Being Outranked by Scraped Content on Google? File the DMCA Notice
Google is the best search engine on the Internet but that doesn’t mean it is a perfect one. I was so upset when seeing a significant traffic drop on my site last week. After some research, I figured out that some of my most important keywords are no longer ranked on the first page of Google Search. My page was replaced by another web page from a more crowded website from India.
This is not an issue if the page doesn’t have a similar title as mine. And I freaked out after clicking on the link. The content on this page was scraped from my content. That means the writer took my content, slightly modified it and then republished it on the site. He paraphrased the content so carefully that Google or Copyscape couldn’t detect this is a duplicate content.
And as this site has higher domain authority and readership, the page could easily outrank my page. I thought that I couldn’t fight them but when I see both the traffic and earnings of my site drop, I decided to take action.
The first thing I did is, of course, bringing the case to Google. When I detected duplicate content in the past, I just filed a DMCA notice to Google and the web page would disappear in just a couple of days. Unfortunately, Google was not helpful in this case. I sent them details on how that writer copied my content but they sent me some responses saying they decided not to take action and recommended me to contact the owner directly to resolve the issue.
I tried to contact the owner of the website but they kept ignoring my request. I was a little despondent but I didn’t give up and tried to pursue this case to the end. I contacted DMCA as they are offering professional takedowns at $199 and DIY takedowns at $10/month. The professional service would take care of everything but it is quite expensive. So I tried the DIY service, however, it is not as helpful as I expected.
Basically, the DMCA service will give you a form so that you could fill in all required information.
After clicking on save, you will receive a PDF file to send to hosting company of the infringing website.
Then I used a Whois lookup service to check the hosting company of that website. Even when they use CloudFlare, you can submit to CloudFlare and they will notify both site owner and the hosting provider. In my case, the site is hosting on Digital Ocean and they asked me to resubmit the complaint with their required statements as plain text. That means the PDF file above is useless and I lost $10 for DMCA.com.
After Digital Ocean sent out the notice, I saw the change on the infringing website in just a few hours. Obviously, they are scared of the penalization and took down the content immediately.
However, the page still appears on Google Search and it could take a while to be removed. Therefore, I headed to the Remove outdated content page to request quick removals.
All done. I saw the effects a day later and rankings for my keywords are fully recovered now. If you have the same situation, I really hope my post is helpful to get rid of scraped content. Leave a comment below if you have any question.