Disturbing Trend In Bearded Dragon Website Misinformation
Rise Of Incorrect, Potentially Harmful Bearded Dragon Misinformation
We’ve noticed over the past few months a disturbing trend in the search results for bearded dragon care information. In some ways it’s always been the case that incorrect information has been given out by websites telling people how to look after their bearded dragons.
In some cases these are simple disagreements about how to best care for your bearded dragon. But in some of the cases the information that is now being put at the top of Google search results is just plain wrong.
For example, we were, as part of our normal operations, checking to see where we ranked for bathing bearded dragons. We’ve never ranked particularly highly for that subject and we’re still not. Though I think we were on page 2 of Google. Whatever – it is what it is. But what we did notice was that the top ranking site was just full – and I mean full of complete nonsense.
It was advising people to bath their bearded dragons to keep them hydrated because they’ll absorb water through their skin and their vent. This has been proven false in at least two separate experiments that we are aware of. There’s probably others that have proven it false too. Bearded dragons DO NOT absorb water through their skin NOR their vent.
How are bearded dragon owners supposed to separate the real information from the misinformation when Google is putting the misinformation at the top.
Plagiarism Of Our Content
Now, we’re also noticing a HUGE number of sites ranking on the first page of Google for various keywords that have blatantly ripped off our content!! When we wrote our article about Is My Bearded Dragon Dying there were NO other articles around that answered the question. None. We looked. Which is why we wrote ours because we had experience in the subject.
Now when we look there are dozens. All have utilised some or most of our own article without even bothering to change the text!! Almost all of them were written within a week in January 2020. And all of them are on sites that have horrendous misinformation within. One of the sites has an article claiming to give advice on how to trim bearded dragon nails (which we wrote too) with an image of an Iguana. That same site has information regarding Juvenile Bearded Dragons, with the featured image being of a Chinese Water Dragon….
They’re clearly just jumping on the bandwagon hoping to capture some traffic and shove advertising in people’s faces without giving a crap about how the beardies are actually looked after.
Unfortunately there’s not a lot we can do about it – but we will do what we can. We at BeardedDragonsRock.com have owned and kept multiple bearded dragons. We’re also degree educated and know how to do scientific based research. And we care about bearded dragons. You can be sure our content came first, and that our content is well researched and will be updated if new evidence comes along. As for the other sites, try getting into an original niche fellas – you’re not welcome spreading your misinformation in this one!
I applaud your efforts to advance proper information and care of bearded dragon! But if that is tryly your concern why the anger at having this information “ripped off”?!
Thanks for your feedback, I’ll try to answer your question as best as possible.
The first issue we have with the information being (as you put it in quotes so will I) “ripped off” is that it was literally, word for word copy and pasted onto another website. I’m not sure if you’ve ever done any research or artistic work, but it takes effort to do that and it takes effort to keep it up to date. If it’s just copied and pasted then someone has taken our effort and passed it off as their own. Why wouldn’t we be angered by that? Our work is easy to find through Google, why dilute it with a ripped off copy?
One of the websites that ripped off our articles word for word made one change. The featured image. And they used the featured image (without the text) that I’ve used on this article. The image is free and available on Pixabay. This means they clearly do not understand what a bearded dragon even is. So they’ve never kept a bearded dragon, can’t even identify what one looks like, yet are purporting to be knowledgeable in bearded dragon care. That is clearly not advancing proper information and care for bearded dragons, that’s jumping on a bandwagon to try to make money.
Some sites make money by installing malware scripts on your computer and harnessing your computer to do work for them. These sites often use “ripped off” content to rank in the search engines so that unsuspecting users will click on their article instead of ours. The script gets installed and your electricity bill goes up and the security of all your personal details goes down. These sorts of sites can’t write their own articles because (as mentioned above) they know nothing of the content. They rip off our content to lure you to install malware. That’s not good for anyone.
If we don’t fight the copiers then before long Google and Bing have no idea whose information is the original. Readers have no idea whose information is the original. Before long, the scammers have a site that looks like ours, uses all our information but cannot help you if you have something else that needs addressing. It’s not good for the end user to find ripped off content. And as you can see – we try to respond to every comment left, and provide additional assistance where we can. Ripped off content can’t do that but the reader would know no different.
If they’d written their own article and cited us as a source (as many have) then we’d have no problem with it all. The more proper and correct information that’s out there the better. Absolutely. But it must be original work, not copy and pasted from our hard work – and preferably at least by someone who knows what a bearded dragon looks like 🙂
Hope that helps answer your question?
All the very best,
Steve and Claire.
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