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BLOGGING THOUGHTS

One Simple Way to Stick it to Scrapers

13 Comments 1244 views

Having your content scraped and used on spam sites is a chance you take when publishing a full RSS feed from your blog. I’ll go out on a limb and say I don’t think there is anyway to avoid it. At least I haven’t been able to.

In a perfect world your content would never be scraped. In a decent world if you contacted the scraper your content would be removed from the scraped site. However in our world, you can rarely find the owner of the site and if you are lucky enough to actually find an email address they are non-responsive at best.

My latest plan of attack is a simple solution that may help deter scrapers for at least a little while. It simply involves placing a message at the bottom of all your posts in your RSS feed that links back to your site and informs the reader they are reading a plagiarized version of your content.

There’s a couple ways you can easily do this.

Self Hosted WordPress

The most efficient way is to append each post in your RSS feed with a simple message and link. You can do this in the funcitons.php file of your theme. Simply add the following code changing the message, of course….

<?php
function fight_scrapers($content) {
if(is_feed()){
$content.= "<h1><a href="http://RonisWeigh.com">";
$content.= "If you are not reading this on Roni's Weigh OR ";
$content.= "your RSS reader then it has been plagerized!";
$content.= "</a></h1>";
}
return $content;
}
add_filter('the_content', 'fight_scrapers');
?>

This will add–in large text by the way–the link "If you are not reading this on Roni’s Weigh OR your RSS reader then it has been plagerized!" to the bottom of every post in your feed only.

Solution for WordPress.com or Blogger

If you are on WordPress.com and you don’t have access to the functions.php file you can implement a lower tech solution. First add the following syle to your CSS file.

.protect {
	display:none;
}

This is a simple style that will hide any content that has the protect class applied to it. Now simply add something like this to the bottom of all your posts…

<h1 class="protect">
<a href="http://RonisWeigh.com">
If you are not reading this on Roni's Weigh OR your RSS reader then it has been plagerized!
</a></h1>

The "protect" class will hide the line on your blog but since the RSS file does not have access to the CSS file it will show in the feed and on any sites that scrapes the feed.

Note

The scraper still has access to your content but at least any readers that happen to stumble on plagerized versions of your content can easily find you. Not to mention you are now getting additional incoming links from the scraper’s site.



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 13 comments so far.

    Jim

    August 10, 2010

    And if you are using WordPress, you are using Apache, which means that you can prevent people from linking directly to your images, MP3s, etc.

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(.+.)?mysite.com/ [NC]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
    RewriteRule .*.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/2806/hotlink.gif [L]

    explained here: altlab.com/htaccess_tutorial.html

    roni

    August 11, 2010

    oh! oh! GENIUS!

    roni

    August 11, 2010

    ok.. loving that!! Totally working on the 2 scraper sites that refused to take down my site. You have no idea how much pleasure I’m getting from seeing this image plastered all over their site…. http://roninoone.com/resources/hotlink.jpg

    Jim Doran from jimdoran.net

    August 11, 2010

    YES! Ha ha!!! So awesome.

    Kat

    August 12, 2010

    That is awesome LOL

    Brandon

    August 13, 2010

    Great solution, and I LOVE your hotlink image! :)

    Jaye

    August 13, 2010

    Love it!!!!

    Barb

    August 13, 2010

    TOO Awesome. Stick it to ’em!

    Tami

    August 13, 2010

    Good for you Roni. I hate to admit that all this writing code is way above my computer knowledge! but I can always pay someone to do this for me!

    Tami

    August 13, 2010

    Forgot to mention that I had to google “scrapers” as I didn’t know what it meant!

    I just learned a lot of new stuff, thanks Roni!

    Melissa (@MelGetsFit)

    August 13, 2010

    LMAO! Love your hotlink image. ;)

    Darren Singleton

    August 16, 2010

    Hi Ronni,

    You could always use the RSS Footer plugin for WordPress, I’ve placed a link below:

    http://yoast.com/wordpress/rss-footer/

    Regards,
    Darren

    roni

    August 16, 2010

    Thanks Darren… I’m trying to reduce my plugins… less to manage that way. :)