Queen of Spain has brought to a head all of the problems with BlogNetNews because they are scraping her content without permission.
Erin has successfully had her feed removed from BNN (good on you for doing it!) but, the more I think about it, the more I can see an opportunity for bloggers to gain from the fact that BlogNetNews is playing the scraping game.
As far as I see it the only problem with BNN syndicating the content is that they are not returning the link love to the original sites because they are passing the title link and the [...] (read more) link through a redirect.
Here are the advantages I see for the bloggers currently on the network:
- Exposure – Your blog is being promoted to new readers without you having to do any work.
- They are only publishing a partial excerpt from the post. If a reader wants to read your content they must click through to your site to read it. Click throughs = traffic.
- You can’t comment on BNN. Again readers must click through to your post to leave a comment.
- They do not employ rel="nofollow" in on their site. This means that your feed can still be used to send plenty of Page Rank back to your site.
So all you need to do, to make this a win win situation for yourself as a blogger is to customize your RSS feed to include a simple "This post originally appeared on YOURBLOGNAME HERE" as a link at the top of each post which appears in your feed.
That link can point directly to your article. You can even optimize it so it says something like: This post (linked POST TITLE) is originally from (linked BLOG NAME).
Now you can happily let BNN scrap your content, safe if the knowledge that each post scraped will not only be sending you traffic, but also a share of the page rank from BNN.
Sure it may take a little work but it really is worth it to take advantage of the scrapers rather than expending the energy to fight them every step of the way.
Make them work for you.
Now, for my problem with BNN
My biggest problem with BNN is their tagline:
the blogosphere’s front page
How can any site purport to be the "front page" of the blogosphere when it limits itself only to the U.S. market.
Wake up call for you people: The blogosphere and the internet is NOT just the U.S.!
Today, between one service (who shall remain unmentioned until the respond to my email) not letting me sign up because I’m blogging on a ".dk" (Denmark) domain and idiots like this claiming to be the "front page of the blogosphere", I’m really starting to sympathize with the groundswell of resentment felt outside the U.S. towards the way in which many U.S. web sites and services marginalize or exclude people from outside the border.
I’m also starting to really consider what will happen when internet penetration levels increase in places like China and India and suddenly the English speaking world finds that it is in the minority of online users.
The US has almost 70% internet penetration so has not much room for growth, however Chinas has has only around 12.5% penetration and India has around 3.5%.
When India reaches the the same levels of penetration it will account for over 789 million internet users.
So, right now, any U.S. only site that not only manages to piss off it’s U.S. users but also piss off people from outside the U.S. can only be destined for serious trouble.