Why Content Aggregators Suck

The web is littered with websites that basically send out spiders to fetch content and post it on their own websites. There are also sites that repackage the RSS feed from other websites.  The objective is generally to monetize the little search traffic that comes for each post.

The owners of these sites often defend their action by saying that it can help the original site with SEO and may even send traffic to the original article if someone stumbled upon it via search engines.

It may seem like a small nuisance, but it’s actually a big deal and here’s an instance of where it may cost me A LOT of money.

A while back, I posted a few domain names for sale with the pricing. At the time, I was looking to move some names and priced them accordingly. One name didn’t sell and I still own it. I recently received an end user inquiry for the domain name, and the value is significantly greater than the price I set to sell to other domain investors.

My original post has been removed, but there are dozens of copies of it with the asking price on these aggregation websites that are supposedly helping my blog. Now I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I believe it’s just a matter of time before the inquirer says, “why should we pay $xxx,xxx for this domain name when you were willing to sell it for $xx,xxx so recently?” Comps of this particular name have sold for significantly more than my asking price, but it’s tough to justify such a huge price increase in a short period of time. It’s easy to say what I should tell them, but in a negotiation, it’s difficult to really justify this difference.

Sure, I could be happy selling it for that price since I would have been fine with it before. However, the situation and circumstances have changed, and it’s quite likely I will lose a significant sum as a result of aggregators indexing my original post.

(I do realize they may never be willing to pay the perceived value and may never have either. As with all negotiations, this one will be unique, but it’s tough to have this one particular facet of the negotiation in their favor.)

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Eliot,

    if the situation arises where you have to explain, the logical answer is that there was an error in pricing, similar to a store that runs an ad with an unintentional wrong price. Let them know u could have sold the domain many times over for the mistaken price and due to the webs logistics, there is no way to get all the sites listing the error price taken down.


  2. Most sales are only valid for a certain time in retail stores, I can not walk into walmart now asking for the blackfriday specials. I do not think selling a domain is any different. You had the name on sale and now the price has gone back up.

    Next time maybe you could post an image of the names and the prices from a screenshot from excel so they names will not be indexed on google.

  3. Just focus on getting it closed quickly, its water under the bridge at this point and if they believe its the right domain for their enduser biz, then they probably have looked at the other cheaper options already and see the value in your name, if they threaten to walk I would email all of their competitors and mention that someone in their space is interested in buying your premium url and they have a 24 hour window to make you an offer…good luck.

  4. I have run into this a couple times and a situation where you may list things you wish not to be grabbed by agg sites…

    I would suggest you set up a Domains For Sale PAGE on your site.

    You can still write the article on your blog and indicate the specific domains for sale, just indicate the prices for the domains are on the for sale page with a link to the for sale page in your post.

    Agg’s do not grab pages, just posts.

    Just an idea, as it’s easy to edit a page, to remove the domains and or prices.

  5. By coincidence I was reading, in the mainstream media, only a few hours ago that the scrapers can rank higher than the original sites in some circumstances:


    But even if they didn’t exist, wouldn’t the ‘sale’ price be still be highly visible? Whenever I Google somedroppedname.com I have hand regged to check if it is delisted, I see many references to it from droplist sites. For a 5 or 6 figure domain I guess the buyer would Google it.

    I just realized I don’t know if Google indexes archive.org history…

  6. I can relate to frustration about borrowed content though it didn’t pertain to a domain sale. I take photos for my local geo sites and have found some of my photos ranking on Google Image search linking back to other sites. In one recent case, my photo ranked #1 for a long-tail search phrase on Google Images but the link was to a local realtor’s blog. Some other photos of mine of the same location also ranked high but lower. I contacted the realtor asking them to remove my photo from their site. Hopefully they will comply without a hassle.

    In your case I would just suggest stating that this is the price I am willing to sell the domain for NOW. Obviously the quicker you can close the deal, the less chance they will even know of the other offer. I don’t believe in stating the other pricing was in error or that you have another offer from a competitor if that is not the case. You still hold something of value they want and can hold out until a suitable offer comes along. Victoria Secret sent some discount cards for my wife to use by a certain date. She looked in the store but didn’t buy before the due date. The cards have now expired – too bad.

  7. @ Leonard

    RE: coupons… in a store, you might save 50% off of a $200 purchase, so savings of $100… annoying if you have to pay $100 more, but not the end of the world. Very different if domain investor pricing is $30,000 but end user pricing is $125,000.

  8. When u post domains for sale include “this price for a limited time only”, and any other disclaimers that you feel may be useful down the road.

    • @ JP

      Most of the sites that had this content didn’t pull the entire post, and it just so happened that this was one of the first names listed. Even if I had a disclaimer, it probably wouldn’t have been seen.

      Additionally, even if this wasn’t a sales thread but was a post where I got some information wrong and needed to correct something, it wouldn’t be fixed on the aggregators’ site, which are indexed in Google for some reason.

  9. Domain pricing can change all the time. If you need cash you may offer domains at lower prices for a time until your situation changes. Conversely, if you just made a big sale or don’t need the money, you will hold your domains for higher prices. If someone sees an old post with a lower domain price, I’d just tell them it was a temporary price and it has gone up now for whatever reason (you don’t need the money now, you just sold another name, you’ve had more enquiries, the keywords are more valuable now) etc. The fact they see an old price is just one point in the new negotiation. You are still in control as the domain owner and can set the price you want.

  10. Here Here! I’ve had the same issue. It’s frustrating because even if you have a bot exclusion for the post, if the specific aggregator already has the RSS for your site they will pull the article and they will not have the same bot exclusion at their site. The only way I’ve found to effectively get around the issue is to make every mention of the actual name and/or price an image so that it cannot be pulled in a search later on.

    Aggregators are indexed at Google when proper credit is given back to the original author/site. While it is duplicate content, Google still technically views it as beneficial for the index.


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