How Fake Websites Get High Facebook Ranking, Views & Make Money Stealing Content

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a lot of heat following charges that Facebook helped spread fake news, as reported by WWLP, especially during the heated presidential election. As reported by the publication, Facebook’s trending section was criticized for the manner in which it was allegedly charged with culling more conservative leaning reports from the trending section — a charge that Facebook denied.

While Facebook says employees are working on removing fake news from the social sharing website by allowing users to “flag” fake stories, it’s apparent that the social media network still has some work to do to prevent websites that steal content and masquerade as other websites from ranking highly in much-coveted positions.

For example, a current search for a hot topic of the moment, “Marines United 2,” results in three top links appearing in the prominent top three positions on Facebook. When plenty of people turn to Facebook to search for the “Marines United 2” Facebook group, a news report in one of those three prominent positions could result in thousands of views based on the amount of searching done by Facebook users.

As of this writing, Facebook reports an article titled “MU2.0: ‘Marines United 2.0’ Facebook Group Photos Now In PornHub, DropBox Videos” by “” as the second link in a search result for the “Marines United 2” search phrase. However, the article is not the original article with the same title, “MU2.0: ‘Marines United 2.0’ Facebook Group Photos Now In PornHub, DropBox Videos,” originally published by the Inquisitr, which at one point occupied one of the top three spots of Facebook’s search results for the “Marines United 2” phrase.

Nor is it one of the syndicated reports from the Inquisitr that appear on Yahoo News, such as “‘A Day Without Women’ Strike March 8: Some Schools Close For #DayWithoutAWoman.”

No, the “Yanoo News” website, which has the same white “Y” surrounded by purple favicon that Yahoo employs, tries hard to look like Yahoo News and apparently has done so well enough to fool Facebook. With only one letter distinguishing “Yanoo” from “Yahoo,” it’s the kind of site that Facebook readers might quickly click upon without realizing they aren’t viewing Yahoo News.

Designed to look like Yahoo News, the “Yanoo News” website boasts articles from the Inquisitr, the Daily Mail, CNBC, CNN, Forbes, Fox 8, ABC News and others, including smaller local websites. The “Yanoo News” website borrows text heavily from some websites and runs sponsored content as a means of income.

According to Who.Is, the website was registered on November 29, 2016. The website reports that the website was registered by a person who listed their contact information in Panama City, the capital of Panama, at a post office box.

According to Domain Agents, the website could be for sale, with minimum offers of $199 being requested.

As reported by Google, appears to have plenty of content, with 372,000 pages of results. The website does not have Google News status as of this writing, but it is only indexed by Google, therefore it appears has not fooled Google into deeming it a valid Google News website.

The results from the website, as reported by Google, that appear in the trending section are a study on how the website garners plenty of content from other websites surrounding a specific subject without seemingly adding any original content of their own. With advertisements appearing on the website, there’s no telling how much income the website is bringing the webmasters, nor how far any income could go in Panama — however, fake news websites have brought teenagers as much as $3,000 per day, as reported by the Inquisitr.

[Featured Image by Eric Risberg/AP Images]