Last night I wrote up a blog post on What is a Growth Hacker and this morning I woke up to a bunch of referral traffic from a site I had not heard of before called TweetGanic. Naturally whenever I see a new referral I have not noticed before I want to go and investigate and the results were quite fascinating. TweetGanic is an enigma of a service that appears to paint itself as a ‘referral service’ but is in fact taking content from bloggers, slapping an ad on it and causing some original content owners to go snaky.
To see what I mean click on this referral link and look at the address bar. It looks like one of my articles but it is not;
The articles are in fact being loaded on TweetGanic’s website. So unlike services like ZERGNET for example that drive traffic to your site TweetGanic is in loading your content on their site. Worse yet it it also loading a really obnoxious ad on top of the content which you can see in the screenshot below.
Quite a few bloggers I can see are screaming mad over Tweetganic taking their original content. Nathan LeClaire goes so far as to call them vultures writing;
Finding people using your stuff, greedily, for their own personal gain with no thought towards the blood, sweat, and tears that went into generating it feels like a dagger to the heart.
Blogger Ken Leaver on the other hand takes a completely different look at what is happening writing;
The content owner (me) in this case benefits from more people reading their content (albeit many of them will not read it on my URL and so there will be less traffic and link juice to my blog). But this is a relatively small sacrifice to make to getting more readership of my content overall.
I am honestly not sure what I think just yet. One thing is for sure they are not actually lifting any content. I have had small blogs, big blogs and even multi national companies take content that I have written and publish it on their sites without credit or compensation.
TweetGanic is not actually stealing the content in the traditional definition.
When I drilled down into their source to see what they were doing and why it was even tracking as a referral I could see that it was loading my content in an IFRAME on their server as exhibited by the screenshot below.
I am not entirely sure what I think of what TweetGanic is doing. Clearly they are the big winner but I also did not make out to bad. I woke up to alot of new readers, a handful of new subscribers and it cost me no money and was no work on my part.
In exchange they are loading content of mine on an iframe on their site. Content theft? I am not so sure. Referral Service? I suppose.