How to lazily yet effectively rip off my content
Online thieves win: They got better search results than I did from my original story on Medium
Time and again, I am reminded that the best way to hide an article from public view is to publish it on Medium. I’m publishing this one on Medium, so chances are you’ll never see it. I’ll continue, anyway, because I’m stubborn like that.
If you do want to see a close facsimile of my work, originally published on Medium, you can click on over to hot new (?) site: What’s Pal. No idea who these communication scholars are, but they sure got me beat. I have to actually think up, write and publish my content. They just have to nab it.
Et voila: search results. All the way to №2 on Google if you search by the article’s title:
The №1 position is a small media publisher I syndicated the content to, so that’s cool. Sort of. They published it a day after I published it via my publication, The Hit Job, originally. Yet, Medium being Medium, and Google being mysteriously Google, my original post is buried. Gone. Able to enjoy zero traffic via organic search. I’ve searched multiple pages deep into Google and my article has vanished.
Same exact title as positions 1 and 2, by the way. Published before them. And … vanished. Medium fever — catch it!
If I publish, the content goes … who knows where? If anyone other than me publishes my content — straight to the top!
So who the hell are What’s Pal? And check out what they did to my ripped off content.
Here’s my original, published on March 29, 2018:
And here is the suddenly much more popular rip-off, with the exact same title, A Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Prayer …
… until they got “clever” with the copy.
Feel free to take a spin in madness by clicking on the link or the image above to see their version. I’m not feeling benevolent enough to want to give them more web clicks, so I published a PDF of the article, which you can safely open and peruse.
My original article’s subhead was, “Dear Lord” (I was going for some double entendre there).
The thieving butchers ever-so-acutely aware of how to correctly word a winning article, changed “Dear Lord” to “Pricey Lord.”
That was my first clue.
Talk about lazy. The What’s Pal “admin” put the copy through a program that automagically swapped out random adjectives with a very loosely approximate synonym. Thus, “dear” became “pricey.” As it does.
So what was initially a light-hearted pastiche of a Biblical prayer from the persona of a Seahawks fan praying to the NFL Draft gods, became a word salad of meaningless gibberish. To wit:
My first silly sentence: Oh, NFL Draft gods of great acumen, foresight and prowess, we beseech thee now in our times of trouble.
The What’s Pal first sentence: Oh, NFL Draft gods of nice acumen, foresight and prowess, we beseech thee now in our occasions of bother.
My next sentence: For thine alone has the power to save us from the vast emptiness of our current roster.
Their next sentence: For thine alone has the facility to save lots of us from the huge vacancy of our present roster.
And so on.
While I was trying to channel the brilliant, skewering Monty Python sketch from The Meaning of Life “Part II: Growth and Learning” …
… The What’s Pal fellas were wisely content to just try to channel Charles Ponzi. Or Bernie Madoff.
I may be no Sean Penn, but I’m better than that, at least, when it comes to wordifying and bothersome such fingers-conniving from brain. I am thankful that the rip-off artistes did not attribute the newly confected work to me.
Still, I wonder, why? They kept the exact same title. They stripped the copy and mangled random words to protect themselves … how? They scraped the three images I published and reused them.
All for the purpose of publishing a block of “content” that began, continued and ended as meaningless babble. Worthless. Except for the fact that Google decided to reward them with top placement, despite the obvious low quality and secondary publishing of the content — while simultaneously excising my original article from Google search and effectively killing its reach.
To me, the question remains: Why does shit content not matter? Why does inferior copy get placed atop search results when the original gets removed? Doesn’t Medium have more domain authority than that? More than these guys? These upstart cheat sites own Medium when it comes to organic search. Why is that?
Already, we have to rassle with the strange Medium-tastic realities that one can have thousands of followers on the platform, yet a published Medium article will get in front of maybe one percent of them, if that. Similarly, your Medium-ists, who are now actively rigging the platform to render small and mid-sized publications nearly worthless (despite years of investing in the platform growing audience), a publication, like The Hit Job, which has more than 5K followers, will be lucky to get a fraction of one percent organic reach on the platform. Almost all traffic to The Hit Job has to be mustered by other means.
How not to be seen: When is a follower not a follower? When it’s on Medium.
What about Bing?
Our friends at Bing (yes, they’re real. And no, they’re not exactly spectacular, but they get better marks from me today), actually do have my original item all the way at #5 when you search by title.
Some other enterprising publisher copied my article wholesale and published it on their platform. They, of course, hold the №1 and №2 top spots on Bing. With my article. That would be Epeak World News. No, I’ve never heard of them either. But Bing loves them much more than me, the originator.
These clever souls, at least, copied it verbatim and attributed it with links back to my original. Thanks. I think.
So that’s my story. Which, I’m betting, you haven’t read. Because it’s on Medium. Can’t wait to see what new and interesting platforms use this word mass to their benefit.
For thine is the power and the glory, my pricey Lord.
Thoughts? Answers? Insults? Let’s have ’em in the comments.