How to Love Feed Scrapers

Right now, on this site – Blog Resources Online – I offer full feeds.
I recently received an email from another blogger, Stephen Cronin, informing me that my feed had been scraped. I had written a post about Stephens Dual Feeds plugin. This post contains a link to Stephens site, More Than Scratch the Surface (incidentally Dual Feeds v1.11 has just been released). When my feed was published on the scrapers site, Stephen received a trackback and very kindly emailed me to let me know of the theft.

Of course, all the contact info on the scrapers site was bogus. I was angry – that was MY work that someone else was taking credit for.

Apparently Stephen was irritated, too. Using his technical savvy, he wrote an awesome plugin called FeedEntryHeader.

Right out of the box the FeedEntryHeader plugin adds copyright statement and a link to your site and to your original post at the top of each entry in your feed (if you are reading this post in a feedreader you will see this statement at the top of this post).

The beauty of the FeedEntryHeader plugin is if your feed gets scraped you will get the bonus of a backlink. And even if the scrapers remove the links, your url will still be displayed, so readers will know who created the original work.

You also have the option to customize this message and the links, if you wish. This makes the plugin extremely flexible, because you can add any type of message to the beginning of each of your feed entries.

Vic, at Blogger Unleashed, also sports an if you cant beat em, join em attitude. In a post called Scrapers Are My Best Friends, Vic takes this approach:

Publish only partial feeds
Use the Feed Footer plugin (along with Ultimate Tag Warrior)
Check the Automatic Feed Tags option
And if it works for Vic, then its golden!

Feed Scrapers are a reality of the blogging world. Our best option is to use them to our advantage.