Scrapers suck.

About half of my posts on The Next Wave site seem to get trackback comments by a site “University Update” – the only thing is, there are no humans involved with “University Update”- it’s just a bot stealing my content.

I mark each trackback as SPAM- but, I can’t get my content off their site. Why do they do this? To aggregate content for search engine optimization- and then to hope to score some cash from Google Ad Sense click throughs.

Once again- if Google wasn’t so powerful, and if so many lame sites didn’t pay out huge cash to get hits through buying ad words, we wouldn’t have this problem.

The bots- scrapers, are talked about at length in the following CNET article which quotes Lorelle VanFossen who writes extensively about WordPress.

Please don’t steal this Web content | CNET
automated digital plagiarism in which software bots can copy thousands of blog posts per hour and publish them verbatim onto Web sites on which contextual ads next to them can generate money for the site owner.

Such Web sites are known among Web publishers as “scraper sites” because they effectively scrape the content off blogs, usually through RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and other feeds on which those blogs are sent.

One of the questions that comes up often in the seminar is about what constitutes “Fair Use” and how much to use via the PressIt function of WordPress. My answer isn’t great, but I believe it works: always cite the source, don’t put it on your site unless you contribute something to the meaning, or understanding- making it more useful than it was in it’s original version.

This is where scrapers fail- they just copy and steal. Google should easily be able to see the original publisher- and be able to identify sites that are entirely made up of stolen content and vote them off the island- the problem is, that’s how Google makes a lot of money- and according to their ethos- getting filthy rich isn’t considered part of their “do no evil” mantra.

Continue reading →

You can pay money to snake oil salesmen….

As P.T. Barnum was reputed to say “there’s a sucker born every minute” – there are people who will have you believe that you can make thousands of dollars by gaming Google adsense with a WordPress site and their “Package” of tools.

Most of what they include is available for free online- themes, plug-ins and even the advice.

The sad fact is, there are a lot of people that would rather pay money for a get rich quick scheme instead of taking a course that will teach you how to build legitimate business with a WordPress site.

And of course, Google has smart people working at eliminating click fraud and splog (SPam bLOG) sites from their search results.

But, if you can’t resist, here’s a link to that easy money:

WordPress Elite – Powerful Blog Management

” You Can Now Easily Create a Niche Blog Empire Using WordPress That Spits Out Five Figure Adsense Checks Like a Winning Slot Machine on Steroids! “

Just remember, slot machines are still programmed to keep most of the money for the house.

Continue reading →

The feeds at the bottom of your dashboard are…

If you’ve ever wondered where the little tidbits in the gray boxes at the bottom of your dashboard come from- you should read this post by Owen “RedAlt” Winkler- which explains it.
» Planet WordPress and the Dashboard Feeds

Planet WordPress is a site that aggregates feeds from a number of users who have contributed to the WordPress Open Source project, or who provide good sources of information on WordPress, its themes, or its plugins. Planet WordPress produces a feed that is displayed in the Dashboard of most WordPress installations.

While I can’t say I read all the feeds on it- very often I get some good leads on new cool WordPress functions, plugins, themes etc. there.

I’ve guessed that it could become a paid advertising channel in future releases of WordPress, to help fund and pay the people who put in the many hours to keep WordPress great. It’s an interesting concept- and could give Google Ad Sense a run for their money.

Continue reading →