Last year we didn’t realize that April afforded us more than the usual number of Wednesdays, until the deadline loomed for a Lunch Meat we hadn’t planned for.Guess what happened this year?
Plenty of Shame to Go Around
Since we’re completely unprepared, we’re going to circle back to the subject of this month’s first installment, because there’s a lot more to say. Some of it we learned as a result of that article, from client responses.
One of our returning clients had been taken for a ride by a shady SEO character. You may recall that one of the scammy tactics is to create backlinks to one’s site. This client got an alert from Google regarding the over 8,000 backlinks to their site that had been spammed all over the Yellow Pages website.
This sort of directory duplicity is not new to the Yellow Pages. A dwindling number of us remember using actual printed Yellow Pages directories, and seeing companies with names like AARON AARDVARK ARBORIST, clearly so named to show up first in the listing.
Anyway, Google has a tool for disavowing such links, and our client is in the process of doing so. We will also be helping them clear up some of the other abuses that have been inflicted on their site.
Scraping the Bottom
Another client had us build them a very nice, 15-page website a few years ago. Next thing we know, that website has over 1,000 pages, many of which were populated using “scraped” content.
“Scraping” is the practice of taking content from other sources and reposting it on one’s own site. We’re not talking about grabbing a Grumpy Cat pic or a reaction gif.
We’re talking about wholesale rip-off. In fact, without a trace of irony, we’ll just give you what Google says about it:
Some webmasters use content taken (“scraped”) from other, more reputable sites on the assumption that increasing the volume of pages on their site is a good long-term strategy regardless of the relevance or uniqueness of that content. Purely scraped content, even from high-quality sources, may not provide any added value to your users without additional useful services or content provided by your site; it may also constitute copyright infringement in some cases. It’s worthwhile to take the time to create original content that sets your site apart. This will keep your visitors coming back and will provide more useful results for users searching on Google.[Examples include:]
- Sites that copy and republish content from other sites without adding any original content or value
- Sites that copy content from other sites, modify it slightly (for example, by substituting synonyms or using automated techniques), and republish it
- Sites that reproduce content feeds from other sites without providing some type of unique organization or benefit to the user
- Sites dedicated to embedding content such as video, images, or other media from other sites without substantial added value to the user
Couldn’t have put it better ourselves. So yeah, don’t do that.
Rigney Graphics is a Pasadena graphic arts company that can help you create an impact with design and marketing solutions for print and web.