Sabotaging Websites – A New Way To Do It

April 24, 2008 · Print This Article

There are many ways to sabotage a website, but today I found out that one of my websites was sabotaged in a way that I had never seen before.

A few months ago, I started a new, content-rich website. It included about 100 articles. Like I often do with a new website, I got a few backlinks to the site, then left it to age a few months before seriously promoting it.

Today I returned to that website to find it had some serious ranking and indexing problems in Google. I tried to figure out what was going on and found that someone had used a very creative way of sabotaging the website.

What this person had done was take almost every single article from my website, and submitted them to many article directories. However, the articles were submitted with his byline and with a link to his websites! Since then, many other websites had syndicated these articles from the article banks – and all of these syndicated articles were linking to his websites.

Now, it looks to Google like my website is simply a copy of free articles available in article directories, with little original content. In short – little original content = not worth indexing or ranking. What’s more, this person’s website is getting credit for all of these articles, as most of the copies on the web are linking to his website.

Normally, I don’t care much if someone copies from my websites. I think Google is pretty smart about it, and as long as your content is cached first, you should be alright most of the time. However, in this case, with so many copies of most of the articles from my website, and all of them attributing authorship to someone else, it’s a big problem. It’s an even bigger problem for brand new websites (like mine) as these sites will not yet have earned much trust or authority in Google.

I can’t think of what I can do about this other than start from scratch, which is very disheartening (and expensive). If anyone has any thoughts about how to deal with this, I’d appreciate the input. And of course, in the future, I will be more vigilant about checking for people copying my websites.

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