I purchased a theme from ThemeForest nearly a year ago and used it to design a site to promote ThemeForest products as an affiliate. I also used a freelancer on here to write some unique articles for me. I was not doing too bad generating decent commissions within a short period of time.
I recently moved to a new web host with my own dedicated IP for my site and whilst going through my AWStats, I noticed that my site had double the amount of visitors during a given period. The visitors were being referred by a site with an unusual name. When I checked the site, lo and behold! an exact duplicate of my site. Upon close inspection, it seems like their domain points to our site as the email listed on it is our own.
The only reason I can think of why someone would want to do this is of negative SEO (excluding gross incompetence). Our site has slowly climbed in Google search listings and occupies a number of good positions. Having someone duplicate the exact content in it’s entirety, will in effect redflag our site as spam and may incur a severe penalty by Google.
So far, our site has not been effected in rankings. When I checked the domain in the Whois.net database, the registrar has opted for privacyprotect.org, to protect their anonymity.
I have two options for taking this site down:
1. Contact privacyprotect.org to point out abuse by their client.
2. Contact the abuser’s webhost and notify them of the IP hijacking.
Would it be prudent to contact Google and point out the duplication and request a takedown for the offending site? When should I do this?
Any pointers and advice would be greatly appreciated.
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