Google Got Called Out For Being A “Scraper Site” & You Won’t Believe What Happened Next

On Thursday, Google made a call for publishers to report if sites have copied or “scraped” their content and are outranking the publishers themselves. But a tweet from a marketer pointing out that Google might be doing what it’s against got far more attention that Google’s own request.

The head of Google’s web spam team issued a call for reports about scraper sites

Marketer Dan Barker came up with an example of Google scraping Wikipedia’s content to outrank Wikpedia for “What is a scraper site”

The tweet currently has nearly 15,000 retweets, which is approaching the 16,000 retweet level of Oreo’s famous Super Bowl “blackout” tweet

That’s pretty impressive for a topic that is far removed from a major sporting event. For more background on the reporting form, and some of the issues about Google’s increased use of content from other sites, see the stories below from our Search Engine Land sibling-site:

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Google: SEO | Top News


About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Ross Dunn

    Hah! That just made my day. Thanks for posting that Danny :-)

  • James R. Halloran

    14,000 tweets, and now after all these posts about it, they’ll be several more! Oh, the horror for Google!

  • Tim Acheson

    It is pretty funny, but also I think people are just bored of Google evangelists and their sycophantic entourages — especially Cutts. The tide has turned against this tax-dodging privacy-stealing corporation and people find it refreshing.

    Also, notice that Cutts uses Twitter and not Google+ lol. #‎busted


    It was absolutely brilliant and deserved every bit of recognition that it got.

  • neotrope

    I actually laughed on this one. (As an aside: I’ve been complaining for 15+ years about scraper sites “excerpting” our content then dumping it on pages with 50 unrelated things and then somehow pushing it above our own content in results … bravo google for responding to this) …and yet …. the irony on a number of fronts ;-)

  • Emory Rowland


  • Gerry White

    35k retweets? thats like Justin Beiber territory!

  • Steve Morgan

    Please drop the Upworthy-style headlines – they’re a complete integrity destroyer…

  • Hugh Briss

    They both link to the same page so hardly an example of scraping which would involved a website using content from another site to drive traffic to their site.

  • Danny Sullivan

    We don’t normally do them. I did it this time to have a bit of fun and, because, it actually was pretty unbelievable.

  • Steve Morgan

    That’s fair enough, Danny – I guess you’ve got to test these things. And you’re right about that! It’s just that I saw a similar headline on Marketing Land recently, and was worried that this was becoming a permanent thing for all of your articles. I have a lot of respect for SEL et al, but I think those style of headlines can do damage to one’s reputation. Just my thoughts :-)

  • Jack Bewildered


    I want us to forget about our disagreement about my friends SearsCard and McDonalds Breakfast. I think from this post you have gone about and reconciled our differences.

    Much love,


  • Jack Bewildered

    It was the good decision for this one. Laughing still.

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