The buzz in the search world over the past few months has been all about scraper sites, that is, websites that “scrape” content from other websites like news, blog posts and other pages.  These scrapers utilize software (or slave labor) to scour the web for content related to their business and republish the information as their own in an attempt to “outrank” the original post and take credit for it.  This is really bad for the web as 1) it’s unethical and 2) makes search results kinda screwy with the same content presented a number of times.  Part of the reason for the Google “Panda” update was meant to help remove some of these sites from the web.

Why would Google want to block this content? Google loves original content and expects that respectable sites wouldn’t just repeat content out there on the web already.  We never scrape blogs or publish someone else’s direct content in our own blog…and if we publish someone else’s story, or our take on an idea or story (like this article), we always put our two-cents in as well and give them credit where credit is due (thank you Search Engine Land).

So, here’s where the breaking news comes in.  It seems that Google is looking for some feedback regarding website scrapers.  According to Search Engine Land, Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) tweeted earlier that Google is seeking examples of blog scrapers for testing…which possibly may lead to new algorithm changes.  We actually have a few cases of our own that we’ll be submitting where scrapers have copied content, word for word, from our blog.

Why do I care about an algorithm change? Well, assuming your search agency is doing things the right way, you shouldn’t.  They should be taking care of you and will help manage through any affects algorithm changes will have on your site.

However, your agency may searching the web to find content for you and copy it…this is bad for you.  We at Red Clay Interactive seek to make our clients knowledge leaders in their fields of business because it leads to higher rankings, better results and more honest content.  If your agency is scraping sites, call us…we can reset your direction and make sure you gain those rankings instead of lose them with any upcoming update.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

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