My wife is a smartie…
Posted by That Other Mike on 19/08/2008
I knew my wife was smart. Quite apart from the marrying me thing, she also comes up with some damned good ideas.
Following some recent issues with sploggers and scrapers, she’s decided to make a copyright notice.
A splogger, in case you’re in the dark (and lucky you if you are!) on this issue, is a spam blogger. They tend to post things promoting single issues or products, or just link to increase a page’s Google ranking; sometimes it’s a means of artificially inflating click-based ad revenue. Whatever the reason, the articles are fakes done to fool someone or some search engine.
A sub-variety of splog is the scraper, which is a particularly nasty little creation: they go around copying page content from other sites to simply fill space. They do this based around keywords, and this is often used to gain advertising revenue, particularly from Google AdSense, which itself works around keywords. Many of them attempt to get around copyright issues by adding some kind of prescript, like “Mike wrote an interesting post today…” and then posting the entire text. Many bloggers will be unaware of copyright law and issues, or may be flattered by the attention.
My wife was recently the victim of such a blog, which copied her article, Un-benching The Homeless, whole and entire. After much wrangling, the site removed the offending post. She only noticed because she visited a site she had referenced in the article, and saw that there was a pingback identical to hers, which led her to investigate.
All of this led her to create her new copyright page.
So where’s the clever bit? you may be asking. A copyright page is not particularly superduper clever in and of itself, and as much as I love my wife and want to glorify her name, I have to agree.
However, if you look at the bottom of every post of hers now, you’ll see a link that looks like this:
Posted by Lottie —Copyright © Rambling On 2008
And there’s the clever bit.
When scrapers take their content from legitimate blogs, they copy it all, from the text down to the links. That’s how the post at TWUSEA, since deleted, announced its presence – by copying the pingback link.
Now, every time a scraper blog takes the content from Lottie’s blog, it will also scoop up a link to her copyright page at the same time, which tells the person reading the offending article exactly where its content came from. It will also generate an incoming link, thus notifying Lottie of the offender’s address.
It’s a neat and elegant solution to the problem of splogs and scrapers, and I hope it takes off.