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Google ranking my site's fresh clone better

Noticed today someone registered a similar domain to my domain name only a few days ago. The site is a total copy paste clone of mine, even my analytics code is in his source code. No links nothing and for one kw he ranks on first page while my site does not. Again, this domain was registered few days ago. My site is several years old with lots of authority and trust (old PR was 6). Seems like Google's doin' it (Y)

I was already going to submit DMCA takedown as it is hosted in US, but decided to wait and take this as an experiment to observe. What do you guys think, how is this even possible?

Best Answers

  • 1linklist1linklist FREE TRIAL Linklists - VPM of 150+ -
    edited September 2016 Accepted Answer
    This is pretty bizzare. At a guess, he has either a cloaked PBN behind the property, hacked links, or some cloaked 301s.

    Have you dug into his link profile?

    If you dont mind PMing me the sites, I'd love to take a look myself.

    PS: You should be able to report the site directly to google as well. With him using your Analytics code they shouldnt raise any fuss about taking him down.
  • Hold on for a bit, let's see what he's doing, and surely when the cache updates, he'll be slapped for dupe content/everything.

    Are the affiliate codes (I'm assuming it's an aff site) different to yours? Social accounts all the same? Is everything the same?
  • Google's always a bit spazzy during an update, I live in a town that has the same named town/city in USA and Australia, and the results always show up irrelevant (to me) results for a few weeks and it's doing it again.
  • edited September 2016 Accepted Answer
    Happened to me, they ripped off my site except the logo. Now they're somewhere on page 6+. I didnt do anything, I just waited. New sites get a boost, but links win. He might have hidden links, if you wish to PM me the site I will check it if you don't know how.

    As an aside I'm not convinced there is a duplicate content filter, pretty sure it's made up, too difficult to implement, and Google is the uber-scraper of rehashed content.

    Also do they rank higher than you for ALL keywords or just a select few?

    DONT involve Google, whatever you do.

    Edit: That part about the cache is interesting, it sounds intentional. You can do that by redirecting specific IP ranges of Googlebot to another URL. I cant recall the IP now but if you add a new site in WMT it'll grab a screenshot, watch the access logs and you'll get the IP instantly. I did it for my big competitor but didn't really see any boost. Maybe I need to try it again. Then weirdly if you delete the site in WMT and re-add it, it'll say that site exists under another account lol.
  • edited September 2016 Accepted Answer
    @spunko2010 hate to disagree but I've had sites slapped for dupe content before, it literally states the content has been duplicated/scraped - OK so the below example is spam/garbled text (from Article Forge which I'm fast losing patience with).



  • donchinodonchino
    I'd rather not send the URLs around right now, sorry.

    He is ranking with one inner page that I added to my site only few days before his clone was created. Though I checked and google indexed my page the same day I added, maybe this is one of the reasons that he came onboard very soon. Still, very awkward.

    Ahrefs and majestic don't have his domain in their database, it's very fresh. Semrush shows 0 links. Not sure I want to bring Google into this, maybe better contact domain registrar / hosting. At least I can get data how much his site is getting traffic, not much yet. Will gather some more data and decide if I send the DMCA or not.

    Will post here if any interesting update.
  • donchinodonchino
    Everything is same, even a banner to my other site lol. The offer button takes to 404 not found, cause the php redirect I have prob didn't come along with the cloning. Seems to me it's just some auto clone by a bot and no actual effort in it.

    What I just noticed and is very weird (seems like a google bug), is that opening my page's cached version from google takes it to his cached page. And then refreshing it, shows google 404 error, and then googling my url and trying again shows everything correct. I'm pretty sure now the problem is that the page in question was added on my site only few days before the clone and this is what happened (found on google's support page):

    "In rare situations, our algorithm may select a URL from an external site that is hosting your content without your permission. If you believe that another site is duplicating your content in violation of copyright law, you may contact the site’s host to request removal. In addition, you can request that Google remove the infringing page from our search results by filing a request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act."
  • @JudderMan I've had that warning before though, when literally no content was scraped. I think they just took a look at it and found the inbound links to be so terrible. Was the site it's referring to using really crappy links?
  • donchinodonchino
    edited September 2016
    He ranks for a main keyword that my inner page is optimised for. Seems like he took my spot in serp with my own content, cause my site is nowhere with that, still indexed tho (so like got replaced by the clone). Other pages and kw-s are fine so far. Doesn't affect traffic much so maybe I wait and see.
  • @spunko2010 nope all links are 100% legit, aged, powerful links (not lots but the ones it has are great) - it's one of my PBNs. It's from the content I used.
  • donchinodonchino
    I only waited and got my spot back in serp. The clone site hasn't been changed. It was prob some glitch that got right with an update. Case closed.
  • Good! Now you might as well make 9 more clone sites and rank in all positions on the first page :)
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