Home – New Forums Tech talk Can this work? Or will it be penalised?

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  • #988684
    Greg_M
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    My question has been prompted by a post by @JohnW in another thread re potential penalties for aggregated content, and relates to a project I’m considering. I would appreciate info on potential downside risk (SEO wise) prior to taking it too far.

    Scenario; Provide both original and scraped content bundled around (and relevant to) a tight geographical area. The area is rural/regional and a high traffic (physical visitors) tourism region … currently a mangled mess (imo :)) re digital info.

    Point off difference … Apart from direct access to local content (not otherwise available online), fast, and optimised for mobile and small screens (tourists don’t carry laptops, do they??).

    Would this last any longer than a snowflake in the Sun?

    Opinions welcome.

    Cheers

    #1168476
    niknah
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    Another way to do it is to create a site. Put up a pricing page to advertise on the site. Then offer “free” advertising on your site to the other sites that you want to aggregate. So you get their permission to put their content there. Sorry, I don’t know what this info is that you want to aggregate.

    It’ll cost them money to sue you. If the return on investment is not worth it then it they may not go ahead.

    …and a snowflake can last quite long in the sun if it’s on a cold mountain. I didn’t realise this till I visited some colder places in the world. :)

    #1168477
    Greg_M
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    niknah, post: 195163 wrote:
    Another way to do it is to create a site. Put up a pricing page to advertise on the site. Then offer “free” advertising on your site to the other sites that you want to aggregate. So you get their permission to put their content there. Sorry, I don’t know what this info is that you want to aggregate.

    It’ll cost them money to sue you. If the return on investment is not worth it then it they may not go ahead.

    …and a snowflake can last quite long in the sun if it’s on a cold mountain. I didn’t realise this till I visited some colder places in the world. :)

    Intention was to attribute and link any scraped content (from publicly available sites).

    Info would be mainly news and info relative to the geographical targets.

    Snowflakes will do OK here too atm. Bloody cold.

    Cheers

    #1168478
    niknah
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    You can quote it as if you were reporting the news but you must mention the original source of the article…

    http://www.copyright.org.au/admin/cms-acc1/_images/92076231252708b2107369.pdf

    Reporting news
    You may use a work or part of a work for the purpose of reporting the news in newspapers,
    magazines and similar periodicals, and in reporting news in “communications” (such as broadcasts
    and on websites) or in films, provided the dealing is fair. If your report is published in the print
    media, you must identify both the work and the author.

    The Macquarie Dictionary’s definition of “news” has been used in a couple of Australian cases
    looking at whether a particular use of copyright material was for “reporting news”. That definition
    states in part:
    1. a report of any recent event, situation etc. 2. the report of events published in a
    newspaper, journal, radio, television or any other medium. 3. information, events, etc
    considered as suitable for reporting.
    The cases make it clear that “news” is not necessarily restricted to current events and could relate
    to long term reviews or commentary. However, in the case of online news it is unclear whether the
    exception would apply to archived copies of news or current event articles.

    #1168479
    JohnW
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    Hi Estim8,
    I don’t think anyone can give you a difinitive answer on this one.

    It goes to the issue of “near” duplicate content and I’ve never seen a definition from G about how close “near” gets to “exact” before you may hit problems. I imagine it is another constantly changing parameter.

    What you may want to consider is the potential negative ranking impact of an algorithm change vs a Google implemented manual penalty.

    Eg.
    Google’s recent Panda 4 upgrade. This upgrade seems to have been aimed at pages with thin and near duplicate content. Shopping cart sites that duplicated manufacturer’s product info verbatim were hurt as were many shopping aggregation sites that were duplication of shopping cart owner’s product info pages. In this situation G could automatically identify them then relegate hundreds or thousands of near duplicate content pages to its supplementary index.

    On the other hand, the demotion of eBay pages in the ranking results appears to have been the result of a manual penalty imposed by Google.

    What you have not told us is how the “scraped” content will be published on your project site.

    Do you propose to publish some pages that are near duplicate content (“scraped”) and others that are unique content or are you talking about individual pages that contain a mix of the two?

    Eg:
    I have posted many threads on FS that may start by citing several paragraphs from a survey on another web page. At the time of my posting, that single FS page may appear to a SE as “near duplicate” content. When other FSists jump into the fray and discuss the quote, the page evolves to become “original” content.

    Eg: A Google search for, “Emotional Connections Attract Digital Marketers’ Branding Dollars” will show the FS page where I quoted a couple of paras from the original page as currently ranking # 4 in Google. i.e. The FS page has not been hurt by its original near duplicate content.

    For your project, are you able to structure and deliver the content so that duped or “scraped” content encourages visitors to comment on or review it and thus with user generated content cause the pages to be no longer considered duplicates? A number of shopping sites have turned to this tactic to get themselves out of the Panda problem. Many are trying but few have the pull to achieve the results needed…

    If your project is very regionally focussed, you may be be in a very advantageous position compared to national websites that don’t have local contacts or the means to generate them. I’d be exploring what local off and online marketing communication assets you can uniquely bring to the project.

    Think about local newspapers who have sales reps on the ground, chambers of commerce, local tourist orgs, local service orgs and of course local Govt. You don’t give us much info on what your project is about. Think about what info is important in the large scale and try applying it to the small scale of your region. You could have local deals, specials and discounts, local community “what’s on and events”, reviews of local businesses and services, etc. Then there could be competitions with local prizes…

    It sounds like you need to provide the Internet backbone and marketing strategies that can be utilised by many offline feet on the ground promoters and communicators. (PS Send me a PM if you want a chat.)

    This is only an opinion, what do other SEOs think?
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1168480
    Greg_M
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for your usual thorough response.

    To explain fully what I’m working on would need too long a post to do it any justice.

    I may need to take you up on your kind offer.

    You’re observation about local “boots” on the ground hits the mark imo. My idea would revolve around “real time” physical networking … backed up by a digital presence that works. Currently the region is being represented digitally by generally bad CMS’s, the one’s you and I love … 80 trips to the server, go make the tea while they load. Also very few are usable on a mobile or small screen.

    BTW this area is growing rapidly, both in full time population and tourism (3rd most visited area in Aus. after GB Reef and A’s Rock).

    Thought was, there may be opportunity in the small screen space with an aggregation of local content as the primary focus. Some original (probably via local community papers that don’t have a digital presence, and maybe business “features”), some scraped from local news sources, and attributed accordingly. Also have noticed steady traffic on Twitter from travellers, who again are being badly serviced digitally … Instagram seems to be in the mix too.

    I suppose I was hoping the “scraping” may assist in getting a little traction in search, at least until there’s significant original material being generated.

    If my “rough” theory isn’t sound, I don’t want to get smashed before I get going by G.

    Cheers

    #1168481
    John Romaine
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    Avoid scraped content.

    You’re just asking for trouble, however good your intentions are.

    #1168482
    Greg_M
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    OK, seems any straight “scrape’ of content is risky at best, but value adding that content is OK if managed correctly?

    One last scenario before I abandon this theme …

    If there’s a “what the papers say” page … the papers are named in their respective headers … and there’s a headline (as a live link to the source article), plus an excerpt of the article (a bit like a Google News page-but much simpler), would this create a penalty issue, even if it has no real SE benefit to me (but does to the user perhaps)?

    Given that this and other stuff, is all being delivered at speed with a mobile/responsive focus, is it possible to get ahead of the competition, or a least get found i.e. How good are the SE bonus points for delivering content well to a mobile searcher?

    Thanks

    #1168483
    John Romaine
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    I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve here?

    What is your WHY?

    A much better approach (especially if you’re wanting to cover recent news and events) is to host a podcast, and discuss them.

    Take the recording, upload it to iTunes, Youtube, and then host on your own site with a transcription.

    #1168484
    Greg_M
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    John Romaine, post: 195246 wrote:
    I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve here?

    What is your WHY?

    Take money off the 1000’s of tourists that pass through here weekly, with their mobile devices 4 inches from their nose … that can’t find anything they want, except on slow loading full screen sites that are unusable (with a few exceptions).

    Target locals that are rabid consumers of local news and services.

    The services are here … there’s just very few well developed sites, to aid anyone in finding them.

    My experience has been if there is good local content added to geographical hooks < "insert town, insert destination">, plus an associated service, you will get dished up in SE results … that’s why I’m here (posting) to see if my thinking is dodgy, and if it is, why?

    One e.g. that may explain part of the gap in the market (as I see it) … the state gov. dept. that oversee’s the national parks has a huge website, lot’s of great info … the current state of camping grounds, vehicle and walking tracks, places of interest etc, all regularly updated … none of it accessible on a small screen … it’s very tempting to scrape them and repurpose the content in a useful format.

    When was the last time you saw a mountain bike rider, or bush walker carrying a laptop? They all eat, drink and sometimes party on … you can’t find my local pub’s website (there is one) even if you put in their business name, but their service and food would match most in the city.

    JohnW is “onto it” imo … needs a network on the ground with an internet outlet to work well.

    I’m not interested in building a “personal” profile … just enough traffic for some proof of concept (if feasible) … the “network” will be easy to build if the underlying architecture, idea’s are sound.

    #1168485
    JohnW
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    Hi Estim8,
    One of the secrets of Internet marketing success is to focus on a specific audience.

    Can I suggest you pick one primary audience. The thousands of tourists and your local audience are too disparate in their info needs.

    Let’s say you are targeting tourists who are in the district and who are searching for info about a country district or town(s) in Victoria.

    It sounds like you need a self perpetuating publishing strategy. Short term, high impact Internet coms. tactics would seem to be secondary to your needs.

    There are still a number of unknowns that make it difficult for us to give specific recommendations or to even suggest you abandon your project just yet.

    Eg:
    1. Are generic SEs referrals essential to the project?
    In the USA, aps are now responsible for delivering more web pages to mobile phones than SEs.

    If you can develop then successfully distribute an ap to mobile phone users, you may not need to rely on SE referrals. Can you create an ap that is downloadable from many local tourist or businesses’ websites/Facebook pages?

    2. What search terms are you targeting and what/where is the scraped content on your site?
    Blindly scraping content is definitely a “no no”, as John R warns, however…

    One critical SEO element that you have going for you is that a Vic. region/town search has got to be a low competition generic search market. (Can you can tell I’m from NSW?:))

    • Can you develop enough original content pages on your site to attract many SE referrals with these types of pages?
    • Can you set up a site with a bunch of user generated content from local businesses for things like events and deals?

    If the rest of the site consists of duped local news or website content it may not be important that Google relegates your duped pages to its supplementary index.

    It’s tough to provide relevent/accurate info to complex issues in a forum.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1168486
    Greg_M
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    Hi John,

    You’re right, there are two separate audiences, primary one would be tourists … but that includes people who live in the region that travel 50 k for Sunday lunch.

    The local news stuff was really just an idea to expose the application to this local internal tourist, via stuff they do search for.

    The idea is really for a hybrid website/app … native apps are too hard to distribute (imo) … how does an international tourist doing a 3 day jaunt even know it exists? The internal/repeat tourist want fresh info, not static content off an app … I’ve seen a couple try this approach but I believe they crashed and burned.

    I think the key as you’ve pointed out is a consistent long term content strategy.

    The scraping idea was really only to repurpose some existing useful info into a usable format … not steal content for the sake of content.

    Pure local and original content is not that hard to generate, and is part of the plan. A network of content providers is easy, if a little slow to build, and is at the core of my strategy/plan.

    And I guess I’m making the same assumption that you pointed out. That the search competition is low, and the services are physical and are tightly tied to geolocation.

    As you say a forum is not the best place to expand an idea, needs at least several beers, or a glass or two of a half decent red, but I have got a better grip on the approach thanks to your replies.

    Might just need to build something and see what happens.

    Cheers

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