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Getting Outranked by Your Own Content? Use Google's New Scraper Report Tool

Google New Scraper Report ToolWeb scraping and content theft have much in common. Some people use scraping as a way to make money on behalf of those who write unique and original SEO optimized web content. They do this by republishing the content posted initially by others and literally stealing the traffic of the websites that originally hosted the content.

To make things worse, the search engine ranking of the websites containing the copied content is sometimes higher (often due to a higher domain authority. This means that your own content outranks your...own content. It can be very frustrating. Google is developing strategies to solve this problem, as it causes a lot of problems for people who are creative and talented.

The changes are meant to make original content always rank higher than the republished content and put an end to the nightmare that some people who use SEO in their content could be experiencing. For any legitimate business, scrapping is a continuous threat and this must end as soon as possible.

Google's New Scraper Report Tool

The majority of businesses are familiarized with scrapping, knowing that others may have already copied their content. But, they do not know the full extent and implications of this negative practice. Google's new scraper report tool was first announced on Twitter by the head of the web spam team at Google, Matt Cutts.

The tool is actually a form that you can complete in case you notice that some of your content was used elsewhere. You will have to input the URL that corespondents to the involved content along with the search engine results that show the higher rank of the copied content in comparison to the original.

Before this tool was available, the only way you could report stolen content was through Google's DMCA system. This system is difficult to use and consumes a lot of time.

Completing the form does not ensure a removal of the links containing the copies, but Google's spam team is constantly monitoring the reported links for finding better ways to improve the search algorithm, so that the original content can always rank higher. Just removing links may not have the best results in the long run, but Google is trying to overcome this problem in a smart way. The benefits for content creators and their SEO are obvious.

The following domains are affected by republished and copied content: digital publishing, social media, e-commerce, forums, travel companies, airlines and different directories and classifieds. With the Google's new scraper report tool available to content creators, people who use scrapping may have to think twice before trying this strategy again.

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How to Leverage XML Sitemaps for Better SEO

An XML Sitemap is a file that lists the URs for a website, as well as additional metadata about each URL. This will help the search engine to index the page correctly and it will make sure that all pages are included.

With the Panda algorithm update, it is more important than ever to have an XML sitemap. The sitemap will help to show that you are the original creator of your content, so that your website will not be excluded from the results for duplicate content. It will be clear that your website has the earliest timestamp for the content. This is very important, since often other websites will copy your content without a formal syndication agreement.

XML Sitemaps can be a very valuable way to improve your SEO, but they need to be used correctly in order to be effective, so here are some important things every website owner should know.

Building the XML Sitemap

The first step is to build your XML sitemap. Your content management system might have an integrated capability to auto-generate a sitemap, so take a look to see if yours offers this feature. Wordpress does not have this built in feature, so you can install a plugin such as Yoast in order to easily create a sitemap. If your site has other types of content you might need to create different styles of sitemaps, such as for video or images.

Remember that a search engine will only index the first 50,000 URLs in a sitemap, so if the site has more than this amount you will need to create an index and tie multiple sitemaps together. The larger your website, the more necessary it is to have an XML sitemap for SEO and for navigation.

When you use a plugin or a sitemap function on your CMS to create a sitemap, these tools will automatically update your sitemap whenever you add new content to your website. If you are using a different tool you might need to update the sitemap manually. If you aren’t confident doing this yourself, you can always enlist the help of a professional SEO consultant to help you with building your sitemap.

Registering with Search Engines

Once you have created the sitemap, the next step is to register it with search engines. There are tools you can use to do this, such as Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Webmaster Tools. Once you do this, the search engines will know where your sitemap is so that they can index the new content.

Another great advantage to registering your sitemap with Google is that it will automatically alert you to any errors within your sitemap. The Google Webmaster Tools service is quite sophisticated and it will be able to provide you with excellent information about any errors that it spots while crawling your sitemap.

When you have a complete sitemap set up on your website it will be very beneficial to your SEO, so why not get started on creating your sitemap today?

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