Content scraping is when an individual sets up a domain and, basically, STEALS other people’s content and pictures. They add Google Adsense, Amazon links, and a slew of other affiliate links and then proceed to make money off of words they did not write and pictures they did not take. It is happening on a very regular basis with my Self Help Daily content.
The people who do this aren’t evil incarnate, they actually (somehow) don’t realize how wrong it is to take something that isn’t their’s and make money off of it. That’s why I choose a term like, Scallywag Pirates – they’re bad, wrong, lazy, and sneaky – but…. compared to truly evil villains… they’re more scallywag than sinister.
I recently Googled reviews on a book I’d recently reviewed. While I noticed that my review, although new, was already showing up in Google (I believe it was at the top of page two when I looked), I noticed something disturbing in the “Images” section. Two of MY pictures showed up, but they were on a content scraper’s website. Foul!
Enough is Enough
- I have nothing against anyone trying to make money. The green stuff is a very necessary evil, isn’t it!?! We all need it to get by and, trust me, I understand that as well as anyone. However, content scrapers are very much like common thieves – they’d rather rob the hard work someone else has done and make money off of them.
- While the above scenario is reprehensible, it’s still not my primary concern. If I thought these people were in need of money to eat or feed their families, I’d give them my content as well as money. That’s not the case, however. The case is greed… and lazy greed, at that.
- The reason I’m making changes to Self Help Daily actually has more to do with me than it does them. I detest coming across like a martyr, but the plain and simple truth is this: I work very hard on my book reviews, posts, and quote graphics. Heck, I even put extra thought into the pictures I take! There’s lighting to be considered, “ambiance,” etc. I don’t go through all of this work just to have someone else come along and “scrape” it for their website.
- Having said that, however, it goes deeper. I don’t want words that I’ve written, pictures I’ve taken, thoughts I’ve squeezed out (many days, it’s quite a challenge to squeeze out one, let alone several), or my website’s name or my own personal name on a website that could, conceivably publish anything and everything. Why would I want MY words alongside words I would never even want to associate with?! There are a fair amount of crazy people in the world – and many of them are filled with hate and spew utter nonsense and ugliness. I will fight the hounds of hell to keep my words or name from appearing someplace I wouldn’t want them to visit, let alone live.
In an effort to combat these nut jobs, I’ve had to change my RSS feed from “full content” to only a snippet. Most of these scrapers steal other people’s content via their RSS feed, so this is one change I’m having to make. I apologize to anyone and everyone that this inconveniences. While one click to read content isn’t, in the grand scheme of things, a big deal, it is a change and change isn’t always a picnic. Again, I apologize. If content scraping is ever defeated once and for all, I’ll gladly make my RSS feed “full content” again.
As for pictures on Self Help Daily, I have always encouraged readers to use my quote graphics and book photographs on their own blogs or websites, as well as social media. I even place SelfHelpDaily.com on my daily quotes and quote graphics, so that a link back isn’t even necessary. I try to make the name unobtrusive so it doesn’t detract from the quote or picture.
I don’t want to start writing my website’s name on every picture I take. If I take a picture of a book I’m reviewing, I want the book to the be star of the show and the focus of the moment. So, the decision is still up in the air on that one. I’m hoping that after I battle the scrapers in a few other ways, it won’t be necessary. We’ll see.
Again, I am sorry about the RSS feed, I’m just hoping that you won’t find it to be too big of a deal. No doubt, if I hear from several regular readers who DO find it to be a headache, I’ll reconsider the change. I’m a softy when it comes to my regular readers. I just ask that you please bear with me while I battle the scallywag pirates.