I’m glad you were able to get the copies of your home page down. Google requires you to do a DMCA for each URL unfortunately. So if any of his other pages are currently showing in search results, you can send DMCAs for those too. You can **bleep** it in the bud & send DMCAs for everything before his other pages start to outrank you. When I first started my DMCAs, I got about 15 pages easily de-indexed, but then all of a sudden Google started rejecting the DMCAs stating they weren’t infringing. The other 3 domain names you listed are up for sale now according to Whois. So if any of those pages are showing up in search results still, you can use that URL removal tool to expedite removal from Google’s cache. Eventually they’ll fall off of Google search anyway. Since they are now inactive, no need to do DMCAs. Also, I have had Google reject my DMCAs & send the same message that they are unable to find the content even though the URLs still show up in search results. If that happens, you can reply to the rejection notice with the search result links. I also include a screenshot of the search result pages, a screenshot of MY webpage, AND one of the cloaked URLs using the mobile tool: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly?id=YzK-5QvIoX3KjwTa_LGJqA If you look at the html, you’ll see your shopify website listed. So you can command F & highlight that & take a screenshot. Technically, if GoogleBot crawls his website & yours, they should see this cloaking. But there are times when GoogleBOT doesn’t crawl my website & only looks at it with a standard browser, so they may not see the cloaking on his website. I can tell when Google crawls my website from my IP Blocker which is handy :)
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OK, so are those few URLs no longer live on the website? If so, I think the removal tool just expedites removing the listing from the search results. This tool only works if the page is no longer live. Did you just do a DMCA for 1 page to start? Or did you do all of the pages? The DMCA process on Google is a pain since you can only report 10 pages at once. I've had DMCAs rejected, then resubmitted & they wen't through too. Bizarre. Anyway, best of luck Kenneth! Please report back with your DMCA results.
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Hi Kenneth, Wow, sorry this is happening with 2 different scrapers. So here’s what I’ve learned after all my research… this is just a traffic hijack. A hacker scrapes your website, then they can sell the stolen traffic on the black market. After their website starts ranking over yours, they redirect to another website. That’s insane, right? So if someone does a keyword search for your products, the scaper’s website will show up in SERPs instead of yours. Search engines don’t like duplicate content, so your website might eventually be “omitted” for being a duplicate. These types of black-hat SEO tricks only work in the short term. These websites eventually get penalized. I’m not clear if their search traffic is shut off or if they are removed from the index though. Bing/Yahoo have completely removed my scraped website from their index. Google hasn’t after 4 months. Google gets thousands of spam reports a day… so yeah, there are some they never get to. When you filed a spam report, did you also submit a report for malware? That one website seems fishy with the popups. You can send a feedback report to Google for both of these websites too. Google does eventually get to those. So do a google search for site:zeibsts.ga to pull up the indexed pages, then at the bottom of the screen, hit the feedback button. Tell Google "My website was scraped & cloaked to fool GoogleBot & to redirect my traffic. All indexed URLs from https://zeibsts.ga/ are my pages on https://authentic.dk/ . Cloaking can be confirmed by fetching any of his URLs with the Google mobile friendly tester. Here’s his home page: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly?id=YzK-5QvIoX3KjwTa_LGJqA Now after you file that, you wait & wait & wait :( Supposedly Google does stuff to their algorithm’s to deal with these websites, but it takes a while before things get updated in search. I have been dealing with my issue 4 months now & I’m not sure Google has done anything yet. His pages still show up in search results. I was told on the google webmaster forum that the disavow tool wasn’t meant for this situation. It’s used for when you want to disassociate yourself from spammy backlinks that you created. In our cases, I believe Google “knows” that these are unnatural backlinks & you shouldn’t get penalized from them. They will show in GSC as long as the website is live, Google won’t remove them. When I first noticed my issue, I had 6,000 backlinks on GSC. Now there are nearly 15k… it fluctuates as new pages are indexed. You said some of your back linked pages are gone? If so, you can use the outdated URL remover: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals When did you file a DMCA? I initially hired a company to do DMCAs & attempt to get the website removed by the host. But it’s hosted in China & was useless. The lawyers didn’t understand the website “cloaking” & weren’t successful in getting pages de-indexed by Google either. It looks like your scraper’s websites are hosted on Cloudflare which is known to aid & abet hackers & copyright abusers :( I have only gotten about 70 of my scraper’s pages removed with DMCAs on Google after 4 months. I don’t understand why some DMCAs are approved & others aren’t. I can give you more details on the process I used for the Google DMCAs… often there are multiple rounds of rejections, but sending back screenshots of his pages using the Google mobile test seem to help. Some DMCAs take around 5 days, but another one I did took 6 weeks. It’s very frustrating. It was easy-peasy to get the website de-indexed on Bing with DMCAs.
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Hi Kenneth, I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing this same issue. Is your scraper cloaking your scraped website pages online too? I'm afraid that after all these months, my problem hasn't gone away. My website is still being scraped. Google rejects half of the DMCAs I file with them. The scraper has nearly 300 of my pages indexed on Google & has stolen my SERPs. I don't understand why some DMCAs go through & others don't. My DMCAs with Google are very difficult because my scraper is cloaking my website behind his. The process is lengthy & cumbersome. On the plus side, I've gotten his entire website de-indexed on Bing & Yahoo with DMCAs. They were very easy & after a while, they just zapped his website completely from their index. Woot! I reached out to many developers with no luck. When I contacted ShieldSquare, they said they didn't integrate with Shopify but had me send Shopify a message about integration. And Shopify support sent me back to this forum for help? I have been able to replace images on my website & sometimes he doesn’t rescrape them. My best guess is that the scraper bot only rescrapes images for pages that are getting traffic. If you change your pages up, you might be able to shake the scraper. It’s not quick or easy to update thousands of photos on a Shopify website though :( And it’s frustrating to make changes to only have him rescrape them. Anyway, if your scraper is cloaking your web pages online, I can offer you help with Google DMCAs. Let me know & I can contact you on your website. Alison
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Thanks for your note Tim! It was helpful :) My shop was listed on page 1 & 2 for many items, so this certainly stinks.
The super good news is that as of last night, one of the pages was finally taken down with a DMCA. 500+ pages & thousands of images left to go ;) I doubt the international host will respond, but the DMCA company may have sent Google take down requests instead. So hopefully the rest of his website gets de-indexed soon & all is back to normal. Whew :) And fingers crossed he doesn’t put the scraped files under a new domain & do this all over again. I will be monitoring Search Console & hope to nip it in the bud early on if it happens again.
I couldn’t find any pricing on Shieldsquare or the other services’s websites. You have to contact them for a quote, so I can assume it’s $$$.
I don’t use AdWords. I think this whole thing has taken longer because the DMCA place wasn’t sure how to proceed because of the cloaking. They hadn’t even heard of that issue before, so they weren’t sure how to do the DMCA because they couldn’t visually see that he copied everything. But I guess Google is able to see the code behind his blank pages & see what he did?
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Here’s a long winded post… any help would be very much appreciated :) :) :)
My entire Shopify website was scraped & cloaked by a hacker… he then modified the html files & all of my Google SERPs are going to a different parked domain page, then some pages go to a Chinese pharma company. My content is NOT showing on his website, but you can check the Google cache & see my website. You can fetch as Googlebot & see my website code also. All images are linking directly to the Shopify CDN.
For clarity, this is the infringing website. All page listings & photo listings are mine! https://tinyurl.com/yaxuxbfp
My website was NOT hacked… it was just scraped & duplicate content was fed to google which resulted in my shop being delisted. I’ve been dealing with this issue a month now & getting help on the Google Webmasters forum. I’m here to see if anyone has any other help or suggestions for me.
1. I installed Traffic Guard to help pinpoint IP addresses. I did a geo block on China & Hong Kong. I do not know if the app is working. I can see that it’s redirecting visits from that country, however, new content is STILL being scraped. (He did a 1-time scrape & has my entire website). So he must be spoofing IP addresses & scraping from outside China? I don’t know how else I can stop him.
2. I submitted spam reports & feedback reports to Google. No response or fix in nearly a month.
3. I’m working with DMCA.com & they did a DMCA for the Chinese host to remove the infringing website. No response to the DMCA & I do not know if the host will comply. The entire issue is complicated by the fact that my content is cloaked on his website. DMCA said I would get all of my SERPs returned if the infringing website was removed. They said they could do a DMCA with Google, but they were unsure if my SERPs would be returned to me. Does anyone know more about this?
4. I looked into other apps like Content Protection & Photolock… I don’t believe either prevent the image hot linking to Shopify CDN or work against professional attacks. Adding watermarks to images is irrelevant to scrapers too… in fact, all photos on my blog were already watermarked. And he already has my scraped content, so an app won’t undo that. Perhaps these apps would work for a future attack, but maybe not against a professional scraper bot? Someone on the Google Forums told me Shopify was a piece of work in that it allows entire pages to be siphoned through whatever proxy script it uses. I don’t understand what this means even!
5. I also reported this hacker to the registrar… I doubt they will do anything… but I researched him in Whois & he has done this exact same scrape/cloak attack with over 100 websites. Surely the registrar would care, right?
6. I’ve tried to read up on preventing scraping & it makes my head spin. I don’t know how much can be done with Shopify as it sounds like some deterrents are server-side? I found websites like https://www.shieldsquare.com , but I do not know if something like this can even integrate with Shopify? I read about Captchas, but aren't those just something that go on contact pages to prevent spam & email scraping?
Many thanks for any ideas or suggestions :)
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