Have been you trying to find ways to prevent spammers and scammers from stealing your WordPress blog content with content scrapers?

It is extremely frustrating as a website owner to see someone stealing your content without permission, monetizing it, outranking you in Google, and stealing your audience.

In this article, we will discuss what blog content scraping is, how to reduce and prevent content scraping, and also how to use content scraping to your benefit.

What Is Blog Content Scraping?

Blog content scraping is the practice of taking content from multiple sources and republishing it on another site. This is usually done automatically through your blog’s RSS feed.

Scraping content is now so simple that anyone can set up a WordPress site, install a free or commercial theme, and install a few plugins that will scrape content from selected blogs.

Why are content scrapers stealing my content?

Few of our users have inquired, “Why are they stealing my content?” The easy response is that you are AWESOME. The fact is these content scrapers have bad intentions. Here are a few reasons why someone might scrape your content:

  • Affiliate commissions – There are some unscrupulous affiliate marketers out there who want to take advantage of the system in order to make a few extra dollars. They will use your content, as well as the content of others, to drive traffic to their site via search engines. These sites are usually aimed at a specific niche, so they promote products that are related to it.
  • Lead generation is something we see a lot of lawyers and realtors do. They want to appear to be industry leaders in their small communities. They lack the bandwidth to create great content, so they go out and scrape content from several other sources. They are sometimes unaware of this because they are paying some scumbag $30 per month to add content and help them get better SEO. We’ve seen quite a few of these before.
  • Advertising Revenue – Some people simply want to create a “knowledge hub.” A one-stop shop for users in a specific niche. We frequently notice that our site’s content is being scraped. The scraper always responds, “I was doing this for the good of the community.” Except the site is littered with advertisements.

These are just a few of the reasons why someone would steal your content.

What Is the Best Way to Catch Content Scrapers?

Catching content scrapers is a time-consuming and laborious task. There are a few methods for catching content scrapers.

Use Google to search for your post titles.

That is, indeed, as painful as it sounds. This method is probably not worth it, especially if you’re writing about a popular subject.


If you include internal links in your posts, if a site steals your content, you will receive a trackback. This is essentially the scraper informing you that they are scraping your content.

If you use Akismet, many of these trackbacks will end up in your SPAM folder. Again, this will only work if your posts contain internal links.


You can monitor your backlinks and keep an eye out for stolen content if you have access to an SEO tool like Ahrefs.

How to Handle Content Scrapers

When dealing with content scrapers, people take one of three approaches: do nothing, take them down, or take advantage of them.

Let us just take a closer look at them one after the other.

The Do Nothing Strategy

This is by far the most straightforward approach. Normally, the most popular bloggers would recommend this because fighting scrapers takes A LOT of time.

Obviously, if it is a well-known blog such as Smashing Magazine, CSS-Tricks, Problogger, or others, they do not need to be concerned. In Google’s opinion, these are authority sites.

Moreover, we know of certain good sites that have already been flagged as scrapers by Google because Google mistook their scrapers for original content. As a result, we believe that this approach is not always the best.

Approach to Taking Down

The “Do Nothing Approach” is the absolute opposite of this. In this approach, you simply contact the scraper and request that the content is removed.

If they refuse or simply do not respond to your requests, you file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint with their host.

In our experience, the vast majority of scraping websites lack a contact form. If they do, make use of it. If they don’t have a contact form, you’ll need to perform a Whois Lookup.

You can find contact information for the administrative contact on the administrative contact page. Typically, the administrative and technical contacts are the same person.

The domain registrar will also be displayed. DMCA forms or emails are available from the majority of well-known web hosting companies and domain registrars. Because of their nameservers, you can tell that this person is with HostGator. HostGator has a DMCA complaint form.

If the nameserver is something like ns1.theirdomain.com, you must delve deeper by performing reverse IP lookups and searching for IP addresses.

For DMCA.com takedowns, you can also use a third-party service.

In his article, Jeff Starr recommends blocking the bad guys’ IP addresses. Check your logs for their IP address, and then block it in your root.htaccess file with something like this:

  1. Deny from 123.456.789

You can also redirect them to a dummy feed by doing the following:

  1. RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} 123\.456\.789\.
  2. RewriteRule .* http://dummyfeed.com/feed [R,L]

As Jeff suggests, you can get really creative here. Send them to massive text feeds brimming with Lorem Ipsum. You can send them images of disgusting things. You can also send them back to their own server, resulting in an infinite loop that will crash their website.

The final strategy we employ is to take advantage of them.

How to Make Use of Content Scrapers

This is our strategy for dealing with content scrapers, and it works quite well. It benefits both our SEO and our bottom line.

The majority of scrapers steal your content by using your RSS Feed. So here are some examples of what you can do:

  • Internal Linking – You should interlink your blog posts frequently. Internal links in your article help you increase pageviews and decrease bounce rate on your own site. Second, it generates backlinks from those who are stealing your content. Finally, it enables you to steal their audience. If you’re a skilled blogger, you’ve mastered the art of internal linking. You must focus your links on relevant keywords. Make it appealing to the user to click on it. If you do this, the scraper’s audience will click on it as well. You took a visitor from their site and returned them to where they should have been in the first place.
  • Auto Link Keywords with Affiliate Links – A few plugins, such as ThirstyAffiliates, will replace assigned keywords with affiliate links.
  • Get Creative with RSS Footer – You can add custom items to your RSS Footer by using the All in One SEO Plugin. You can put pretty much anything here. We know some people who enjoy promoting their own products to their RSS subscribers. As a result, banners will be added. Guess what, those banners are now appearing on the scraper’s website as well. In our case, we always include a disclaimer at the bottom of our RSS feed posts. This results in a backlink to the original article from the scraper’s site, which informs Google and other search engines that we are an authority. It also informs their users that the website is stealing our content.

How to Reduce and Avoid WordPress Blog Scraping

If you take our approach of lots of internal linking, adding affiliate links, RSS banners, and other such things, chances are you will reduce content scraping significantly. If you follow Jeff Starr’s advice and redirect content scrapers, you will also be able to stop those scrapers. Aside from what we’ve already mentioned, there are a few more tricks you can try.

RSS Feed Full vs. RSS Feed Summary

The blogging community has been divided over whether to have a full RSS feed or a summary RSS feed. We wouldn’t go into further detail about the debate, although one of the benefits of having a Summary Only RSS feed is how it prevents content scraping.

You can change the settings by navigating to Settings » Reading in your WordPress admin panel. Then modify the setting. 

SPAM Trackback

Trackbacks and Pingbacks were certainly useful in the past, but they are now routinely abused.

Themes frequently display trackbacks and pingbacks beneath or among the comments. This creates an incentive for the spammer to scrape your site and send trackbacks. If you approve it by mistake, they will receive a backlink and mention from your site.

Is Content Scraping Ever Beneficial?

It is possible. Yes, when you see that you are making a lot of money from the scraper’s site. If you notice a lot of traffic from a scraper’s site, it could be.

However, in most cases, it is not. You should always try to have your content removed. However, as your blog grows in size, you will realize that it is nearly impossible to keep track of all content scrapers. We continue to send out DMCA complaints, but we are aware that there are a plethora of other sites stealing our content that we simply cannot keep up with.

We hope you found this article useful in preventing blog content scraping in WordPress.

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