The social web is changing and so are the way stealing is going on. I’ve been saying recently that the real-time web is changing things big time from brand owners to artists. Recently Jon Engle got ripped off then sued. What has been going on that no one is talking about is the stealing going on by aggregators. Recently, Shoemoney showed the amount of spam pages camouflaging as search recently in a blog post on why he loves SearchMe.com search (disclosure: they are a member of this community).
Here is a great post from Mihaela Lica from Search Engine Land called Social Media Traffic Thieves.
Think of your content and the work you put into it as a work of art. Now imagine someone walking into your studio and walking out with your painting. This is what some social networks are doing, right now, under your unsuspecting eye.
The truth is that every time you submit a story to Digg, StumbleUpon, reddit, Del.icio.us, Twitter and so on, you are actually contributing to their sites. Your gain (traffic and some links, sometimes “nofollow”) is smaller than theirs: your contribution improves their content database, and your very presence on the site boosts user metrics, site usage, traffic, search engine rankings and ultimately helps these “free” social networks get venture capital and other financial gains.
There is a bigger picture going on of which I tweeted about recently ….What we need is a good combination of Police and Thieves.
If we continue at this pace of scraping the web will be littered with low value content pages and hence a poor user experience. Opportunity for a new search engine.