Google Boasts Scraper Detection In Revised Duplicate Content Policy

Nov 28, 2011 • 8:19 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

DMCA LawMichael Martinez of SEO Theory tipped me off to Google updating their duplicate content webmaster guidelines page.

The update was pretty minor, they made some stylist changes but also changes the last paragraph.

New Version:

In rare situations, our algorithm may select a URL from an external site that is hosting your content without your permission. If you believe that another site is duplicating your content in violation of copyright law, you may contact the site’s host to request removal. In addition, you can request that Google remove the infringing page from our search results by filing a request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Old Version:

If you find that another site is duplicating your content by scraping (misappropriating and republishing) it, it's unlikely that this will negatively impact your site's ranking in Google search results pages. If you do spot a case that's particularly frustrating, you are welcome to file a DMCA request to claim ownership of the content and request removal of the other site from Google's index.

Here, Google is saying that they rarely ever have an issue with displaying your content below a site stealing your content in the search results. Whereas before, they stated if it happens, here is what to do. Here they are now saying that it is very rare for it to happen.

The wording alone isn't major but when you see that it was changed, it does send a message.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Roundtable Forums.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: November 25, 2011


Boris Krumov

11/28/2011 01:26 pm

This is a wishful thinking that the dupes won't outrank you...

Terry Van Horne

11/28/2011 01:50 pm

Yeup it is more of the usual FUD! To say it isn't a problem that they have been total failures at handling is to not have a clue to the reality of the problem. Sure they handle "unpromoted" content but in no way can they combat any scrapper that wants to position above the real owner. Simply, often those publishhers spend the money on the content with few resources put  behind promoting it, whereas, scrappers often rank with BS linking tactics using offshore labor ie: cheap and very lucrative.  Make them take the Adsense off it and they have no resources to do the link building. So... the easy way to clean it up is to enable reporting duplicate content to Adsense and then make the scrappers remove the ads. In a sense Google profits from this douchebaggery and could just be looking the other way... I hope not but until they get proactive with human intervention this can't be taken off the table as a possible reason for their inability to solve the attribution issues caused by THEIR algorithms reliance on links.


11/29/2011 02:55 pm

Over thinking it.  Take Google alerts off Webmaster Guidelines, it's worthless.

SEO Demon

11/30/2011 11:45 am

Well hopefully that means google have improved how they work out which was the original copy a lot better now, but we do still see people on seochat and other forums asking what they should do as someone is using there content and ranking above them for some of it!

Nick Stamoulis

11/30/2011 02:35 pm

It's extremely frustrating when stolen content outranks the original.  Unfortunately it still happens quite frequently.  It's good to see that Google is taking measures to protect original content, but it's still not perfect.  

Terry Van Horne

11/30/2011 03:22 pm

"The wording alone isn't major but when you see that it was changed, it does send a message." Really what's the massage ? That it is more lies... that they have the nerve to suggest it isn't a major problem and to be so cavalier about scraping is the message that I hear... I don't see anything that even begins to resemble steps to combat something that they are likely gaining large benefit from since most of these sites are running Adsense. The onus is still on the owner, even if they published first... which Google often knows... the onus should be on the scrapper and any complaint should start with removal of the scrapped material from the index. This could easily be done through webmaster tools.  It is assinine that the person who has to spend the most time cleaning it up is the victim...

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