What Is Content Scraping?

Content scraping (also referred to as web scraping or data scraping) is nothing but lifting off unique/original content from other websites and publishing it elsewhere. This technique is illegal as it’s done without the consent of the original source or author. Content scrapers typically copy the entire content and pass it off as their own content.

Content scraping takes a toll on the website that has invested the time, money, and resources to create original content, as their SEO and web authority ranks are knocked off. According to Pi Datametrics, web scrapers can easily outrank your site on Google.

Types of content targeted by scrapers

The following are the typical content targeted by illegal scrapers, but not limited to these:

  • Thought leadership articles and blogs
  • Comprehensive product reviews
  • Fresh news articles and Op-ed pieces
  • Technical research publications
  • Fresh listings on classified directories, job portals and property websites
  • Financial information and research publications
  • Product catalogue and pricing information on eCommerce websites

Content scraping, on a basic level, can be accomplished by manual copy and paste. More sophisticated techniques involve bots that are used to crawl websites and copy thousands of pages within a matter of seconds.

Content scraping is a commonly practiced method in online publishing companies that rely on ad revenue to fuel their websites. Third-party scrapers can generate heavy traffic by crawling and copying high-quality, keyword-dense content from other websites. Bloggers and media publishers are usually targeted to get fresh content for their websites.

Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo do not yet have a comprehensive method to distinguish the unique content from scraped content if the scraping had happened in a very short span of time.

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