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Online Writers: You'll Love Google's New Scraper Report

By Edited May 30, 2016 11 17

In 10 Seconds or Less, Your Report Is Filed

Silly Putty is a Copying Tool
Credit: Nancy Sims (pugno_muliebriter on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

You Can Keep Up

to the Thieves Online

It's truly upsetting to create something unique and useful for readers only to find it copied elsewhere online. What's even more disturbing is when the stolen content outranks your own.

For the last couple of years, I've been filing Google DMCA copyright complaints the long way. It involves about a dozen steps that requires sifting through a few pages of information.

The time taken to report just one plagiarist seemed like too much work and soon I became discouraged by the process. Those stealing my content (I'm sure) were spending only seconds to scrape my work. I was spending hours reporting them.

The thieves were rewarded in many ways: they didn't have to create the content, they could automate the process, they put ads or whatever they were selling alongside my work, and they were profiting from doing nothing.

It was enough to make me want to quit writing online. In fact, there are some articles I haven't published online (yet) because I poured my heart and soul into them. I simply cannot bear to see them copied by thieves.

I'm sure it's emotionally upsetting for many writers who are creating unique content. So for those of us who needed an easier way to report the content thieves, Google created the Scraper Report.[1]

Bravo Google!

All You Need is Three URLs

Google Scraper Report Form
Credit: Screenshot by RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

You Can Help Out Other Writers

I have the perfect example to share with you. Just this weekend, I was checking for scraped copies of my work and came across a friend's article that was stolen.

Since I've found quite a few copies of my articles translated into other languages over the years, I've come to learn that searching for my pen name is a simplest way to track my work which includes my own cartoons, videos, or photos. 

Here is precisely how I found my articles and those of another writer:

I entered "RoseWrites on InfoBarrel about HubPages" in Google's search field.

On the second page of my search, I found the following Google entries (shown next as a screenshot). The last one is by another writer on InfoBarrel. I granted DebW07 permission to use my cartoon in her article The Online Giant Squid Becomes 'Hub' Sushi: Squidoo Lenses Turn Into Hubs.

It Would Be Incredibly Time-Consuming

To Translate It; RoseWrites & InfoBarrel Stands Out

RoseWrites scraped content in another language and DebW07's
Credit: Screenshot by RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

I Told Deb About Her Article Too

And, I found out that I could let her use the same URL where I had found my work. What's great is that if you collaborated in some way on an article (I granted Deb permission to use my cartoon and she gave me credit for my work), you can report the stolen work for both of you.

So, in the above example, here is all that Debw07 (or you) need to do:

1) Put the URL of your original work in the first entry field.

2) Put the exact URL of the scraped copy in the second entry field.

3) Copy and paste the Google URL where you first found it in the last entry field.

Check off the "I confirm" box and click on the "Submit" button.

That's it.

Next is a screenshot of the information filled out before "Submit" is clicked on.

I've Been Able to Report 50 in 20 Minutes

Screenshot of Scraper Report Filled Out
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Other Reasons I Feel This Tool Is Useful

Earlier this year, Danny Sullivan wrote a thought-provoking article for Search Engine Land titled Someone Outranking You With Your Own Content? Use The New Google Scraper Report. His last paragraph summed up all we know about how Google's scraper report works:

Google might not be using it for removals per se, but as a way to "harvest examples in order to improve its ranking system, so that original content shows up first."[2]

In my experience, some of my scraped content has been removed and some not. I have to hope that Google will get around to removing the copycats eventually, though. But if it doesn't happen as soon as I'd like, I think there may be an additional benefit to submitting these quick reports.

For the sake of maintaining or gaining author rank or a positive website status.

If you are aiding in the never-ending battle to keep plagiarists at bay, I feel Google might reward your site or your status as an online author. I can't prove it, but I am convinced that Google grants some profiles online more clout than others.

On the scraper report it does state: 

"Confirm your site is following our Webmaster Guidelines and is not affected by manual actions. Our Webmaster Guidelines are located at: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769. For information about how to check if your site is affected by manual actions, see: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2604824."

I would think if you are trying to help clean up the web, and you are already following "best practices," that Google would be apt to take you and your site more seriously and probably keep it ranked above those who have been (or are) less virtuous.

Carving
Credit: Jon Olav Eikenes (jonolave on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

People Who Create Original Content

It's overwhelmingly clear to me that those who create original content become the most protective of their work.

Frankly, I don't know how some writers can even sell their accounts or articles.

It's not the payment per article that I have a hard time understanding. (I get paid per word on Paw, Mane 'n Fin and Environment 911). It's giving up authorship that would bother me.

Why? Because if a reader had a question, I'd want to be the one who answered it. Every article I write only represents about 20 percent of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into it. I'd like to be able to explain myself further if a reader had a question.

I think Google recognizes these patterns in authentic authors online. It's time we took back our work. I hope you find Google's Scraper Report just as satisfying to use as I have.

Thank you for reading and sharing my article.

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Comments

Nov 24, 2014 4:14am
aesta1
I'm glad it is easy to do this now. I ned to start doing this search. I have been neglecting this as I really don't have the patience to do reports but now with scraper, I am encouraged. Thanks Rose.
Nov 24, 2014 4:18am
RoseWrites
Oh, I'm so glad you visited my article - I had you in mind when I wrote it. It feels good to just rifle these reports off. BTW, if you scroll down to my bibliography, there's a clickable link that leads you directly to Google's Scraper Report (so you can use it straight away).

P.S. Send my regards to your family and Grumpy.

Take good care,
Rose
Nov 24, 2014 11:49am
TanoCalvenoa
This is excellent. I also "hope that Google will get around to removing the copycats."
Nov 24, 2014 1:19pm
RoseWrites
Oh thanks Jonathan. I never realized how helpful it was to have a unique pen name (or website name) until I saw my work in a language I didn't understand. I hope you can implement the scraper report into your writing routine more easily now.

Thank you for dropping by and commenting.

Warmly,
Rose
Dec 14, 2014 11:46am
SiTek
I've never actually looked to see if people are copying my work, guess I always hoped for the best. Great that there is an easier way to stop it now, I better go and check if I need to use it.
Dec 15, 2014 6:36am
RoseWrites
You'd be surprised how quickly scrapers will copy stuff. Hope you don't need this tool, but it you do, at least you can file a report in seconds. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Dec 14, 2014 11:46pm
JadeDragon
Great info on another tool to combat online theft.
Dec 15, 2014 6:41am
RoseWrites
Thanks JadeDragon, I appreciate you taking the time to drop by and comment. It's refreshing to see that Google is trying to streamline the process to report scrapers. Take good care, Rose
Dec 18, 2014 4:07pm
SilverandGold
Good info and so much less hassle, especially if there is a lot of theft.

Thieves do make you wish you could encode something in the articles to notify you when someone takes them.
Dec 19, 2014 12:07am
RoseWrites
I'll tell ya, it's emotionally satisfying to submit these scraper reports. I used to dread spending 1/2 a day via the old method. And with unique pen names (like yours) it's easy to find your work even if it's been translated into another language. Hope you don't need to use it, but if you do, it's a lot quicker now.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
Jan 4, 2015 11:47am
WriterJoanne
This sure is helpful Rose and I thank you for taking the time to make things easier for us with this article.

I woke up today to discover many of my articles have been copied on to another site, along with several other writers here. They have been spun with images taken too. Didn't want to spend all day reporting them, so this will save a lot of time.

Have a great week!
Jan 4, 2015 2:19pm
RoseWrites
Oh hey, no problem. Since InfoBarrel posts our date of publish, they make this much easier. On other platforms, I've had to provide more personal info and sworn statements, etc.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Happy new year to you and yours!
Jan 4, 2015 2:26pm
WriterJoanne
Thank you and the same to you Rose. Yes it's easier with the date of publication right at the top of our articles. I've noticed the latest scraper site stole those articles in the last couple of days.
Jan 4, 2015 2:33pm
RoseWrites
Yeah, this thief has automated the whole process. On Squidoo, I actually had a problem with a scraper's host not believing me at all (and they wanted me to submit my contact info, email, full legal name, address, and cite the exact laws that were broken). I ended up using the old Google form which takes much longer - about a dozen steps.
Jan 9, 2015 2:10pm
wrdsmith1
Great information, thanks!!
Jan 19, 2015 4:16pm
simplytyped
It is very hard to keep up with all the people who steal your work. You just feel helpless to do anything about it. This is wonderful information! Thanks
Jan 19, 2015 4:53pm
RoseWrites
Yes, and it helps to be able to send these off quickly. I think Google has made some wonderful changes over the past couple of years to help honest writers online.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to comment on this piece. I'm glad it helps.
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Bibliography

  1. "Scraper Report." Google. 23/11/2014 <Web >
  2. Danny Sullivan "Someone Outranking You With Your Own Content? Use The New Google Scraper Report." Search Engine Land. 27/02/2014. 23/11/2014 <Web >

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