Not getting involved

A competitor of mine in a particular market has shamelessly scraped some content from a big US player. The kind of shameless scraping where they forget to find-replace (company name) with their own name.

The natural instinct is to send one or both parties a polite message to see if someone can fix the problem.

Scenario 1

I send a message to the big American company whose content has been scraped. Their lawyers send a cease and desist letter to the little New Zealand scraper, and they fix the problem. While they have their FTP client open, they might even fix some of the spelling mistakes or shitty popups on the site.

Scenario 2

I send a message to the competitor scraper. They fix the mistake and thank me for pointing it out. Their site is now another notch closer to mine in terms of quality.

Scenario 3

I send a message to Google - about the scraped content and MFA style site they have which probably violates at least one of the quality guidelines. Google blacklists the site, and a few days later the scraper hires a SEO to fix all the dodgy content on their site before filing a reinclusion request.

Scenario 4

I don't get involved. Currently the site isn't attractive, has scraped content that looks totally unprofessional, and isn't beating me in the search results.

Why would I want to risk drawing attention to the problems on the site so that they are prompted to hire someone to fix them? As much as I like to help people out, this is my competitive advantage.

Before you dob your competitors in to Google for being naughty, ask yourself if you really want to be facing a stronger site once the problems are fixed in a few months time?
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Tags: spamscrapersscrapers spam