In the German-speaking area, webnapping denotes an option provided by webmasters to integrate external web content into their website. These elements are quite versatile in nature and can consist of iframes or code lines. The providers of webnapping hope to get more traffic to their own website with this practice, while the users of webnapping can expand their web offer by adding value.


The function as well as the scope of a website can be extended in different ways. Webmasters have the option of integrating iframes. A code snippet is stored in the HTML code, which can be used to load content from other servers. A common form of this integration is the inclusion of YouTube videos on your website, for example.

Iframes or third-party Java Scripts can provide added value to users of a website. For this reason, the integration of such elements is immediately of interest to webmasters who do not have much of their own content available on their website. Thus, the idea behind webnapping is that your website will become more interesting and useful to visitors with third party content. At the same time, webmasters do not have to create or maintain this content themselves.

Since the boom of the commercial Internet, webmasters are looking for ways to get backlinks from other websites. Webnapping now provides the opportunity to link to other websites through iframes or other code elements. At the same time, the traffic on one’s own server can be increased by content that is implemented on other pages. In the ideal case, Webnapping is a win-win situation for providers and users. While one can profit from more traffic and backlinks, the other can increase the functionality of their website as well as being more up-to-date.

About webnapping

The term “webnapping” consists of the words “web” and “kidnapping.” This obviously would refer to stolen web content. However, in the German-speaking area, webnapping is considered in a more positive light. Webmasters offer other webmasters to “steal” their content. For this purpose, they generally provide them with various integration possibilities for web content.

Similar to the term “handy” (the term for mobile phone in German), “webnapping” has no real meaning in the English-speaking world, but is a typical German compound despite the use of English words.

Webnapping is similar to scraping. However, in scraping, there is usually no explicit permission to take over web content. Scrapers simply get the content from the web using specific software.

How it works

Webnapping is quite simple. A webmaster offers other webmasters to integrate web content on their website. Webnapping can be implemented in different ways:

  • Iframes: Using iframes videos, sound documents, news tickers, other elements on other websites can be integrated.
  • CSS elements: Some websites offer complete CSS elements for integration. For example, news tickers or search functions can be offered.
  • Graphics: In many cases, graphics, banners or images are offered in a complete HTML code. The pictures then refer to the original source with a backlink.
  • JavaScript: Java Scripts can also be used to play and use databases on other websites.

Risks of webnapping

At first glance it is a good opportunity for webmasters to improve their own website with webnapping. However, by implementing foreign code lines, malicious code may also be inserted. Moreover, the embedded elements can be an easy attack target for criminal hackers.

Another problem with Webnapping may be that the content provided and included violates rights of use or other rights. In certain circumstances, the webmaster may not be made responsible for the content he has not created but provided on his website from another source.

Benefits for online marketing

Webnapping providers can significantly increase the reach of their brand or website. They have an opportunity of getting content integrated on many different websites. However, they usually have no control on which pages their content is used in the form of iframes or scripts. Webnapping is thus not really controllable, unless the server access is specifically blocked for some websites, which use the content as code. It is therefore recommended to use other methods to increase the reach of your brands.

Benefits for SEO

In the beginnings of the commercial Internet, the number of backlinks was decisive for the rankings of a website. For this reason, methods such as webnapping was a perfect to increase link popularity. Today, search engines such as Google can analyze backlinks very precisely and devalue them as needed. Backlinks from webnapping offers would have to be provided with a nofollow tag so as not to be labeled as spam.

The only possible benefit of Webnapping content for webmasters is that the length of stay on the website can be increased. However, users are not interacting with the website’s own content, but with content from other sources. Before website operators ultimately integrate other content or function elements on their own website, they should ensure that the attractiveness of their content is increased. Even the argument that webnapping makes your website more up-to-date is not really effective. The freshness factor of a website is not enhanced by third-party content, but by self-created content.