I have had a site copied, google indexes them and ranks this spam .trade domain instead of me now for everything. $2000 a month in stable affiliate income with no work just gone! How is it possible that an entire domain can be stolen and they get hundreds of rankings overnight?!
It appears to use some cloaking as pages are indexed as an exact replica of mine (with the canonical tag removed ha) although trying to access this website returns 404 pages or a redirect to another domain which is an illegal steroid selling website.
I noticed this very profitable yet small website had lost a ton of traffic, I went ahead and did all the diagnostics to figure out what happened.
On December 20th/2015 - GWT shows a drop in indexed pages of 30 (stable for a year) to 8 overnight.
At first I thought this was a content issue with some sort of google update.
Digging into GWT's latest links, I noticed the above spam .trade (registered 8 days before the links show in google tools) domain showing 80+ links to my website all on the same day December 8th - 12 days prior to them leeching all my rankings and my indexed pages dropping. These 80+ links from urls that were identical to my permalink structure on wordpress.
I then published 20 new review articles, all of which got indexed, but don't rank - this tells me I have sort of ranking penalty or that this website is being assigned as the original source. They are somehow scraping my new posts insanely fast to make an exact duplicate and get it ranked in google.
This new articles were original, potent and not overoptimized articles for products that are brand new and have zero competition. This is proven to me that I have some sort of penalty or that they are getting credit, in that I sent some low quality bookmarks to all these new 20 posts - and dinky little 20 word, duplicate content posts and social bookmarks are ranking all over the top 10, not the 500+ word high quality article they link into though.
Things I did:
I have disavowed this domain and other toxic looking ones (anyone have experience on how long disavowed links can take?)
I have changed my rss feeds to only offer a summary of the post - as it was set to full content before - although I'm not convinced this is how he's scraping me as it includes my full site design and such which is not present in the rss feeds.
Sent him an email - expressing I don't really have an interest in going legal, dmca, google reporting, etc if he will just stop messing with me.
One of my most profitable keywords was from a top 5 rank, on a wordpress category page - originally thinking the deindex issue was related to thin or duplicate content (category page after all) I rewrote the category description completely and rewrote the title, breadcrumb link and internal linking to be less optimized.
Now this one particular category is ranking again for this awesome competitive keyword - and who is right below me? The plagiarizing domain, complete with my old category content and title, clicking on this google result? redirect to an illegal steroid selling domain.
This suggests that my old pages are still rankable, even in competitive keywords, if I am to completely rewrite the page. Pointing at duplicate content issues?
Where I am most concerned is that new posts and categories (with 500 word expertly and not over-optimized descriptions, appearing before a few post excerpts are listed) are getting indexed but not ranking at all. Old established content that is rewritten to be unique can start ranking again alongside the cloaked plagarizing domain within an hour though. What does this suggest to you?
Thoughts, experiences, and any ideas on what I can do about this and what may be causing new content to not rank would be extremely appreciated!