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Happy Friday Evening! I’m excited to announce the Seasonal Footer here at BNOTP is all updated for the Fall Season. Linked in the footer at the bottom of the BNOTP home page, you’ll find posts about Autumn Decorating, Fall Dining, Halloween Crafts & Decor and Halloween Tablescapes. Once Halloween has passed, I’ll change the Halloween categories out to Thanksgiving related posts. Hope you are enjoying this easy access to many of the seasonal posts here at BNOTP. You’ll find even more under the category The Holiday Home, located at the top of the BNOTP homepage.
Recently someone left a comment saying they were having some trouble finding all the posts about the rooms I’ve decorated in my home. Those are located behind the category at the top of BNOTP called, My Nest.
The posts you’ll find there are currently in order from the oldest to the most recent. So, if you’re looking for a more recent post, like those about the home office I added this past year, once you click on the category, My Nest, scroll down to the bottom of that page and click on over to pages 3 & 4 where the links for the office posts can be found. Links to older posts will be on pages 1 and 2.
The other easy way to find a past post here at BNOTP is by clicking on “Search” at the top of the sidebar to the right, and typing in whatever topic you are searching for. Before I had all the categories set up, several folks e-mailed to let me know they found the post they needed using the search box. I’m so glad that’s working!
I know from your e-mails, many of you are using the category headings. That makes me so happy to hear since those babies were a lot of work to set up. If you aren’t taking advantage of the category system at the top of BNOTP, check it out. I think you’ll be tickled at how easy it is to find the post you want to read.
You ask and It Has Been Added!
Several folks asked for the ability to move from post to post, once they finish reading a post. I aim to please so I had my developer add that feature. Look for something that looks like this at the end of each post:
The Anatomy of a Stolen Post:
Recently I was reading an article somewhere (forgotten where now) and it said one way to check to see if your blog content has been stolen from your RSS feed and posted on another site, is to type your blog name into the search box at Google Blogs.
I had never heard of the Google Blogs search engine. I did a search for Between Naps on the Porch and the first page of results looked fine, but one or two pages over I found yet another “Blogger” blog loaded down with hundreds and hundreds of my posts.
As I looked in their archives, I saw around 100 of my posts published for each month. Not total, but per month! Again, these were posts stolen prior to when I began watermarking my pics. Watermarking is important, very important. So is not publishing all your content in full in an RSS feed. I’m learning all this the hard way these days.
What this evil site is doing is just recycling a bunch of my posts over and over. That’s bad because Google punishes sites and ranks them down when the Google bots that crawl the web find duplicate content on various sites. The evil site is currently showing all my old Halloween related posts each day.
A while back I wrote a post about this awful problem of so many Blogger’s having their posts/content stolen. I discussed some things bloggers could do to protect their content and where to report it if you are a victim of this growing crime. You can read that post here: Stop Scrapers from Stealing Your Content
When I published the post about ways to stop scrapers, I didn’t mention any of the scraping sites I had found by name. I didn’t want to send them any traffic. When I found this other site about a week or so ago, I took some screen shots so you could see how the typical stolen post looks on the typical evil, spam blog. Again, I’m not going to show their identifying info, but I will show you how they work the stolen content.
By the way, since I’ve reported the site to google, the owners of the evil site have drastically changed the appearance of their site, but unfortunately the site is still there. I’m still waiting for Google to shut it down…more on that in a sec.
Spam Sites and How They Look:
So, if you were to visit this spam Blogger site loaded down with stolen content, this is what you would see just below their plain, unexciting header…lots and lots and lots of Adsense ads. I have blurred them here because I don’t want to show the actual ads.
Next you’ll see the start of one of my stolen posts. I published this Halloween tablescape on October 20th of last year. It appeared on the evil blog on September 4th of this month. You’ll notice below my post title, they have inserted more Adsense ads.
As you continue scrolling down their site, you’ll see more Adsense ads all down the right side of my Halloween post. Many of you have asked how these evil sites earn money off of our stolen posts…this is how. In addition to the ads, often the posts are also filled with text links that when clicked, make the evil site income and take the reader to a site where something is being sold.
As you continue scrolling down there are lots more ads and then finally you’ll see the blog archive posted on the right hand side. As of September 4th, they had already published 42 posts for the month of September. Of those 42 posts, 29 of them are mine. Each red arrow is pointing to a post that’s been taken from my RSS feed.
By the way, thanks so much to all of you who have signed up to receive the BNOTP feed and to those of you who continue to subscribe to it, even though I have had to shorten it. Your support is so appreciated. ♥
As we continue down through my stolen Halloween tablescape post, you’ll see more of my posts in their archives. Feeling sick, yet? I know I am. This is a little like having your home broken into and then visiting the thieves home and seeing your TV, DVD player and silver being used by the thief and there’s nothing you can do but fill out forms and wait.
And as we continue, we see more…and we’re still just looking at the current month, September 2012. Every single month of their blog is packed with my posts, stolen from my feed. I counted the posts they had stolen and posted in the month of August and 89 of them were mine.
One Way The Scrapers Try to Cover Their Tracks:
These evil people who are stealing blog posts, definitely know what they are doing is illegal and immoral. They try to cover their tracks by using software that strips out the links we’ve put in our posts that refer back to previous posts. For example, at the end of this Halloween tablescape post (see circled area in screen shot below) I listed and linked to some past Halloween tablescapes.
On the evil site, all those links I added are dead…they are no longer live links. They have been altered by their “post-stealing-software” to help hide their thievery. They do this because they are worried someone will click on the other links we’ve included, arrive at our blog and leave a comment telling the blogger their content is being stolen
Also, the live links will sometimes generate comments or ping backs (guess that’s what they are called) that notify the blogger someone is linking to their site. I’m not sure exactly how that works, but I have gotten a few in the past in the comments. I didn’t know what they were until recently. The area you see circled below used to be live links I had in the post to some of my previous posts/content. But they are no longer links. The evil site has made them useless to hide their dirty work of stealing content.
Where This All Stands Now:
So, here’s what I’ve done so far. I completed the DMCA form requesting all this content be removed. I don’t want to take time in this post to explain what that is, but you can read about completing a DMCA form and hear Matt Cutts explain how to fight these sites in this past post about stopping scrapers: Stop Scrapers from Stealing Your Content
I also reported the site as a Spam site to the place Matt Cutts states you should do that. Again, just listen to the video in that past post for that info.
When I first competed the DMCA to report this site, I gave Google the URLs to 5 posts the evil site had stolen. I gave them the links on the evil site and the links on my site where the real post is located. I also explained in great detail that the site had hundreds and hundreds of my posts/content on their site…all stolen from my RSS feed and that the 5 examples were just a drop in the bucket. The last time I found a site doing this, Google removed the site quickly within 3-4 days.
They responded by removing those 5 posts, but nothing else and they allowed the site to remain on the Blogger platform. It’s still going strong and they even published another one of my posts just this morning.
I e-mailed Google back and once again explained there are hundreds and hundreds of my posts on the evil site. I got back an e-mail asking that I provide them the exact URL address for every single post that’s been stolen.
So, how long do you think it’s going to take me to open up each post and copy/paste the URL/address for that post to an email when there are 89 of my posts just in the month of August on the spam site? I can tell you it took a couple of hours last night to just get through the months of August and September 13th of this month. I e-mailed Google the 118 URLs for August and September. Now, I’m waiting to see if they are going to make me list all the URLs for every single month. What a nightmare. Sucks the creative life right out of you dealing with this stuff.
I still haven’t heard back on the Spam report I filled out. Wonder how long that will take or if I will hear back. I read somewhere that nothing ever comes of those…hopefully that is incorrect. Will keep you posted how it goes. Now I’m just wondering how many more of these evil content-stealing sites are out there.
I shudder to think.
Update: Google replied back asking for the URLs on my site to all the original content. So now, in addition to sending them the URLs of the 118 stolen posts that are appearing on the spam blog in August and September, I’m supposed to send them the URL’s for the legitimate posts on my blog. And this is only for August and September…there are still 5 more months of stolen content on the spam blog.
The first time I reported a Spam blog, Google took them off line within days…not this time. I don’t know if it just depends on who you get or what? I’ve filed a whole new DMCA report, hoping to get someone who actually cares this time. They may be overrun with reports now that so many folks are becoming aware of this issue.
Final Update: The spam blog is gone…Google finally removed it today, 09-20-2012. It was torture this past week watching them continue publishing all my stolen posts on their site this week. If you are a blogger and you find your work on a spam site, don’t give up. Persevere and get it removed. Watermark every photo and think twice about putting your full post out there in your RSS feed.