How To Stop WordPress Content Scrapers

Posted on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 No Comments


stop-wordpress-scrapers

Recently I noticed that someone was stealing every single post that I put on cruisemagic.com. Whoever runs ourcruisedeals.com is scraping content from WordPress sites related to cruises. They credit the original source, but that’s not my concern. My concern is that this creates a serious content duplication issue, which is a big no-no for Google.

For example, this is an article that I wrote last week:

How Can I Get the Cheapest Cruise Fare? 10 Tips for the Bargain Hunter

Pretty soon it showed up on the scraper’s website at
http://ourcruisedeals.com/how-can-i-get-the-cheapest-cruise-fare-10-tips-for-the-bargain-hunter/

(I’m not making that a clickable link because I don’t want to link to these yahoos.)

The stolen article includes the entire article word-for-word, including the graphic and all of the links I made to other pages on our website. It’s nice to get links to various pages from another domain, but even that is a little scary because if Google realizes that this website is using bad tactics, those links could end up causing trouble for us.

This had happened with about 10-15 of my other posts on cruisemagic.com as well, and I’d had enough of it. I did some research on how to stop content scrapers that target WordPress sites, and came up with a very simple solution.

It turns out that most content scrapers use RSS feeds. If you have your RSS feed set to include the entire article, then BAM, the scraper gets automatic access to all content that you publish. If you change the RSS setting to only show a summary, then the scraper has nothing to work with.

The only downside to this is that you might have readers who use RSS to read your posts. CruiseMagic isn’t really that kind of site, since the majority of the posts are more like e-commerce pages than blog posts, so I don’t mind setting the RSS to show summaries rather than full posts.

Here’s how to change your WordPress RSS feed to summary:

Go to Settings > Reading and then select either Full Text or Summary

I did that, and lo and behold, the content scraping stopped immediately.




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