A New Twist in my Content Theft Saga

[Update: The example links below no longer work because the site removed my content as I requested that they do. ]

I wrote a few days ago about having discovered that a lawyer was grabbing all my blog posts and republishing them wholesale on his website. He was also doing this to several other legal bloggers. It appears he has now taken down the offending site in its entirety. (Either that, or his ISP did.)

Meanwhile, no sooner did I plug that hole than another one opened up. I now find a new site that is picking up all my posts and republishing them, and that is doing the same for any number of other blogs — many that seem to have no relevance whatsoever to the topic of the site.

The site appears to be the website of a company that provides document-management software to the legal industry and other industries. I say “appears to be” because the URL of the offending page (electronic-dms.info) is registered to an SEO company, Artificial Intelligence SEO. The software company, Treeno Software, has its own URL, www.treenosoftware.com, which it owns.

To Treeno’s credit, let me stop right here and say that I emailed the company this morning and heard back within minutes. “We were not aware that this was happening,” said the email. “We will deal with it immediately.”

The top portion of the offending SEO page is a mirror image of the legitimate company page. All the links are active and point to internal treenosoftware.com pages. However, on the SEO page, if you scroll down below where the company page stops, you find a so-called “Electronic Document Management Software” blog. That blog is purely a feed of content taken from all sorts of other blogs — mine included. (Meanwhile, the company has its own, legitimate blog.)

Here is an example of one of my posts appearing on the SEO page: example.

Here is another: example 2.

If you look at the underlying HTML, it appears that the SEO page is essentially grabbing the legitimate page as a sort-of header, so the active Treeno page always appears in full above the SEO content. On the SEO portion of the page, all the active links redirect through the SEO site, presumably for tracking purposes.

As I noted, Treeno says it was unaware this was happening and that it will deal with it. I don’t know whether Treeno hired this other company or if the other company simply pirated Treeno’s page in the same way it did my content.

What I do know is that this is an object lesson in bad SEO. A legitimate SEO provider can help a website increase its traffic. But it is this kind of tactic that gives SEO a bad name.