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Web company founded by Grant Shapps in ‘serious violation’ of Google code

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  • 03/09/2012
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Web company founded by Grant Shapps in ‘serious violation’ of Google code
A web company founded by housing minister Grant Shapps that sells a traffic boosting service is in ‘serious violation’ of Google’s code of conduct.

Online business HowToCorp, founded in 2005 by Shapps and his wife Belinda, sells a number of software packages including TrafficPaymaster.

The program costs $297 (£187) and helps users to direct traffic from search engines to their own websites by generating pages filled with key words and content taken from other websites.

These pages host advertising from Google and the owner then receives payment from the search engine giant.

The Guardian reported that the program creates web pages by ‘spinning and scraping’ content from other sites, something which contravenes Google’s code.

Google’s AdSense policy says: “Sometimes we come across sites that are using software to generate automated content. These sites might look like normal news sites, but the information is completely plagiarised.

“Scraping content and passing it off as one’s own is not only wrong, but it also happens to be a serious violation of our policies.”

Shapps transferred his share of the company to his wife in 2008.

A spokesperson told Mortgage Solutions said that he has not been involved with the company for “several years”.

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