Rank Ranger Blog

Is Scraped Content Outranking Your Original Site?

Last week Google decided to take a hard line on sites that are using scraped content and provided a form for the general public to be able to report such websites that they have found are scraping their content and, if applicable, are outranking them on SERPs. This was sent out in a tweet by the head of Google’s web spam team Matt Cutts, which caused quite a stir when Dan Barker replied showing Google scraping content from Wikipedia and outranking them.

What is scraped content?

Scraped content is when a website crawls another site and duplicates their content rather than creating original content for themselves.

More and more SEOs are seeing an issue of their content, that was created with time and effort, being used on another site that is now outranking them on any given SERP. This has caused an outcry and Google understands the injustice but is still working on a way to rectify it. This form is their start at making a change and penalizing scraper sites. There are no promises of sites being removed if they are reported, and Google has not said anything of what they will do with the data, but it is at least a start at identifying the issue and, with this information, Google can make a more informed decision and, hopefully, find a solution.

Below you can see Cutts’ actual tweet and Dan Barker’s witty response.


The tweet currently has over 34,000 retweets, which is nearly 5 times the number of Barker’s followers. This could be his shining Twitter moment or, as Search Engine Land puts it, his "Oreo” moment. Whatever it is, it was amusing for all of us in SEO and we certainly hope that Google saw it!

So if you are seeing other sites using your content and outranking you for it, report them on Google’s Scraper Report, and let us know if you notice any differences.

About The Author
Shiri brings her knowledge in online marketing and social media, among other things to the Rank Ranger team. She's excited to be a Ranger and looks forward to wearing the ranger hat and getting her sheriff's badge in the SEO force.

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