Oct 25, 2018
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Scraper Sites Punished by Facebook

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Facebook recently announced a string of actions against spams. It is targeting the promotional posts having link to low quality advert farms, which have copied content from other websites. This announcement came added to another pre-existing announcement about fight Facebook spams.

The announcement by Facebook

Facebook announced that they are rolling out the update to ensure people get less number of posts with link to low-quality websites that mainly copy and republish content from other websites without offering unique value. The publisher guidelines will be adjusted accordingly.

Links will be not be prominently shown in the News Feed if it has a combination of the new signal about authentic content along with clickbait headlines or the landing pages loaded with low-quality ads.

The effect of Facebook Ads

The update comes with far reaching implications. Facebook is only banning links to the scraper sites. The sites are called scrapers because they copy (scrape) contents from other sites through bots.

The bots can lead to heavy web traffic making Google’s bots unable to crawl to a website. This is one of the reasons why Google Search Console shows 404 error codes. In such cases, Google might have attempted crawling to a website but the server was unable to receive content as the number of scrape bots on the website made the server unable to display the webpages.

This act of Facebook will show its effect in cutting off traffic. This will stop these scrupulous sites from earning money from advertisement impressions. If the action becomes effective, it will ultimately lead to a slowdown in the scraper traffic. Slowdown of scraper traffic will let a web server to run under normal load in place of a heavier load that does not let Google to properly index the website.

Google tries to prevent the scraper sites from getting high ranks in the actual search results. Scrapers get the rank for their highly nonsensical and long tail phrases like text snippets from original sites. However, text snippets from original sites provide a wrong idea about Google’s ranking of the original content vs. the copied ones. It breaks the way of working of Google. So, the results do not really represent how well Google ranks the original content.

Search engines are made to provide results for specific search queries. The intent of the user and the way of answering the query on the webpages is central to Google’s way of ranking sites. Snippet from a webpage is never a search query. So, it does not showcase how Google excludes the scraper websites.

The algorithm of Facebook has provided the scraper sites a chance to bring back the business model of driving the traffic to the advertisement farms. But they have been pushed back down by these updates.

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