According to the stackexchange scraper policy you shouldn't report sites that:

They follow all the attribution requirements, and don't outrank us on Google

I've been thinking several ways to use SE scrapers and show the information in different ways, but this policy bothers me.

You can't detect easily a website who is outranking you in Google's SERP, because there are so many variables that each search takes into account that every user can see different results. There is no a single way to detect this, may be a webpage does better than another one for a group of keywords but that doesn't means it outranks the whole site.

Unless this is based on some external index like Alexa or similar rankings.

So, how does Stack Exchange identifies another website outranking them on Google?

  • 2
    I don't think there is any strict rule here, more like "if the scraper site appears before the original SE site when searching for some sample content" - can't know for sure though, so asked the one who added it to take a look here. Jun 13, 2016 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


We use the search terms that you provide us when you report the scraper. Sure, there may be other search terms that don't produce the same results, but that's exactly why we ask for them. We do get reports from users who sift through to pages 2 and 3 to find scrapers, and we don't particularly care about them because they're way down on the list.

Essentially, if we can verify that a scraper is appearing above the original content for a particular search, that is something we can actually report directly to Google and get it fixed. If it's below, there's no action for us to take on it.

  • 1
    Ok interesting but what would "get it fixed" means? If the scraper complies with CC-BY-SA, then it does not violate Google content policy, what is the goal of reporting it and what is what you report to Google?
    – marcanuy
    Jun 13, 2016 at 18:04
  • 8
    @marcanuy Google will modify their algorithms to favor the original content over copied content every day of the week. Reporting it will usually cause them to give the copy-cat site less weight so that it does not appear over the site where the content originated. But, this also rarely ever happens to begin with.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jun 13, 2016 at 18:08
  • Just curious, how many times it did happen? :) Jun 13, 2016 at 20:19
  • 3
    I think what the question is alluding to is that Google uses so much data for every search, some derived from the user who's searching, that even with identical search terms you're still fairly likely to see different results.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jun 13, 2016 at 22:02

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