I find myself running into a number of Google queries that have Stack Overflow clone sites ranked higher than Stack Overflow. They link back to Stack Overflow, but are extremely spammy with the ads. weask.com is a good example.

How are they ranking higher than Stack Overflow?

Does Stack Overflow need to up its SEO game?

The user experience on these other sites is horrible, and it can be a challenge to find a link back to Stack Overflow.

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    @Bill: My daily search for "C# in Depth" -"completely new book designed to propel" (with a time limit of "past 24 hours" is regularly giving me weask.us results, which makes me sad :( – Jon Skeet Sep 14 '10 at 19:26
  • This makes me think whether SO users shouldn't actively start filing those DMCA thingies on their own behalf as the original authors. Weask.us is in violation of SO's license, right? Apart from the author link, I can't see any link to SO there – Pëkka Sep 14 '10 at 19:53
  • @Pekka: "The content is from Stack Overflow", with a link to the stack overflow question. The user is also attributed and linked as well. What makes you think that it's in violation? It's possible I missed something, but I believe it has everything it needs to have. – Thomas Bonini Sep 14 '10 at 20:02
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    @JonS: Ugh. Considering the page that search takes you to, I can see why it makes you sad. It looks like weask.com is aggregating content from other sites just so they have some content to stick between their ads. – Bill the Lizard Sep 14 '10 at 20:03
  • @Kop ohh! Down there, between two ads :) Didn't see that, cheers. Although I'd actually be disappointed if they were entirely in compliance. When I see those ads, I'm starting to get itching to shove a DMCA notice up their arses. – Pëkka Sep 14 '10 at 20:18
  • Related: weask.us is cloning Stack Overflow content (note that security risks have been reported for weask.us). – Pops Sep 14 '10 at 21:00
  • @JohnC: It depends on the day, of course... in the last couple of days there have been questions on Stack Overflow referring to the book, and those have shown up. But the weask.us links come up more often. – Jon Skeet Sep 17 '10 at 8:32
  • See my post on a crowdsourcing solution google has to this problem. Go crowd! – Lauritz V. Thaulow Apr 4 '11 at 8:31



The idea that there could be something wrong with Google was inconceivable to me. Google is gravity on the web, an omnipresent constant; blaming Google would be like blaming gravity for my own clumsiness. It wasn't even an option. I started with the golden rule: it's always my fault. We did a ton of due diligence on webmasters.stackexchange.com to ensure we weren't doing anything overtly stupid, and uber-mensch Matt Cutts went out of his way to investigate the hand-vetted search examples contributed in response to my tweet asking for search terms where the scrapers dominated. Issues were found on both sides, and changes were made. Success!



But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

Is there any reason this isn't resolved now?

  • All our internal test search cases show this is fixed
  • Anecdotally we've gotten dozens of reports that this is fixed
  • I rarely if ever get "scrapers show up above you!" emails to the team@ address any more

So.. we're done, right?

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