How to Profit from RSS Scrapers

By Samuel Frost
How to Profit from RSS Scrapers


RSS scraper bots are a big headache for the majority of affiliate marketers (or any webmaster, for that matter). Basically, these are automated tools which less scrupulous marketers can use to steal your content, and then republish it on their own automated blogs or Wordpress sites. 

Adding insult to injury, many scraper sites actually wind up ranking higher than the sites they stole their content from! The owners of scraper sites profit by serving Adsense ads, as well as automated Clickbank ads in their content.

In all honesty, there are many "black hat" marketers who make a whole heap of money from RSS scraping. Done correctly, it can be a very lucrative business model (provided you have no qualms with stealing the hard work of others)

However, in this blog post I'm going to show you how to fight back. I'm going to teach you how to profit from RSS scrapers. In less than 10 minutes you can customize your RSS feeds so that you will automatically receive backlinks whenever a scraper bot picks up your content.

You can even serve YOUR affiliate links on scraped websites.

What you'll need:

What is FeedBurner?

FeedBurner is a powerful free service that allows you to create feeds of your sites that are significantly more powerful than the standard WordPress feeds (you should be able to access your standard feed from

With FeedBurner you can:

  • See the number of subscribers to your feed
  • Give different subscription options (such as email subscription)
  • Automatic pinging when you publish your posts
  • Integrate Google Adsense into your feeds

As you can see, FeedBurner offers a whole heap of benefits, when compared with the normal RSS feeds you get with Wordpress blogs. 

Here's a screenshot of how slick one of my FeedBurner feeds looks:

Once you've got your FeedBurner feed set up (read how to get set up here) it's time to start fighting back against RSS scrapers!

The first thing you need to do is to set up the Yoast RSS Footer Plugin.

Access the plugin settings from the "Settings" tab of your Wordpress Dashboard, and make sure it looks like this:

Basically, this means that every entry in your RSS feed will automatically have a backlink to the post, as well as a backlink to your site itself.

So if someone is scraping your blog content, then every time they scrape one of your new posts, you automatically get at least two backlinks.

You could even go one step further here and add an HTML link to one of your affiliate products (remember to use the built-in redirection settings in AffiloTheme) It would also be possible to add direct links to an opt-in page on your site, for example.

Just remember that if you add too many links or promotional devices to your RSS footer, you could put off human subscribers!

Redirecting Your Feeds

Congratulations! You've just successfully managed to build an automated link-creation machine by combining a simple RSS plugin, a FeedBurner feed, and the desire of black hat affiliate marketers to build websites by stealing other peoples' content.

Now there is just one more thing left to do - in order to really put the finishing touches on your swanky new RSS setup, you want to redirect all of your default Wordpress feeds to FeedBurner.

This means that regardless of whether a visitor to your site checks out your RSS or Atom feed (or any other possible feed type) they will always see your FeedBurner feed.

To do this simply fire up TentBlogger's FeedBurner plugin, and enter your FeedBurner link into both the boxes:

Click "redirect my feeds" and you're away.

Note that it could take up to 24 hours for your feeds to redirect to FeedBurner correctly.

And there you have it - a simple, effective way of improving your RSS feeds, and building automated backlinks whenever someone decides to help themselves to your content. The whole thing shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to get setup, and your site will reap the rewards for years to come.

If you've got any questions about this RSS method, or have any comments to make then start the discussion below!

Steve Crossley 12 years ago
I have known about "bots" for a while and how they can be used to rip off the hard work of anyone out there trying to make a living, or just simply trying to promote a website.

Finally, someone has provided a way for us to combat these lazy people who rip off others.

12 years ago
Isn't there some type of security software to prevent scarpers from sealing your hard work?

[email protected]
kea kou 12 years ago
step 1. set up your feedburner with google
step 2. download rss footer plugin from yoast (i used the wordpress seo plugin from yoast which includes this)
step 3. redirect your feeds using tentbloggers feedburner plugin.

Yeap, wow! RSS has been simple to set up with this guide.
Excellent post, Sam!
Sam, this is another wonderful one from you. I've not yet tried it, but want to know if only on blog post that it works.
Because I'm yet to get on blog post.


Cacey Taylor 12 years ago
Such a great post with valuable information. Thanks for sharing
12 years ago
good to counter act RSS Scrapers
12 years ago
If there is software for ones who scrapes others contents---why isn't there software to protect one's contents.

I have noticed on some sites one cannot copy anything from their sites---what do they use?

I wanted to show my cousin an arrangement for my front door which I liked and I could not copy it. So, there must be something out there we can use to protect our content.
faith mb 12 years ago
How many items do you recommend posting in your RSS feed? And would you say it's better to post full entries or summaries?
Rebecca Caroe 12 years ago
Be careful when choosing to work with Feedburner. There are well documented 'outages' on their service and Google offers no support if something goes wrong and your customers don't get your messages.

An alternative that we use is who offer RSS to Email but also give integration features to email marketing, autoresponders etc. Take a look at their migration guide

Hironbin Hopper 12 years ago
Nice post. Thanks for share with us..
Ricky Shah 12 years ago
I am still little bit worried about it. I would like to add one more point to this. Instead of showing full feed it is wise to show only limited feed to the users.
This will also save you from RSS scrapers. At the end, they will have only half of your content so they have slim chances of ranking higher than you. Combine it with RSS Footer plugin :)
Gerald Nd 12 years ago
Yes, you will get back links but aren't a number of scraper sites on Google's (and other search engines for that matter) naughty list? If that is the case, won't that have a negative impact on SEO?
imfre2 12 years ago
What if someone is aggregating/curating content and includes an attribution link, or crediting the source in some other fashion, within the post? Isn't this an ethical way of creating blogs purely with others' content?
Fergus 12 years ago
Thankyou for the post...I am setting up a wordpress blog for a new website I am working on so will implement this from day one :)
12 years ago
Excellent post. Just amazing that someone can simply 'steal' your work and use it with impunity in all openness. Well done for finding a way to combat the scoundrels.
Rohit 12 years ago
Well, I use wordpress SEO by yoast rather then using a RSS footer plugin since it provides the same functionality but my concern is that after all these Google updates is it really beneficial to get a backlink from Scrapper sites.
RussBenk 12 years ago
Thanks, sounds like a good idea. I will try it on my site.
I have seen a few of my posts starting to appear in places other than my site.
shamsudeen 12 years ago
excellent,thanks.i used feedburner but never thought of rss scrapers,thanks a lot.this is a very useful and vital information.
Bearworks Online 11 years ago
I guess if you can't stop them from stealing your content, you may as well benefit from it. Thanks for the info.
Jordan DeLozier 11 years ago
I think it would be better to try to prevent scrapers vs. getting backlinks from them. Scraper sites are the typical low quality, bad neighborhoods most people try to avoid getting links from.
Peter Netz Lassen 11 years ago
Super cool info. I had already set up my blog with RSS footer and link. But I didn't use feedburner ...
This is really good stuff... Thx for sharing
Shauna LBowling 10 years ago
How do you do this for sites that aren't powered by WordPress? My site is built through Weebly. I do have the Feedburner subscriber widget set up on my blog.
Cecille Loorluis 10 years ago
What RSS scrapers do is they copy your site automatically using your RSS feed. So for you to benefit from this, you should have your affiliate link embedded in your RSS feed.That way, once an RSS scraper copies your content, your affiliate link will be included in the content copied.

Weebly sites also have RSS feeds. I suggest you check your RSS feed. If you have affiliate links within your posts, then make sure it is embedded in the first paragraph of your article so it will also be included in the RSS feed. RSS feeds are sometimes configured to show only the first paragraph/s of an article.

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
Scott 10 years ago
I'd hate to be a Debbie-downer, especially since I'm late to the party, but should Google decide to punish these content scraping sites (which it is always on the hunt for), then I don't know if I want my links coming from a sites like these.

It's like leaving your ID at a drug dealer's house. Or something less serious, maybe.

Still, if you have a real problem with the RSS scrapers stealing your content, the last thing you want is MULTIPLE spam sites pointing to you; Google might group you in with your new 'buddies'.
Jason Mardis 10 years ago
Thanks for the post.

But not all back links are good for you.

And if someone is stealing your content through your feed and putting it on their site that would still be duplicate content and their back link wouldn't be worth having .

Mater a fact it would hurt your site so why would you want that.

The affiliate link is a great idea but wouldn't search engines penalize your sites rankings for having them littered in your RSS feed in the footer.

Don't really know but I do know that Google is not particularly fond of affiliate links

But good post none the less.... Thanks

Until Next Time.....
Moshe Dahari 10 years ago
In the article the main point is to use to set up FeedBurner with your RSS Feed, but in the link that shows how to set it up they say not to use FeedBurner anymore.

Is doing this technique still a viable option?
Melissa Johnson 10 years ago
Moshe -- it appears that Feedburner has gone bust since we published this article -- it's around, but more or less obsolete. That doesn't mean the technique itself isn't viable -- there are other services you can choose. Here's a list of alternatives:
Sagar Patil 7 years ago
it not always works, as there are lots of advance tool available which scrapers use that can automatically remove any original link from rss and just post content or modify post. so even we add link in feed, it will be removed at end of scrapping.
Google Maps Scraper 6 years ago
Thanks for sharing informative post .. This is so helpful for me.. If you have any post regarding how to extract data from google maps than please share with me.