Marketing’s Weekly Dose of the Truth

Ken Magill

About Us

Stupid Search-Trick Watch: Content Thieves Strike!

By Ken Magill

Content drives search results. And if a blogger or company wants said results and either doesn’t have the time or talent to create it, what to do?

Why, steal it! That’s what.

An interesting case of content theft surfaced last week during one of my daily vanity searches in which my name appeared prominently at the top of a stolen post.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Vanity searches: Lame.

But anyone who’s had some of the types of things written about them online that have been written about me—and in a couple cases, written by someone claiming to be me—would do vanity searches, too.

Or at least that’s what I tell myself in order to avoid wrestling with the idea that I’m just an overweight, self-absorbed, low-talent, trade-hack asshole with a hangover trying to avoid buckling down and getting to work.

So anyway, I type in “Ken Magill” to search Google blogs, and up pops a ripped off version—I’d link to it but it no longer exists—of a post by anti-spam and email delivery expert Al Iverson announcing the fact that I have launched my own gig and am back covering e-mail marketing and online advertising again.

[Thank you, Al]

So—confused as to what was going on—I sent Iverson a link to the ripped-off post in an e-mail with the subject line: “What do you make of this?”

To which he responded: “Content thief. Trying to build their own Google rank by stealing my content. Piss me off. It's why I make my RSS feed only show partial posts.”

The thievery in question was committed by—or on behalf of—data seller

Al contacted an online rep at who promptly told him—in essence—to go pack fudge. I contacted the company, as well, and the rep pretty much told me the same thing, albeit more politely.

So what has whoever lifted Iverson’s content and linked it to accomplished?

A Google search Friday on “” returned in the top result a new post by Iverson with the headline: “ Content Thieves.”

As of yesterday, Iverson’s “Content-Thieves” post was the fourth result.

So, in a case of delicious irony, this particular case of content thievery did result in the company getting a higher Google ranking, but probably not in the way the thieves intended.

Way to go

Or just to be fair: Way to go whoever stole Iverson’s content and linked it to without’s knowledge or permission.

That’s a bang-up search strategy you’ve got there.

[ return to top ]


Show: Newest | Oldest

Post a Comment
Your Name:
Please type the letters in the image above

Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.