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Came across a site today which appears to be blatantly scraping SF content - and even has a similar name. The SF result was actually ranked below that of the external site.

A search of mSO and mSF didn't turn it up, so I figured it should be brought to the community's attention:

Site: FaultServer.com (the browseable list of questions on their main page is limited, but if you go under a tag, you get a fairly comprehensive list. e.g.: http://www.faultserver.com/l/linux_question/1.html).

Sample post:

  • Serverfault:
    • http://serverfault.com/questions/529394/nginx-connect-failed-111-connection-refused-while-connecting-to-upstream
  • FaultServer:
    • http://www.faultserver.com/q/answers-nginx-connect-failed-111-connection-refused-while-connecting-to-upstream-529394.html

Screenshot of Google Search: Google search screenshot

  • 1
    This is probably also affected by personalization. I see the SF question at #1 and the offending site at #4. – Michael Hampton Oct 5 '13 at 22:05
  • I can corroborate that - and it crossed my mind before, but I expected that Google results were personalized by session/login and not IP (the screenshot above was taken in Chrome's incognito mode, and not logged in to Google). (I did see it in a lower ranking for a previous search, but had used different terms there). It is interesting to note that I am able to reproduce that result order in Chrome (signed in to Google), Chrome incognito mode (not signed in), Firefox (not signed in), both on google.ca and google.com, but not when using a proxy server - so definitely IP based. – cyberx86 Oct 5 '13 at 23:32
  • Interestingly enough, also the same results from a different device, not signed in to Google, but other searches still put SF ahead. Probably doesn't help that I clicked that result at some point in Google to see what the site was about. – cyberx86 Oct 5 '13 at 23:39
  • Using a clean Firefox configured to use Tor, I see SF at #2 and the offending site at #3. – Michael Hampton Oct 5 '13 at 23:41
  • 1
    The odd thing is that I have never noticed this site before (and I am sure I have a lot of queries that lead me to SE every day), but now that I am looking for it, almost every search that finds an SF result also has the other site listed (fortunately, the other site is almost always ranked lower). The domain was only registered a couple months ago. – cyberx86 Oct 5 '13 at 23:45
  • I too just noticed this site showing up in my Google results the last 1-2 weeks. Never noticed it there before. I'm always signed into Google when searching. – slm Nov 25 '13 at 3:12
30

@MichaelHampton's post was rendered obsolete today. The new method of reporting purloined content is:

Send all reports of SCRAPERs to team@stackoverflow.com. Please include:

  • the URL of the copied post
  • the URL of the original post on SE
  • for high-rankers, the search string you used (and the name of the search engine, if not Google)
  • any other details you noticed and want to share, because you're awesome

The full (contrived) Q and official A are here: A site (or scraper) is copying content from Stack Exchange. What do I do?

  • I wish you'd change the accept back to MichaelHampton's answer so I could vote-whore some more and maybe get a "Populist" badge! :) – Ward Oct 11 '13 at 19:42
  • Well, if you can get the necessary votes, you would certainly merit the populist badge, as I had that answer accepted initially. The question then becomes whether or not changing an accepted answer after the receipt of a badge would impact on it (because, your answer is the correct one at this point, and should be marked accepted). (In other words: a) the algorithm should look at the first accepted answer not the current one, in order to be most fair, b) if the algorithm doesn't do that, I have no issue manually changing my acceptance if I can correct the marking in the future. – cyberx86 Oct 12 '13 at 22:34
  • I think there may be a couple exceptions, but most badges, once earned, don't go away. It'll also be interesting to see if Populist applies when I was the accepted answer for a while. In any case, this is meta, so it doesn't count as much.\ – Ward Oct 13 '13 at 0:31
19

Due to the apparent potential trademark violation I've pinged one of the SE Community team to take a look at this specific incident.

Typically you can report sites using Stack Exchange content without attribution at this master post on mSO. This has changed recently, please see Ward's answer.

  • Perhaps someone who knows how to show these ratings to the googlebot could write up a feature request so they wouldn't have beaten SF out in SEO. – Falcon Momot Oct 5 '13 at 22:00
  • 2
    The mSO post probably would be ideal (I did see that post actually (my tags were based off it)) - but a) given the name and its specific relevance to SF, it just seemed appropriate to post here. b) I try to avoid mSO and SO in general - even if I use SO as a reference now and again, posting there feels 'foreign' - SF just has a different feel to it). c) mSO isn't the most accessible site - too much noise, too many questions (and a useless search - but at least Google resolves the latter). – cyberx86 Oct 5 '13 at 23:57
  • I just wade into mSO guns blazing. It seems to have worked so far... – Michael Hampton Oct 6 '13 at 0:11

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