Yesterday morning I was very disturbed when I awoke. As usual one of my first stops for the day is checking my Blackberry to see if there is any new email emergencies from my clients that I need to address. Luckily nobody broke anything over New Years. But, I did notice 3 new emails in my inbox that were showing “New Comments” on old blog posts. Now, this isn’t uncommon to get comments on old posts, but when I opened them up I noticed they were all pingbacks.
Getting pingbacks is not that uncommon either as people from time to time refer back to our blog posts and when they link to them on our WordPress site, we get a notification. But, when there were three that all were used in my recent post predicting Trends for 2011, I knew something was up. So, I followed the pingback which directed me to a scraper site that is just feeding in featured posts on ActiveRain. The person feeding these posts only let like 10 show at a time and have it set that the others cannot be viewed. Unless you go in & look at their feed, then you can find plenty more.
There are zero posts of original content on the site. Also, there is no attribution as to where the stuff comes from. This person is blatantly stealing content from hundreds of people. What is even worse, (if it could get any) they are using a trademarked word their domain. The term REALTOR® is trademarked by the National Association of REALTORS®. I know that many people have tried contacting this person to remove the content which no avail. Hopefully NAR will soon step in as well for the violation and between them & all the idividual complaints the site will be shut down soon.
I thought about adding a link over to the scraper site, but I don’t want to help their business by linking to them or driving traffic their way. The irony of the site is that it is built to sell WordPress Sites to Real Estate Agents. I think if you are going to try & sell a product to a consumer you should start by generating your own unique content and not stealing from others. No matter how sneakily you try to do it, you will be found. Also, using others content will not help you a bit with SEO rankings. As I have done more investigating I have found they actually have several different sites set up all on a .io type of domain.
Each of his sites seem to be some sort of scam. The one I clicked on took me to an app they designed that will automatically email your boss an excuse when you are late for work and miss a call from your boss because you are still sleeping. Sounds like the type of person I would want to hire to work with… This is just another reason why it is imperative to be monitoring your online presence so that you are not a Loser. Also, pay closer attention to your trackbacks & pingbacks to your site, you never know who may be stealing your content.