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Scrape Hate – Aggregate

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Creative Commons License photo credit: the half-blood prince

A lot of hate going on in the blogosphere around content scraping and aggregating. I noticed it first around a couple of posts coming out of Aaron Wall’s SEOBook.com blog (here and here) directed at Jason Calacanis and Mahalo.com It boils down to this, again from Aaron Wall in a response to a question in the comments.

When you take 3rd party content (without permission and offer no way to opt out) AND then use that content to pad out a page AND then put it below the fold (so it helps pull in search visitors but rarely sends any traffic out to the sources) AND you strip attribution from the links THEN all that does is “borrow” content & steal traffic from smaller sites (using their own content against them).
I guess if the links were not nofollowed it wouldn’t be so slimy.

Wait a second, isn’t that what I’m doing? Let’s have a look.

Taking 3rd party content without permission…
Right, I’m doing that. I mean, but anyone could opt out with a simple email.
below the fold
Well no, not in my case.
AND you strip attribution from the links
Shit, I think I was doing that. I guess because I just copied and pasted the code. So I went back and fixed that. Those are now follow links.

In the absence of feedback I’m simply building on what I’m seeing other sites do.

In my naivete this is how I’m thinking about it, why I think it’s ok…
I’m not taking the full post-just a long enough, and juicy enough bit to whet the appetite of the reader and to let them see that the author is the real deal. In the rare instance I do take a full post, it’s because it’s short but deserving of attention and either to a blog that is just getting started, OR their ad is in the post footer. The link back to the original post is front and center.  And lastly I’m not running any ads.

What do you think? Is this a fair approach to aggregation?

See Also:
Excellent overview of the entire space How Search Engines, Aggregators & Blogs Use News Content
Blames Google for setting the bar so low Google’s Legacy – the Internet Cesspool
Changed his mind about full content feeds The Positives and Negatives of Having Your Articles and Website “Scraped”