Analytics Reveal Extent of Indian Copy’s Code Swiping

By Claire Adamson |

An Indian company copied business networking tool exploreB2B so sloppily that analytics codes were seemingly retained as they were, meaning traffic from the new website began to show up on the Berlin-based startup’s analytics tool.

It had originally been reported last week that The HR Connect has copied the exploreB2Bs’ landing page almost exactly, with large passages of text and code replicated so faithfully that there were still file names and other references to exploreB2B. But it was only after The HR Connect announced on its Facebook page on July 2 that it had a ‘new look’ that the replicated code became obvious.

The clone was first brought to the attention of exploreB2B when the Indian site took the css file from the their server. The amount of traffic that came through from the analytics code was so small that it went initially unnoticed, but they are now able to see exactly when the copying began.

The offending Facebook link

After a few questioning emails, the HR Connect’s landing page has now been taken down, although nobody has heard anything from them. But because the landing page is such an important tool for a company, exploreB2B CEO Jonathan Gebauer says it is worrying to see it copied so thoroughly: “Landing pages are actually really valuable parts of any webpage because they are the the first thing a user sees,” he said. “Defending oneself against this kind of thing is really pressed as I found out because going up against them legally is really really hard because they’re in another country.”

The HR Connect is apparently run by an Indian company called Happy to Connect, which also falsely claims that it created the website for the band Linkin Park – a claim proved untrue in the GigaOM article. There was no immediate response to Silicon Allee’s request to The HR Connect for comment via the Facebook page.

It may be exploreB2B’s first brush with such blatant copying, but it’s certainly not Berlin’s – in April Tricider was targeted by a Russian copycat, while Rocket Internet’s Pinterest clone Pinspire was embarrassingly found to have copied parts of the original’s code (mentioned here).