) or to get involved when it happens.
I'm feeling like cclitgirl - not sure I am comfortable publishing until I know there's a light ahead that isn't a train. We need the assurance that HubPages will act during these incidents, too. And that they will implement whatever safeguards are available.
I had assumed that my traffic was suffering and my hubs slipping in the rankings due to the last Panda update. However, it looks like the slide started in early Feb - so could be due to the scraper. One of my best hubs (in terms of traffic) is down to 3 views today.
I agree something must be done. I personally am feeling the pinch caused by these thieves and don't understand why the original writers are penalized for the actions of the unsavory. I also have no answers.
Just write crappy articles like me-- nobody ever steals mine!
Actually, I am a bit baffled. To my knowledge, my articles have never been stolen, even though by Hubpage's definition, several of them are "very successful". I also make payout every month, so.....
I'm just impervious to stick fingers, I suppose.
Shanna - the site has probably copied yours, too - they are systematically going through topics and copying all the content in them. So it's just a matter of time before yours show up there. Check the list Judi Bee posted on another thread - then open any article on it and search for your username here in the search field.
Thanks for the tip! I'm sure mine have been copied somewhere- I'm just never sure how to appropriately search for them.
For starters (not meaning to go off-topic here) - put a phrase from the internal text of your hub in quotes and search in Google. Try it on your best hubs, especially if they have started declining in traffic. The quote marks are the trigger for Google to find copies. However, the current mess isn't showing up just yet. So go to the sites Judi posted and search there.
Shanna, I did search a couple of those sites with your username and I didn't find anything. That's good but unless you regularly run CopyScape searches, they're probably copied anyways...and even then, CopyScape has it's holes. Yes, this is part of my frustration: my traffic has tanked and I attributed it to a Google update. I had no idea they were copied and I was being penalized...I just really want to figure out a way to stay on top of this BEFORE it happens and/or be able to catch the culprits before it gets out of hand and affects everyone's subdomains. o.O
One thing I have done to try to catch scraping before it gets out of hand is to set up alerts in Google:
This way I automatically get an email when Google finds new content matching the search query that I requested. Since I usually put my user name, ktrapp, as the source of my images, and often "ktrapp" appears in any scraped content , at a minimum I have created an alert for the term "ktrapp." I may also create additional alerts for Hub titles.
uh @Shanna11, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I just checked and it looks like some of your stuff has been stolen check out this forum thread here: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/111298
for a list of sites owned by the same person, who has been copy pasting hubs (the thief has been copy pasting hundreds of hubs), I went to the cooking one, foods for cooking .com did a google search of your name and found recipes in very little time
I'm sure your articles aren't crappy, but it's not like he's being discriminating - he's simply scraping categories of hubs - so if you write on just about anything he's likely to have some of your stuff. If you write a lot on one topic - say food - he's likely to have a lot.
Unfortunately this has become so common a writer could spend more time filing complaints than creating new content. There's nothing we can do to prevent the theft and only Google and the other search engines can stop it. Up till now they don't seem to care.
See that's the thing: it makes me scared to publish. I mean, if I publish KNOWING a hub will get stolen, I feel like that's a bit like holding out a wad of money in a crowd: SOMEONE will take it if I just hold out my hand...and then it's up to ME to chase the thief...I just don't have that kind of time...
LOL! That's funny - but not funny! Sorry - I had to laugh. Yes - as long as nothing is done on a global basis, and as long as we are in an environment (or on a platform) where scrapers love to steal, we are just giving them more material.
Okay - what could be done at the site level? Not that HP is asking for advice - but there are a lot of great, experienced brains here with tons of knowledge about how this stuff works on the Internet. There's just got to be a way to take preventative measures, or to tackle it from the global level when it happens.
Write to your local, political Representative and ask them why Google, who holds the monopoly (another matter altogether) does not respect the intellectual property rights of content writers? Why they have failed to police their own search results? Why they refuse to tackle spinners,spammers and plagiarism in their own business, particularly when they have promised to deliver quality results for their users? And, cc Google. If enough people *bother* you never know!
Ha! If only...I read somewhere today - in response to a similar question - that if Google did that, it would impact much more than duplicate content, as humans are smarter than even the best algorithms...
So, we either sit here and let the barstands win, or we fight back. Is Google bigger than Murdoch? People fought back, he waits and cr$ps himself. If you sit on your gold, your talent, your work, your sweat; they've won. Or, you could just mount a campaign!
Yes, this IS the million dollar question: HOW DO WE FIGHT BACK because it sucks BEING THE VICTIM all the time.
Like, you know...I took a self-defense course in college to drastically reduce the chances of being the victim of a mugging or whatever.
I want to be PRO-active, not RE-active because that makes me crazy.
Then let's stop being victims. Can you imagine, if only 10% of the content writers on the internet put their effort into mounting campaigns, challenging Google and the scrapers, making a concerted effort to put a stop to this? Ten percent of HP's writers is around 25, 000 people I believe. Can you imagine a universal effort? Ten percent of all content writers?
I agree - the writers in the USA, UK and other English-speaking countries could make a massive impact in things.
But that is not the only prong the attack should have - it needs to have sites such as HP, Squidoo, whatever as part of the preventative and attack processes. Without their involvement, it will never work - we will just limp along like this, scatter-shooting each time a major scraping incident occurs. If a site hosts a group of writers (or artists, photographers, whatever) for things to really transform, they should be dedicated to (if not required to) protecting the people who trust them with their work.
YES! How do we as a cohesive whole form a united front to intimidate the would be-content-thieves to stop them in their tracks? THEY KNOW that the defenses we have in place as-is are mediocre at best. They're NOT AFRAID to copy content because the punitive measures don't bother them. They just sign up for another account under another name and do their thing. Without compromising our freedom to post new content, how to do we set up a system to catch these criminals in their tracks so that they don't even WANT to bother with scraping and copying in the first place? A HUGE USER-GENERATED CONTENT revolution? A UGC front that stops them in their tracks. This is the problem I want to solve. How to we defeat them before they even get started? Without such a system, EVERYTHING we do is cheapened and susceptible to attack. I want to PREVENT this from happening. For the last 15 or so months I've had to deal with this and it's SICKENING. I'm tired of it and I would LOVE to show scrapers that they're dealing with the wrong crowd. How? How do we do that?
I'm alarmed at the number of people whose attitude seems to be that this is a well-known hazard of online publishing, so join the line, bend over and grin and bear it. No thanks, I think I'll step out of the line and see what else can be done.
I have a few ideas on this major problem. Like everyone else, I am angered and horrified by our online content being stolen. I know it may seem to many that Hub Pages (or any other hosting site) should take specific action but I also understand the site's position in that the content legally belongs to each specific author.
So who is responsible for administering the problem and ultimately addressing it? I am in no doubt: the search engines themselves. I'm not going to single out any one search engine in particular but I find it extremely difficult to believe that they can not introduce content filtering such as that employed by Hub Pages to flag duplicate content at the time of its creation. OK, so it may cost them a few hundred million dollars/pounds/euros/yen, or whatever at the time but they stand to gain as much as anyone and let's face it, they can certainly afford it. It is their business at stake as much as any author's - if not more!
A few weeks back (ish) I read a great Hub by Glenn Stok about how to claim your Google ownership. I followed his advice to the letter and I hope it well serve me well on an ongoing basis.
Just last week, I heard on BBC Radio news that a 17 year old boy in London had created an incredible new app which was purchased for an undislcosed tens of millions of dollars sum by Yahoo. They have also offered him a job, surprisingly enough... Maybe they could put him to work on this problem?
Afraid I am on hold, too - I cannot spend the hours I have spent on DMCAs in the past few months on a regular basis, and I can't spend the hours it takes to create new content until this is settled in a more permanent way. Help!!!
Question: HP has the little "copyright" symbol at the bottom of the "statistics" page...couldn't that be expanded to at least scan for possible copied content? Just a little help, ya know? Or yeah, like you said, be able to contact Google on our behalf when hundreds or thousands of hubs are copied?
Is there a precedent for that anywhere?
I just thought of something: what about "pingbacks" of some sort. On my blog, anytime there's a link to me, I get a "pingback." When I write a hub, I always include links back to my home page here on HP and put them throughout the hub (on photos, and once in the middle of text) so that when someone DOES steal them, the links usually point back to me (unless they remove them). When someone "links back to me" it could be like a notification and I can check the link. Or something. I know it's a shot in the dark...
Part B, first: Unfortunately policing content is very important, as scraping is a common practice for search engines and social media platforms, and with it savvy content marketers who want nothing less than to make a profit from your hard work.
Part A. To check or prevent stolen content, you can use an Alert system provided by Bing and Goo where you receive daily alerts for duplicate titles/pages matching your content, else report the Page, as well as Domain(s) where the stolen content exists. It is a good practice to check for Titles every 30-90 days, post creation. The Goo link is here. If using the alert, you can immediately see when/if the title page was copied. The later method is to search for the headline (title) itself.
Part C. Yes, strength in numbers. Writers watching out for their peers is possibly the best method. Perhaps a content watchdog group..
Part D. Posting the Publication Date/Best Date on the page itself along side authorship. The likelihood of a scraper pulling the publication date and author are higher, thus hindering them. However, it is not foolproof, as there exists scraping progs design to allow editing before the final scrape is completed. See scrapewiki.com for more details.
Part E. Defining both the Author and Publisher in the page schema/meta data (back-end) and not just the sitemap or RSS feed.
That's all awesome, James. I personally try to do those things...but what happens when sites like the ones today slip through our searches? And we're still penalized?
I just want to be more proactive in preventing this kind of headache in the first place. Not sure if there is an overall solution...but with some computer programming genius....
oh, that's me (the programming genius ). lol.
There is no present foolproof solution, but there are a great many measures the Tech Team can implement, to slow or stop duplicity/theft. Sure, it takes a lot of work on their part, but hey, they're the mother-ship and ought to put the Publisher Interest above any other, imo. I think they call it Best Practices. Definitive, modern, practices used in design and programming, to hinder these people from scraping.
What would you have in mind...?
I'd think that best practices in terms of web design would have the opposite effect. Having standardized, semantic mark-up is a best practice because it makes a page easier for a crawler to understand. You can't simultaneously make a webpage easier for Google's bot to understand and harder for a scraper's bot to understand...
Someone mentioned this in a different thread, but if you could determine the IP address of the server on which the scraper is operating, you could ban it. It could help, but it wouldn't work if the scraper used a proxy or VPN.
True, most IP are floating, especially with WI-FI and 4G networking. However, they can implement several safeguards and in-page elements to deter scrapers. For example: Set the Crawl Rate higher; set a Rate Limit, as a scrape will time out faster. Limit connections from any one IP. (Robots.txt does little, as many bots & progs do not follow the rules.). Restrict file permissions for fopen, r or get file contents to a specific amount of characters. Load elements via jQuery @ runtime. Structure pages without using typical 'boilerplate' design. Still, if straight HTML, change up the tags, which the scrape won't pick up. Increase Author/Hubber information/credentials in the meta-tags using modern schema techniques and in-page so when the scrape pulls the info, it pulls those credentials, in readable/printable form. A scraper is lazy. If they have to edit their scrapes, it takes too much of their time. Manual scrapes (copy/paste) are much more elaborate and require long stays, which typical Spinners/Scrapers dislike immensely.
Also, when you have hundreds of hubs, this becomes more difficult to do - constantly searching like this is utterly time-consuming and between trying to write, create photos, comment on hubs, and do other online work, plus maintain an outside job...it's discouraging to try to keep up...and then adding on the hours of content-searching to see if stuff has been copied...oh man...
True. But now, being the wiser, there is hope on the horizon. I use the system often. It is like Amber Alert for Publishers. Instead of me searching for dupes, the system alerts me. If you have many publications, I would recommend beginning asap before publishing any new content. And any new content put as priority, regardless of the Featured/Idle thingy.
LOL...then I can infer that I shant publish nary a Hub more until I've had the time to scour the web for duplicate content...HAHAHA...this will take weeks.
LOL...not being crass...just feeling out the irony. LOLOLOL
sigh...it could be a LOOOONNNNGGGGGG time before I get around to publishing another hub then because between a physical job, a blog, social networking and hubpages....I'm swamped. Soo....one by one, I'll get to each hub. It might take years.
I saw that some of the Squidoo members have set up a FB group for this purpose - don't know if it's proving effective.
I should see if I can find their group. Are they being scraped by the same guy? I set up an account there to complain (yet again) about the little piece-of-work user who copied my work. The same person has copied another hub, and, it appears, has an account here (same username and has posted a forum post that resembles a 'lens' there). I reported it to HP, but the response was they didn't have enough to go on. My thought is that it's a definite walk and talk duck-like thing. And the connections are quite obvious.
One of our fellow hubber and my closed friend found his several of his contents copied in a site. He requested the site owner to no avail. Then he approached google and google stopped the adsense account of that site owner who sole earning was adsense account. Then the site owner called my friend and requested for complaint reversal, but google never takes complaint reversal. So, directly approach google. It wil act fast.
But if there are countless - HUNDREDS of sites like this - what's our recourse? THAT is the question. WHY do WE have to be the ones defending our honor?
The scraper does have AdSense now, so maybe Google would get interested. But they also have a ton of Amazon capsules. I'm not sure Amazon cares.
I agree with what everyone here is saying - we should not have to go this alone.
If he's got Adsense, then reporting to Adsense is very well worth it. If enough people complain, he'll lose his Adsense account and that will put a spanner in his works!
Just remember Google search and Google Adsense are two separate divisions and they don't talk.
Complaining to Google search just gets the offending article removed from search engine results, it doesn't get the site taken down and it doesn't lose him his Adsense account. Whereas complaining to Adsense could lose him his Adsense account but won't affect his search engine rankings - however if he can't earn money, he's more likely to close down his sites of his own accord.
To get the site taken down, we need to file a complaint with his hosting company.
cclitgirl: do you mean copied content or stolen content?
How does this person even have time to do this? Why do they want to take the time to do it? Surely they know at some point, they'll run into legal problems!
One possibility - he's doing it on such a large scale, and so fast, that he thinks he will always be able to keep ahead of those pursuing him (and he may be right).
The other possibility is that he doesn't think it is illegal. As another poster says, there are many article directories whose sole purpose is to provide free articles for website owners to use on their sites. EzineArticles and GoArticles are examples. If this person was using material from those sites, it would be perfectly legal. Some newbies don't appreciate the difference between article directories and article sites like HubPages - not surprising really, because they look pretty much the same. It doesn't help that some people sell software to automatically upload content from HP or Squidoo, and it might not occur to the buyer that someone would design software to do something illegal.
The really large-scale thieves know darn well they're stealing. The smaller ones are more likely to fall into the second category.
The fact that this person allegedly hacked into a Hubber's email account makes me suspect they know its not legal.
I'm very hesitant to publish new content until this is both addressed immediately and there's a clear plan for this site to help address it in the future. After three solid months of DMCAs (on top if the incidents last year), I'm not not comfortable continuing to generate new content here. I love HP, truly, and live this community. I hope the staff finds a way to approach it at the broader level.
Wait, WHAT!? There are SOFTWARE companies who SELL content to upload HP and Squidoo articles? Oh, this is giving me a headache!
I'm not supposed to post links here right? I'm a little bit in a pickle here. I have an article on my Squidoo blog (where the same problem is rampant) with "3 tips to stop plagiarism" which are meant to prevent it from happening.
Mods plz remove link if you feel it's innappropriate, then I apologize. http://million-dollar-squidoo-challenge … arism.html and you can still find it by googling the phrase between parantheses. Everyone good luck combatting plagiarist.
I hope G can take a more harder look and totally disregard scraped contents, otherwise real writers can just hope.
http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/algorithm … d/#respond
We need someone who is familiar with Adsense and Amazon Affiliate procedures to report this chap. I was hoping that HP would do it - because it's in their interests to do so. Ha, stupid me.
I think (but not completely sure) that our Amazon links are stripped out and replaced with his.
What rankles is that he is probably making more money from my hubs than I am - not difficult at the moment
I've sent an abuse form to Google Adsense - not sure what to do about Amazon, I'll look into it (unless someone else can suggest).
Here's a quote from Amazon about what to do when you spot abuse:
What should I do if I believe an Associates site isn't following Amazon policies?
If you find an Associate to be violating our policies, please contact us with as much information you can provide, including the type of violation, the exact URL of the offending site, and any other information you feel may be useful.
This is the contact: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp … k_131181_1
Once again Judith, brilliant suggestion. many thanks.
Good. I'll do it later today. xx
It will help if more people do it as well. Hit him in the pocket. (I'd actually like to hit him somewhere else but there we are...)
I'd like to sick a hit man on him for what he's done to all of us.
I'd like to hit him with a stick man - where's Mark Ewbie when you need him?
I agree - reporting to AdSense IS a valid way to stop this guy. But this is JUST ONE GUY. What about the bazillion of other people out there who have no problem starting up 10, 20 or 100 other sites?
Report stolen content if your content stolen you can tell Google and you can tell adesense
From this link
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/vie … cHRDUEE6MA
how to make online money Great ideas for profit Many ways to earn earn money online work from no home www. nosadw.blogspot.com
My solution is there is none, since the web is filled with billions of users, maybe there really is no way to stop it all. Google does the best they can do, but our content is being stolen every second of every moment pretty much. I just keep writing like it doesn't matter and hope god is looking out for me. One thing though is.
I feel sorry for those who choose to copy my online writings, because its not going to do them any good, I make loads of spelling errors, grammatical errors and my English isn't the best at all (Plus most of my hubs aren't popular at all).
Good luck content scrapers whomever you are, and I hope someday a magical solution can somehow appear here online and help those who have worthy content to be scraped LOL.
Wizzley has made it impossible for people to copy any writings published on their site. Why can't HubPages follow suit?
No they haven't - they've made it harder for the casual copier - but the professional scraper uses software that ignores any online solution. While disabling copy and paste does deter some copiers it's not going to stop copying. Heck all you have to do is read it out loud and Microsoft Word can transcribe it.....
Just found one of my poems copied in this site:
Can anyone help me in removing it from there?
For a single infringement it's worth contacting the blog owner and asking for it to be removed. If they don't respond then you'll have to file a DMCA. Read the threads on the stolen content - there are links an instructions posted.
For those who did not see the Facebook conversations, I published some information regarding Content Security, that (hopefully) might be of good use to digital publishers/writers.
Thanks, James - I'm a bit on burnout now - have filed DMCAs for the past several months, until I'm comatose. I will keep after the ones stolen now, but I'm on-hold for publishing anything new for a while. I want to make certain there's a better way for these things to be handled, rather than the scatter-shooting, one-by-one attacks each of the writers here are making.
Thanks for the information on stolen hub posts. I have a few out there so I am going to have to spend time filing with DMCA. As others have spoken, it is sad that we have to spend time doing this. Now we know why many of our views have fallen as a result of the stolen content. I am not going to post any new articles until the security is better on the HP site, or I may have to use my own (but don't want to have to spend the additional money to do so -- sigh). By the way, is filing wih DMCA free? I saw that it costs $10 per month (personal efforts method).
No charge for DMCAs - so file away, Teaches. Maybe you were thinking of Copyscape? I think they charge for screening your content. But apparently they have not picked up the scraper guy so far.
By the way, I think several Hubbers are a bit hesitant to publish just now. It is understandable, because it would be like putting more money on the table with a known thief in the room.
I stopped publishing for months because of the whole idled hubs situation. They finally improve that and then this scraper shows up. Needless to say, publishing is back on hold for now.
Yes you are correct when you say that. I don't know how I am going to get motivated this month, watching this thief steal all our hubs like this was heart breaking. I feel like I am writing simply for this twerp to make money! I am going to need a few days to vent before I even think of making new hubs!
I think I have been through the spectrum of emotions too many times since the first of this year - Dan Gordon's pox on us was really, really fatiguing. Then a slew of other copied hubs, and now this. I am too tired from DMCA-ing to vent, even (which says a lot, for those who know me).
Sadly, I have several hubs in the works - or had them in the works. I have some titles set aside and some others I'm working on that do not yet have titles captured. So they will have to wait. I doubt seriously that HP would expect us to keep publishing in the midst of this, and yet I know that a slow-down of new content will hurt the site. But continuing to publish at this time will hurt it worse.
I have one hub in the works that I'm going to just sit on for awhile. Thank goodness hubpages delayed the stellar hubs contest - can you imagine all the great content this thief would be stealing?
I don't see any point in delaying publication. This particular scraper will eventually be dealt with and all his sites will disappear - and then it wont matter whether a particular Hub was on those sites or not.
Well, I hope as a united force we can nab this thief. I know I am trying to do everything possible. The last time this happened to me, action taken helped. There is strength in numbers. Just fight back and fiil out the DMAC forms.
The security on HP is the same as it has been for 6 years, and the same as it is on ANY site on the internet. That is not going to change, unless there is some dramatic change in how the internet works. It's part of the nature of an open platform.
There are some measures which can be taken to prevent casual theft of articles, but they're very easily circumvented. They do nothing to stop serious thieves like this one. All we can do is be vigilant and take action against the crooks when thefts occur.
But we need to be sure our action is effective.
Reporting a thief to Google is a lot of work for little result. All they can do is remove the posts from Google search engine results (which means they still show on Yahoo! and Bing). That reduces the crook's income but he can just move the content to another domain and start again. Besides, Google has a big backlog so it's going to take time. Why bother?
It's far more effective to report him to Adsense (if there's Adsense on the site), because if several of us file, he's likely to lose his Adsense account. That'll teach him! Real crooks will find a way to get another account but it's not easy to do, so it will slow him down - and one day he'll run out of ways to get a new account.
The second option is to report him to his hosting company. That will get the site taken down, and he'll have to go and find another hosting company before he can get started again.
Many of us have had to deal with copied content, it's part of the price of writing online. While some seem to have more headaches than others, I believe that the constant threads in open forums provides easy targets for those trolling these kind of sites.
A question for Hub Pages. You must be losing money these days. Since you are not doing a thing to shut down the scraper/s from copying so many hundreds, if not thousands of great hubs which we have written, is the reason you remain so apparently unperturbed because you have insurance against this kind of 'loss'.
I'd really like to know how much money you are losing and how many writers you loose over this?
It makes an incredible story. Thanks. Penelope
I've worried that HP will lose writers, too - we all love the site, and I'm sure many (me, for one) are holding off on new content - either way, it hurts the site, as well as us.
I doubt HP is losing money because of this. Have you checked your hub titles to see if the stolen copies are outranking yours? It is very unlikely that they are unless you have an account that has been pandarised (in which case you won't be earning much from your articles anyway because they won't be very visible in the search results).
That's not to say that we don't all take content theft seriously and deal with it appropriately, but it's rare for scrapers to the outrank originals. Where the issue seems most likely to affect us temporarily (in my experience) is when the article is scraped just after it's published - then google sometimes has a hard time determining which is the original. Of course, that issue is cleared up as soon as the copies are removed.
This kind of mass content theft seems to happen once or twice a year and it takes a few days to file all the relevant notices - that's not worth quitting over is it?
Any site that uses JUST copied content generally gets shut down pretty fast thanks to everyone getting up in arms, filing DMCAs and Google complaints and what not. It's a regular occurance and after the fifth or sixth time you realise it's not really going to majorly hurt you.
Now, when someone posts your content (verbatim with no link) on a well known baby forum, THAT'S annoying because it can sometimes outrank you.
What should we do about copied content?
1) rearrange sentences so they don't flow like the original
2) use lots of synonyms to further distance yourself from the original.
3) change any names or identifiers to even further distance yourself from the original...Oh wait...did you mean Them Copying US?!
"Copying the work of one individual is plagiarism, copying the work of many is Research"...go figure.
What can be completely annoying is how we have to address issues on our own hubs because of a duplicate content warning, when it's our hub that has been copied. It's happened to me and I'm sure a few others...and oh boy, that can be frustrating.
AND...yes, there's the DMCA's, there are the google alerts, etc.
But what I want to know: WHY can't huge sites like HP DEVELOP a relationship with Google (from what I hear other sites have) and act on our behalf (we could even sign some sort of electronic form granting permission for this) that when hundreds/thousands of hubs are copied, HP could shoot a message to Google saying, "Oh yes, these 17 sites are bogus. Please de-index them" - WHY can't we do that? I realize our work is ours, I realize we should ALWAYS be vigilant and file DMCAs as necessary, but when it comes to MOST of our hubs being copied, it seems like a site with the klout that HP has COULD act on behalf of its writers to help take down a site.
Or, take other measures to help reduce the probability of scrapers just taking with reckless abandon. I.e. disabling the right-click. That is only a very temporary nuisance, but maybe the websites that actually have SOFTWARE TO UPLOAD published hubs will get the message that it's not okay to do this.
How are we supposed to increase our ranking in Google if, when we publish, a duplicate is made somewhere - and CopyScape doesn't catch MOST of them - and Google won't boost duplicate content in search results?
I KNOW what to do WHEN a hub has been copied...it's just that I feel like I'll spend my life defending my work instead of writing. HOW do we help stop rampant plagiarism?
Is there coding somewhere that when someone downloads and/or uploads a hub to another site without permission, you could insert coding somewhere that will tell Google it's not the original AND let the person know someone's copied their content? I know that our hubs have an "I'm original" html tag on them, but search engines don't always see that."
I just want to be more proactive about it instead of spending ENTIRE DAYS trying to defend my work.
It's not personal...it's that I feel I'll NEVER rank well in Google if everyone's copied what I've written.
If someone likes my work or dislikes it, and wants to share it or not, cool. The issue is Google, who penalizes us for duplicate content and it's IMPOSSIBLE to track down all the thieves who have my content automatically uploaded to their sites when I hit "publish."
And if I'm misinformed on that, I apologize, but I have heard of way too many sites that just scrape content from writer sites because it's super easy.
well everything you said makes perfect sense to me. Everyone is quick to point out that Google is bogged down with DMCA complaints, well in the case of content scrapers it certainly would be more efficient to have content sites simply message google to let them know that a content scraper is stealing THOUSANDS of articles, instead of each writer filing an individual complaint. That would certainly be a quicker and faster solution, but sadly that's not the way it works here on Hubpages
Disabling the right click function doesn't do much - it only stops real people stealing (and annoys the hell out of them), scrapers can still grab it.
Which other sites have relationships with Google?
I know HubPages has some contact on the Adsense side of Google, but the different divisions of Google operate separately so that's no help. I don't know of any site that has a special relationship on the Search side - and in fact, Google has made no secret of the fact that it's out to get "content farms", which it includes HubPages in, so why would they want to accept HP's overtures?
You can rest assured that HP would love to have a relationship with Google. It's been trying to "reach out" to Google ever since the first Panda update massacred our traffic.
Just a quick note.
If you find several of your Hubs all copied on the same blog, you do realize that you don't have to file an individual DMCA for every one?
Complain directly to the host and don't use their form, copy the wording of the form and send them an email citing each offence - giving the original post and the copy - all in one email. It's probably more effective than doing them individually, because the host can see there's major theft going on.
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