Friday, February 10, 2006

Scraper Sites are GOOD?

Usually I have a good deal of respect for Martinibuster as he's a cool dude and has some good insights into a lot of SEO and webmastering topics. However, when I read his article "Scraper Sites are Good for You - Surrender Your Content" my first thought was to print it on toilet paper so I could give it the proper respect it deserved.

Come on Martini, you can't be serious about letting people waste your bandwidth, steal your content, and spam the SERPs with your own junk just to give you links?

Martini claims "Scrapers: There is Nothing You Can do About it" which is totally wrong! I'm stopping those bots, AlexK's script snares them and BotBuster and Bandwidth Protector claim they will also stop them. Can't comment or endorse the latter products as I've never used them but they do exist as well as some others so webmasters not stopping scrapers just means they're lazy or cheap at this point.

Then Martini makes me spit soda across my keyboard with "Surrender to the Scrapers... It is Better for You". What a load of crap my friend. Just ask Aaron Pratt of SEOBUZZBOX how good surrendering to the scraper is as he's being lumped into supplemental results as the scrapers aggregators are being indexed first and Google thinks Aaron is the duplicate content which is just wrong.

So Martini says "scrapers do more good to you than harm" which gets the bullet list:

  • Scrapers can put your content in supplemental results
  • Scrapers can rank above you in the SERPs and get the first shot at AdSense and affiliate income using your content
  • High speed scrapes of 100s pages/second are like DDOS attacks and knock servers offline until they stop scraping keeping visitors from clicking your ads
  • When servers can't respond due to scrape attacks Google, Yahoo and MSN get time outs on pages and SERPs drop
  • Rampant scraping can run up your bandwidth charges and you pay for their excess
Nope, no harm no foul, nothing wrong with scraping.

What I can state with certaintly is that since I've started blocking scrapers my SERPs and REVENUE are both up substantially and that's about the only major change I've made to my site recently.

Try reading one of Martini's other articles that made sense instead, he's really a nice guy, just slightly misguided on the topic of scrapers is all.

P.S. Doesn't scraper and bot stopping sound like a great session topic for PubCon Vegas this year?


martinibuster said...

Bill, you ignorant slut... :) Y

First off, thanks for the link.

You make some great points about there being things to do to stop scrapers and I enjoyed our conversation about that last night.

However, the point I was trying to get across is that I'm not seeing scrapers harming any of my sites, and much of the hoo-ha written against scrapers is mostly by people who are shocked at seeing snippets of their content elsewhere... but are NOT experiencing a dip in traffic, nor having their content slapped into supplemental.

I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I AM saying that in GENERAL it doesn't harm your rankings so don't lose any sleep over it.

If scrapers were taking the over the world, we would be seeing far more scrapers in the serps than there currently are, and far more instances of websites being scraped to death. The concern over scrapers has been overblown, and it's still overblown.

Seobuzzbox is not a typical example of a site that has been scraped to oblivion. The hitslog site is not typical of scraper sites. It is important to make that distinction.

It's an apples to oranges comparison between what the average button pusher is doing from their kitchen table and what is happening with hitslog.

IncrediBILL said...

Sebastian has posted he has had the same kind of DOS attack scraping I had happen, and of course Brett claimed that sort of activity was responsible for WebmasterWorld running in slow motion before he stopped it as well.

Maybe little sites can sustain hits from scrapers and survive but large sites can literally be in a fight for their life from what I'm witnessing.

Your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

Smells like link baiting to me.

IncrediBILL said...

Typical dismissiveness of those with nothing to contribute