Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Protect Yourself

Have you ever Googled yourself or something you wrote, only to find that your content was on someone else's site, and it ranked higher than yours?

You're not alone. And Google is trying to do something about these "scraper" sites.

Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, tweeted this on Friday:

The link in his tweet takes you to a form that says:

"Google is testing algorithmic changes for scraper sites (especially blog scrapers). We are asking for examples, and may use data you submit to test and improve our algorithms." 
Provide the URL for your original content as well as the URL for the scraper site. But keep in mind,  this link doesn't flag the site's content. To make the alternate site go away you'll have to report a copyright infringement.

Yes, it's a bit of work. But in the long run, you'll help Google better monitor the content thieves AND you'll be protecting your work. Definitely worth the time.


And now, the winner of RIPPLE by Mandy Hubbard is:

Congrats, Susan!!! Email me with your snail mail address and I'll get this book out to you.

Check back next week for another fabulous giveaway. Trust me, you'll want this book. I won't tell you the title, but I will say that when Echo from the Book Loft put it in my hands, I literally started squealing. It's the lead title for Penguin's fall releases and it's already been optioned for a movie. It doesn't come out until November, but you'll have a chance to win a copy here.

Enough hints? Check back next week to see if you're right!


Laura Pauling said...

I'm going to guess that it's Legend! Hope you got a chance to read it! :)

Sherrie Petersen said...

Aw, I knew I gave too many clues!

But yes, I do plan to read it before I give it away :)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Yay! I won! *woot*

And I'll admit I haven't paid that much attention to "scraper" sites. Has this happened to you? I know I keep coming up in those "Newspaper" sites that collect a bunch of articles together. Is that the same thing?

Thanks for the heads up! (and the book!!!)

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks for the head's up on the 'scraper sites'. I know a few people this has happened to.

Congrats to Susan.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Susan: Congrats!!

Newspaper sites are fine as long as they point back to you as the originator. Scraper sites are different because they post the content as if they wrote it with no link back to you.

Anne: I've had this happen with my blog articles and it recently happened with a video my daughter posted. I'm glad there's a way to alert Google.

Matthew MacNish said...

That's awesome Susan won, because today's her birthday!

MG Higgins said...

I'd never thought of googling my content, nor had I heard of scraping! Didn't realize this was going on, so thanks for the heads up.

Beth Kephart said...

gosh, I never google myself either, but this is so worrisome. thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, man, I really need to keep better track of myself on the Internet. Thanks for the tips!

Krispy said...

Thanks for the info! And omg, you're a tease about this next book giveaway! Exciiiiited! :)

Congrats to Susan!

Christina Lee said...

Had NO idea--thx for clueing me in (and glad Google is doing something about it)!!

Susan R. Mills said...

I hadn't heard of "scraper" sites. Thanks for the info.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Matthew: I had no idea it was her birthday! Thanks for letting me know. And Happy Birthday, Susan!

MG: I found out through a Google alert that led me to a site where a post of mine showed up. My daughter found hers through a straight Google search. It's annoying that people steal content that way.

Beth: It probably gets harder to monitor as more stuff is available on the internet with your name attached. You would have to sift through pages of perfectly legitimate content if you Googled your name because there's so much out there about you and your books.

Elana: You would be hard to keep track of. You're everywhere!!

Krispy: Yes, I am a bit of a tease but the ARC for this book is a hot commodity right now :)

Christina: The content they steal can be so random, too. It isn't necessarily your best post or your most popular ones. Highly annoying.

Susan: Just one more thing to watch out for on the internet!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Scrapers? That's a new one to me. And how does one find them if they take your content without your name?

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Interesting! I hadn't heard of the term "scraper" before! How would you search for your content, I wonder? Type in an identifiable phrase or something?

Gosh, I have to admit, I'm not sure I have time to do random checks like that, but I'm glad Google is taking the problem seriously!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Karen: I discovered my content on another site because I have a Google alert set to Solvang and they were dumb enough to take a post where I talked about Solvang. Other posts have probably been taken as well. But nobody can check everything on the web. The problem just surfaced for me since there isn't that much being written about Solvang on a daily basis :)

Dianne: Most people find out they've been scraped by accident. I just found out because they stole a Solvang post of mine and it's not a widely discussed topic :)

Like you said, I wouldn't have time to police the internet for all my content. But when I find sites that have stolen my words, I most certainly plan to report them.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I'll have to check this out. I've been totally in lala land and never thought about someone taking my content. Sheesh! What's with that?

Thanks for the heads up!


Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, this is good info, Sherrie! Thanks for the heads-up. And congrats to Susan! :-)

Cialina at said...

WOW. Thank you so much for the head's up on this. I've actually been getting notifications that some other blog has been reposting my content. It looks like a spam site. Doing this ASAP.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

That is so interesting, Sherrie. I hadn't heard of this problem on the internet. Thanks for the heads-up!

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