How to Report Scraper Directories To Google

A scraper is a term used for directories that "scrape" content off your website and use it to improve keyword ranking for their own website (because they are too lazy to write their own content). They often indulge in spammy tricks to enable them to out rank you for you main keywords and even your own business name. You can find them by searching for your major keywords along with or without your and various other means. The trick is to recognize a scraper when you see one which is the purpose of this page.

Meta Tag Repeat Scrapers

Most legitimate directories will only use your title, URL and description but some scrapers will take that information and repeat it several times and also put it in their own title, description and keyword tags and other places.

See an example of this type of scraper by typing this url into your browser: scraper. Enter a keyword. But don't use your own domain because some scraper directories will use that info and immediately set up a new page scraping your content. Then click on "details" on one of the entries and it will bring up a page with the scraped site's url and title in their title, with each one repeated several times (you can't see this unless you view the source code as your browser will cut off the excess). Then if you go to the scraped site's web site and compare their real title, keyword and description with what you see on the scraper's web page you will see that this directory has repeated these multiple times in their listing of the site's domain, description and keywords. They repeat this in the meta tags for the page also and thus they can often outrank anyone they target (if you can't find evidence of this spammy trick then Google has finally got rid of those scrapers). And they do this to everyone they list in their directory.

Do the world a favor and report them to Google spam and also Google Adsense because they have AdSense on the site (which is the main reason they scrape content in the first place because their listings are so spammy they don't makes sense and so people want to go elsewhere and why not click on an AdSense ad? Resist the temptation to click on an AdSence ad on a scraper site because you'll be putting money in their pocket.

Heavy Bottom Scrapers

Some scrapers will add hundreds of repeats of your keywords at the bottom of their pages. This isn't usually visable because the top of the page looks like a normal directory and fills the screen but they usually have a long blank space to make it look like that's the end of the page and then they list spam filled links to their other pages or domains down below that with the spammy keywords on the bottom. Often they will have a long menu with the targeted keyword in every link. These scrapers often don't use keywords in their domain but a mix of nonsensical scrambled letters and numbers and often with the .info extension on the end. So when you see a scraper like this always scroll down to the bottom of the page to see if they have used spammy techniques and if so report them to the two Google spam sites mentioned above.

Fake Link Scrapers

Usually scrapers don't link to your site either (so you can't find them), even though it may appear they have done so because they faked the color of the link text and added an underline so it looks like a link. To find these scrapers search for your title or domain without the .com on the end.

302 Redirect Scrapers

Adding insult to injury, sometimes they will even put a link to your site with a 302 redirect on it which, if it is not a search engine friendly redirect, will hijack your PR (page rank) and Keyword Rank. A lot of sites use search engine friendly redirects to track visitors so not all 302 redirects are harmful.

How to find a Scraper Directory

A good way to find Scraper Directories is to search for your business name. Your website should come up in the #1 position unless there are other businesses with the same name. If a directory comes up above yours with your business name in the title, then check them out to see if they are using any of the above methods of scraping your content.

You can also find scrapers by searching for lines of text on your pages within quotes, or use Copyscape or use the link checker in Google's Webmaster Tools (you'll have to set up an account for your website).

How to Report a Scraper Directory to Google

These scrapers are usually using Google AdSense ads. If so, report them as an Google AdSence Policy Violation. Read the rules carefuly and report any broken rules.

Usually a scraper directory breaks other rules too, like using hidden text or links, or 302 redirects, excessive keyword repetition, or other spaming tricks and if so also report them to Google Spam Report or Yahoo Spam Report..

You should also contact the owner and ask them to remove your listing. Look for contact informaion on the website (not likely if they are a determined thief) or check the WhoIS for that domain's contact information. Then contact the host if the owner doesn't respond (search for the IP address to find the host). Scrapers often host their own server and in that case contact their domain registrar which is also listed in the whois information. If all else fails complain to InterNic which governs all domains. Anyone using a domain for illegal purposes is in danger of losing their domain. If the WhoIs data indicates they have a listing in DMOZ or Yahoo Directory report them there also.

Also see How to Stop those who are Stealing your Content
for instructions on how to contact the scraper's host.

Lori Eldridge
Copyright © October 05, 2006 - Updated 11-04-20
All rights reserved.