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Old 06-13-2005   #1
ephricon
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Scraper Site Question

Quick question here - looking for everyone else's opinions/experiences.

I've got a number of sites that tend to accumulate a large number of very low quality links from various sites - such as

1) sites that scrape the DMOZ directory or Google/Yahoo search results as content to feed a site that's sole purpose is clearly AdSense ads. i get alot of these particularly for sites that are ranking well in their niche, as many of these sites just reproduce SERPs for their content.

or

2) other businesses that want to exchange links with me and put my link on their site... but since I'm not interested I do not reciprocate and it just sits there until they both to remove it.

I've been under the impression that neither of the above will "hurt" my site(s), since in neither of these cases am I reciprocating with a link to their site. However, I'm not sure I buy this. I wanted to get your thoughts. If it can hurt, it seems counter-intuitive as then in essence all sites ranked well (and thus supposively relevant) would be penalized b/c they are attracting such links and a cycle would ensue by which high ranking sites would always get penalized.

The only negative I can think is that these links will dilute A) the percentage of "quality" inbound links to the site, and B) the anchor text being used, and may possibly trip a duplicate anchor text filter as most of these links use the TITLE text on the homepage. As a side note, I've considered varying my homepage title tags occassionally to combat this.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-13-2005   #2
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I've heard this theory bandied about and it might be true.

When I first started getting scraper links, an obvious thought hit me: put keywords in all my URLS so that all scraper links now point "one way" at me with the right anchor text.

I even took the thought further and made pseudo directories several levels deep, you know the type: /my-keywords/keywords-good-god/more-keywords/keyword-keyword.html

That way, I surmised, Google will figure this must be a heck of a page, since someone linked to it 3 levels down. For awhile there, this worked like a champ. The scrapers would link and the pages would rise.

Now I think maybe keywords hurt you in the URL. I have many pages that seem "surpressed" in the SERPS like this. It's possible a new filter has been added.

The only drawback from the scrapers linking would be if the anchor text is completely repetetive. If it is, you may trigger the conjectured "Exact Anchor Text" penalty.
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Old 06-13-2005   #3
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I agree w/ you about the KWs in URLs. I try not to even really use this as an SEO technique as I believe 9 times out of 10 its overdone and runs the risk of a penalty, and the other 1 time out of 10 its not really all that effective anyways. Instead I rather just name pages for me - so its easier to remember what is what. I find one or two descriptive words w/ a hyphen is what I prefer - any SE benefit is just a bonus.

Your second point though mentioned the exact anchor text penalty I referred to. To me, this is a very likely result for most scaper sites, since they usually either get the anchor text from your TITLE tag (either directly or via a SERPs page), or from the DMOZ directory - thus they all have the same text.

As a thought, I figured maybe its good to switch up your sites TITLE tags to offset this, but then I got to thinking about this and its sort of the principle of the thing - why should I have to?
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Old 06-13-2005   #4
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Enough repeated anchor links especially from spammy directories could eventually lead to being penalised.
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Old 06-13-2005   #5
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Quote:
Enough repeated anchor links especially from spammy directories could eventually lead to being penalised.
Scraper sites and other "spammy" sites that link to you shouldnt have a negative impact on your site. If the SEs are applying some sort of penalty then an adjustment should be made.

External factors affecting a site should be analayzed carefully as to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We dont need more external exploits to worry about.
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Old 06-13-2005   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Martin
Scraper sites and other "spammy" sites that link to you shouldnt have a negative impact on your site. If the SEs are applying some sort of penalty then an adjustment should be made.

External factors affecting a site should be analayzed carefully as to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We dont need more external exploits to worry about.
There is definitely a penalty for extremely overused anchor text. If the scrappers are all taking the title tags as the anchor text and they proliferate in your industry they can have such an impact. Ask SEO Book about the impact of overused anchor text caused by people linking to him.
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Old 06-13-2005   #7
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There is definitely a penalty for extremely overused anchor text. If the scrappers are all taking the title tags as the anchor text and they proliferate in your industry they can have such an impact. Ask SEO Book about the impact of overused anchor text caused by people linking to him.
Thanks, however I am familiar with the risks. My comments were aimed at the SE reps. That is an exploitable tactic that the SEs need to deal with.

If they dont deal with this then my competitors can begin a negative link campaign against me. Its much easier to conduct a neagtive link spam than a traditional contrsuctive campaign.
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Old 06-14-2005   #8
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Scrapper Sites :

If google find them they will ban them..

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Old 06-14-2005   #9
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I do find it fun to read DaveN's comments on scraper sites, no doubt an industry expert on the topic ...

do you have any idea how they detect scrapper sites?

also if a disproprionate percent of links come from scraper type sites you don't think that passes some bad profile onto another site?

I know in some fields just ranking for something like mesothelioma means you get thousands of scraper links, but they have to offset them some way. you don't think they would try to make the offset greater than the gain the links would give? do you think it is possible for them to do that?
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Old 06-14-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN
Scrapper Sites :

If google find them they will ban them..

DaveN
A true nuget of wisdom. My worry here though is that they spring up faster than they are banned. I've got my own business's site for example - a boutique SEO firm. My site ranks well for a number of web-marketing related terms, especially when qualified with a regional term. As a result, I'm on tons of scraper sites and scraper directories, and I'm fearful that I'll soon have a link distribution such as the following:

- 50 or so good, on-topic quality links with varying, on-topic anchor text
- 2,000 poor links that I don't even want from scraper sites, each with the exact same anchor text - my title

I'm fearful the 2,000 poor links with exact anchor text will either cause penalties or dilute the value of my "real" quality links and thus hurt my site. Its worth noting again that I specifically don't even want any of those, they were scraped without my approval.

I've experienced the exact anchor text phenomenon myself much like SEOBook did - I have a site that you'd clearly like to using the same anchor text everyone else uses, and it struggles in Google for that reason.

***Update*** I just checked that site and after proactively obtaining links with different anchor text (which I dispised since the beauty of the site was that all my links were natural, unsolicited from my content - i.e. what SEs actually "want") and given that and the latest Google update I'm finally back on top for a term that the site clearly should be on top for.
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Old 06-14-2005   #11
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Offset with good links

I'm not sure I believe that those scraper sites will hurt you, but working on a premise that they might damage your relevance for a specific phrase, I would think the best remedy would be to get "good" links from other sites.

It seems that a strong linking/marketing campaign would offset whatever the percentage is that "might" hurt your site.
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Old 06-14-2005   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie
I'm not sure I believe that those scraper sites will hurt you, but working on a premise that they might damage your relevance for a specific phrase, I would think the best remedy would be to get "good" links from other sites.

It seems that a strong linking/marketing campaign would offset whatever the percentage is that "might" hurt your site.
Well that's precisely what I'm going for. However, we all have limited schedules. Up until now, the very minimal amout of time I've dedicated to building a good site and good links has been enough to get where I want to be.

Its sorta funny, but I've not really needed to continue to build many links for this site, as its got enough high quality ones and ocassionally gets a few more natural links here and there. I think its hilarious and a bit annoying that I'm now considering a link campaign for a site that has alot of natural links, solely for the reason to offset these automated links! Sorta ironic there.

Google prefers you build a great site and not focus on building links. I do that. I get ranked well. I attract scraper links, and now I need to build links to combat that!

Okay sorry just venting now. Thanks for the opinions.
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