Is Google the biggest scraper site of all?

A few hours ago, Google has published a new tool that enables webmaster to inform Google about scraper websites. Google doesn’t want to show scraper websites in the search results.

The funny thing about this is that Google is probably the biggest scraper site of all.

What is the definition of a scraper site?

According to Wikipedia, a scraper site “is a spam website that copies all of its content from other websites using web scraping. […] Some scraper sites are created to make money by using advertising programs. In such case, they are called Made for AdSense sites or MFA.”

Displaying content from other websites to get clicks on ads sounds a lot like Google’s business model. Actually, all of the content that Google displays on the result pages has been scraped from other websites.

Some examples of scraped content on Google

Google often uses the scraped content in a way that makes it unnecessary to go to the original page. Here are some examples:

1. Wikipedia content on Google

wikipedia scraper

Google scrapes content from Wikipedia and displays it on its own website. The user doesn’t have to visit Wikipedia to get the answer.

2. Cinema listings on Google

cinema scraper

Google scrapes the listings information from the cinema website and displays it on its own website. The user doesn’t have to visit the cinema website to get the answer.

3. Knowledge Graph listings

knowledge graph scraper

Google scrapes information such as opening times from websites and displays it in the Knowledge Graph box. The user doesn’t have to visit the original website to get the information.

In all of these cases, Google basically steals website visitors from other sites by scraping content from these websites. It seems that all websites are equal to Google, but some websites are more equal than others. The rules that apply to normal websites do not apply to Google.

It’s good that Google tries to remove scraper sites from the search results. It’s not so good that Google doesn’t follow its own rules.

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Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".

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