I would say that one of the most terrible things to happen online is that someone has completely ripped off your content and they are out ranking you. This happens all the time and it’s basically fraud and a breach of intellectual property.
That is, some competitor comes alone, notices you ranking well on the search engines, sees your website and they steal your content. They in turn start to rank and in some cases will jump above you.
They are too lazy to write their own web copy and feel that they have the right to go ahead and blatantly plagiarize from your website. Seeing this happen and watching them leap over you on Google is a killer and can have a serious impact on your business if this is not handled and mitigated early.
Businesses and companies who have had this happen to them have companies to the powers that be, that is Google and there is a solution at hand. Basically, because this is such a common practice Google has now introduced a Scraper Report tool
This new Google Scraper Report form will not offer an immediate fix and solve all your worries as soon as you hit the submit button, but what this does is show that there is a rampant issue with content duplication and this is having a serious affect online.
Potentially, this will facilitate Google’s spam team to take action against these types of spammers and fraudsters. Basically these guys are spammers, and may have their website manually audited. This is a great step forward and show just how serious the search engine companies are taking this matter.
There is a downside to this and that is that people may report scrappers as an act of malicious behavior when in fact these are credible websites that have their own content and their own IP. I would say the good out weighs the bad as this problem does seem to be getting way out of control.
A rule of thumb here is that all content on your website should have been written by you for your customers. It has to be unique and original. Spend a bit of time on this and you will be rewarded. Taking the easier path and copying web content will be eventually found out and you are the only person that will suffer.