This certainly isn’t the post I should have been writing today. In fact I have just wasted two full days dealing with the Tygpress content scraping debacle. In case you missed it, hundreds ofwordpress bloggers’ content has been copied onto this dubious Indian site. Some bloggers have even closed their sites down in frustration.
However I found a simple way in which I was able to delete all of my content from this site.
Have you checked who is stealing your content?
I only became aware that my entire site had been copied during a routine backlink audit. I felt sick. These were not excerpts, or links back to my site. Every single post had been copied in full, photos and all.
If you haven’t checked yet, it is worth going to Google Search Console and checking your links. You probably also need to go to tygpress.com and searching your blog name, as they are pretty good at hiding their links. I hate giving them the traffic, but fellow bloggers need to be aware if their content is stolen.
While you are there, check you don’t have any from picswe.net. They are stealing and selling your photos in the same manner.
What to do when your content is stolen
I’m not even going to pretend that I had the know-how to deal with content scraping. I was only just aware of it. The most informative and helpful article I found came from Neil Patel. His informative article guided me through the following processes as well as preventing this happening again.
- Identifying the site owners – of course there is no contact info on the site. I used IP Checker to find the IP address, site owner and host contact details – all of which you need for further steps
- Contacting them with a take-down request – no response of course
- Identifying the host servers – Digital Ocean and GoDaddy. I have lodged abuse reports with both
- Lodging a Google DMCA report to have material removed. This is a little time consuming, and you do need to provide links from both original material and offending material. It was worth the effort.
- Blocking the IP address on my server to prevent further attacks.
- Installing plug-ins to prevent right clicking and copy scraping from my site in the future.
Copy Scrapers targetting WordPress blogs
All in all, a very painful and time consuming process. However on researching the countless articles which appeared on WordPress recently from bloggers who had been similarly targeted, there was one common theme. These content thieves appear to have accessed our work through the WordPress RSS feed.
Like many bloggers, I started with the free WordPress.com site, moving to a premium site with my own domain name. Late last year, I migrated to a self-hosted blog on Siteground. Everything went smoothly and I am very pleased with the transition.
The domain registration was linked to the original WordPress.com site, so it seemed more hassle than it was worth to transfer the domain registration to Siteground. Bad mistake. It was through this old WordPress.com site that the content scrapers accessed my material.
I am in the process of transferring the domain, and will ultimately delete the old site. However, in the interim, I found that by changing the privacy settings in the old blog I beat Tygpress.
I went to Site settings >General >privacy, and ticked “private”, meaning the old blog is no longer visible. Bingo!! All my articles instantly disappeared off Tygpress. Unlike other WordPress bloggers, this post DID NOT feed through to Tygpress.
I know that this is of no use to anyone using the wordpress.com site. However, if like me you have migrated to WordPress.org and left your old blog open, this is the ultimate quick fix to thwart these content thieves.