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8/13/13
Original Poster
mb327

disavowing domains & scraped content

I've read the FAQs and searched the help center. 

Our content is frequently scraped, and those sites which use our content often link to our site with links that are broken by script of non-escapable characters. Often, a single domain will include multiple hundreds of thousands of links to a single page of ours, or a single page of theirs will link out to a plethora of our documents, and it often bears the hallmarks of what i would say appears to be "spammy."

However, the linking domains are relevant, often to a very high degree. For instance, bio-goods.com links to many of our biology supplies, etc. however, they include text in the link which resolved in a soft 404, or often a hard 404 or a tomcat error when the user or googlebot then tries to follow it to our site. They are not spam, in fact, they are attempting to act as a distributor of our products (I think, they will not respond to me), as often in that part of the world, it is simpler to go through a procurement agent than it is to deal with a company like ours. their scrape of our site is a replication of our products which a user could purchase through their systems. 

I have reviewed everything I can find regarding the disavow tool. However, i find nothing about the topic of scraping. It's not as if there is an online gambling site or some other nefarious content linking to us, and we in no way paid for these inclusions (we would prefer that they didn't exist, actually). 

In your honest opinions, would you go through with the disavow? I doubt it will effect the crawl errors, and soft 404's don't necessarily hurt our ability to index either. I simply would like to ensure that we don't get penalized for a poor linking structure based on the actions of someone overseas attempting to distribute our products. 
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All Replies (7)
Eric Kuan
8/27/13
Eric Kuan
Hi,

The disavow backlinks tool should be used with caution since it can potentially harm your site's performance. However, if you see a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links point to your site, and you're confident that the links are causing issues for your site, you can use the disavow tool to disavow those links. In most cases, Google can assess which links to trust without additional guidance, so most normal or typical sites will not need to use this tool.

Eric
Geminineil
9/4/13
Geminineil
Eric.. "and you're confident that the links are causing issues for your site,"

apart from getting an 'unnatural links' message I am not sure how anyone can be entirely 'confident' in knowing that certain links are causing issues for a website.

"
most normal or typical sites will not need to use this tool."

Not sure these days what is a 'normal' or 'typical' website as many/most sites in my niche will have questionable backlinks.
9/4/13
Original Poster
mb327
Thanks, Geminineil. My sentiments exactly. 

The fact of the matter is that there is currently no way for a webmaster to take an active roll in identifying a scraper unless said scraper out-positions you in the SERPS, and you can submit a spam alert. Scrapers have many more damaging side-effects than simply positioning, and I am wondering if these are cause for disavowal. 

I've been in contact with one company, who once were threatened with legal action for copyright infringement, removed all of our scraped pages, thus removing the broken links to our site. However, I would venture to guess that they will be back up within a year, and they are only one of many sites that perform the same activity. 
Michael Martinez
9/4/13
Michael Martinez
Most scrapers are really not hurting your site in Google's index.
JennaLS
9/5/13
JennaLS
I just checked my links and I have 7,000 NEW links gained in the last week pointing to one of my websites with anchor text that is completely unrelated and focused on getting rid of stress and anxiety. This is obviously someone's attempt to downgrade my site.

This hasn't resulted in any negative effects on my website. Should I leave the links? Does Google know these are uncharacteristic links and disregard them? Or should I disavow them?

Thanks!
labema
10/8/13
labema
Hi Eric

We have had a manual penalty lifted from the website in recent weeks 3rd September.

Then came the algorithmic update Penguin 2.1 on Friday.

The site has since lost all rankings for the 100 or so keywords we were tracking over night - seems to be site wide and not link anchor specific.

How can this be possible if the links that have been disavowed should no longer be counted?  Clearly these low level links with anchor text (for around 12 keywords) are the problem still, despite being disavowed.

It is said that the only way to recover from an algorithm penalty is to change domain or remove all links (not really feasible).

Techniclaly this has already been done, so is there a time lag between the disavow and the penguin update here - and if so if there any chance to recover?

Our site is of high quality and respected in the industry with great 5 start reviews daily.  www.companyformations247.co.uk

Any advice would be timely.

Thanks
catanich
10/27/13
catanich
Michael
 
We have a site www.catanich.com that has over 7K links to it that have come to it over the past 12 years.  The question I have is if GWT does not say anything about it, should I consider the task of Disavowing the PR0 links anyway?
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