Weekly SEO news: 4 March 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Some days ago, Google published some kind of "disavow links tool" for scraper sites. If your website content has been stolen by other websites, this tool can help you. How exactly does it work and how can you benefit from that new tool?

In the news: Google might be the biggest scraper site of all, Google finds your spammy site, even if you get a new domain name, mobile devices deliver 4-15% of sales, and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google’s new attack on scraper sites

Some days ago, Google published some kind of "disavow links tool" for scraper sites. If your website content has been stolen by other websites, this tool can help you. How exactly does it work and how can you benefit from that new tool?

scraper sites

What are scraper sites?

Scraper sites are websites that copy content that other people have created. They post that content on their own website as their own content.

It seems logical that the original website should rank higher on Google than the website that copies the content. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

Scraper websites often rank higher on Google than the original websites. Sometimes, the original website isn't displayed at all in the search results while the scraper site gets high rankings.

Google's new approach

Until now, Google has tried to filter scraper sites algorithmically from the search result pages. It seems that this hasn't worked very well. Google's Matt Cutts announced a new tool that enables webmasters to report scraper sites:

If you see a scraper URL outranking the original source of content in Google, please tell us about it: http://t.co/WohXQmI45X

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) February 27, 2014
How does the new tool work?

To report a scraper website to Google, you have to do the following:

  • Go to this page.
  • Enter the URL of the original page and the URL of the scraper site.
  • Enter the URL of the search result page that demonstrates the problem.

Before you submit the report to Google, you should check that your website follows Google's webmaster guidelines. If your website has been penalized because of spam, the scraper site tool won't help you.

What is Google going to do with the data?

Google does not say what they are going to do with the data. Submitting a scraper site through the form does not mean that the scraper website will be removed from the search results. It is likely that Google will use the submitted information to improve the spam detection of the ranking algorithm.

How to improve your web pages

If your own web pages rank higher than the scraper websites, you don't have to worry about them. Do the following to make sure that your web pages rank as highly as possible:

SEOprofiler can help you with all of these steps. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

Free trial Test full version




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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Is Google the biggest scraper site of all?

"A few hours ago, Google has published a new tool that enables webmaster to inform Google about scraper websites. Google doesn’t want to show scraper websites in the search results.

The funny thing about this is that Google is probably the biggest scraper site of all."

John MuellerGoogle: we’ll find your spammy site, even if you’re hiding
"Google’s John Mueller said in a Google Webmaster Hangout that Google might still find your penalized website even if you moved it to a new domain name.

Even if you do not set up 301 redirects to your new site, or use the change address tool in Google Webmaster Tools, a website penalty might apply to your new site if you simply moved the website from domain A to domain B, or if the new website is very similar to the old website."


Grabbing attention vs. getting people to care about your content

"Every day, there are 2 million blog posts, 294 billion emails, 864 thousand hours of video created, and that’s before you take into account social media, instant messaging and other digital interactions.

As a result, 80 percent of readers only read the headline of an article and either skim or skip over the rest."


GoogleGoogle’s Matt Cutts: how we detect paid links

"In a new video on YouTube, Google’s Matt Cutts explains some of the criteria that is used to decide whether a link is paid or not. [...]

Matt Cutts says that Google can detect 99% of paid links. If you want to detect all links that have a negative influence on the Google rankings of your site, use the link disinfection tool."

Mobile devices: 30 percent of traffic, 15 percent of sales

"Overall, mobile devices were responsible for 30 percent of traffic but only 15 percent of online orders in 2013. And, if you consider tablets to be more like PCs than smartphones (as Google does), then 'mobile' orders were only 4 percent of the total."

Search engine newslets

  • Bing better than Google at tracking 12 digit Fedex tracking numbers.
  • Welcome to Googletown. Here's how a city becomes company property.
  • Teaching Bing Maps some new (language) tricks.
  • Study: keep subject lines at 6 to 10 words or try a song lyric to lift email open rates.
  • Google: 3 tips to find hacking on your site, and ways to prevent and fix it.
  • Google scrapes even more content: Google adds restaurant menus to search results.
  • Google: you don’t have to disavow links from off-topic sites.
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3. Recommended resources

Link disinfection: how to deal with bad links that point to your site

Hear what Matt Cutts says about bad links that point to your website:

link disinfection

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4. Previous articles
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