It’s hard to believe after Google’s recent updates, but there are still active scraper sites. A scraper site takes your content, usually from your feed, and uses it for content on their blog. In this post, I will show to report these sites that are infringing your copyright to Google and, hopefully, get them removed from the search index.
NOTE: This post is meant as a helpful guide, not legal advice. I am not an attorney and I am not recommending or suggesting any action, or lack of action, for any situation you may have. In other words, don’t sue me.
First, Try to Make Contact
I would recommend you first attempt to contact the site owner. It’s not always easy to obtain contact information for a scraper site and that could be because they do not want to be found. That’s not a problem, we don’t need this information to report the blog stealing our content, it’s just a good idea to make that attempt.
If You Can Contact The Scraper Site
If you can find contact information, you have a couple of different approaches you can take;
- You could simply send an email showing exactly what content is infringing your copyright and requesting it be removed. You will also need to insist all further reproduction of your copyrighted content be stopped.
- The second option you have is to send a Cease & Desist notice to the scraper. I found this free generic sample Cease & Desist letter that can be used as a template, should you decide to write your own. Alternatively, you can, and probably should, seek the advice of an attorney.
Reporting The Scraper Site To Google
Google wants to know if your content is being scraped, especially if it is being indexed by them. Google has a simple process that takes you through a few step-by-step form to issue the request and launch an investigation. You can find the initial form here: Removing Content From Google
Just to save you a little time and get you started, I checked the following first three options on the form to report a content scraper for copyright infringement.
- Web Search
- I have a legal issue that is not mentioned above
- I have found content that may violate my copyright
Once your request has been accepted by Google, you can check the status in the section of your Webmasters Tools account: Removal Dashboard – Web Search
Don’t Stop At Google
If you know the site is a real scraper site and someone wasn’t simply making a mistake, you may want to report them to their web hosting company and their domain registrar. You can often obtain this information in a Who Is search for the domain. Many scraper sites use a third party privacy service to hide from such actions.
Do you still see content scraping sites out there? Have you ever contacted someone violating your copyright? Have you ever found your content being indexed and ranked in the SERPs for a content scraper website or blog?