Welcome to Internet piracy.
Why is my blog posted on a Chinese web site?
Your blog can be “scraped” by illicit web bandits and posted elsewhere.
What is scraping? No more than plain vanilla cutting and pasting — by really fast computers that don’t care what they steal, so long as it’s somewhat popular. Scraped postings usually end up on web sites with advertising.
Stealing is bad enough, but this kind of stealing is worse than bad. Google and some other search engines penalize content that appears more than once.
You never want to have two identical web sites, for instance. I’ve known businesses that have done this, thinking that their content would be found twice as often. In fact, both web sites invariably end up at the bottom of the heap in search engine results.
Guess what? You can’t do much about scraping after the fact, especially if you’re a small business. And if your content has been scraped by an overseas thief … well, I hate to tell you this … but you might be SOL.
Unfortunately, we don’t think that Google’s algorithm yet identifies who the original poster is, so as to give the original web site priority over another. Right now, it appears that both web sites fail.
HOWEVER, in April 2011, Google did start penalizing content “farms” — sites that offer more ads than content. That has been a help, but we’re not sure how much. Check out NPR’s story on content farms.
We hope that piracy is righteously penalized in the famed Google algorithm one day.
For now, check out plug-ins for your blogs. One is WP-Protect (for WordPress). With WP-Protect (free), or a similar product, you can disable text and photo copying. This doesn’t mean that a smart pirate can’t come into your web site and figure out a way to download your stories, but at least it won’t be automatic. These plug-ins are a great deterrent. Whatever your CMS platform, please do a search for copy protection plug-ins. You won’t be sorry.
Go ahead … try to cut and paste even one word from this blog. You’d have to go through several laborious steps to extract any text. And yet … my blog can still offer linked copy, and is still searched by Google’s spiders just fine.
Software like Wp-Protect is, still and always will be (perhaps), a deterrent. Like your home, it is nigh impossible to keep out someone who wants to break in. At least we’re well on the way to creating a burglar-proof web site.