Monday, May 16, 2005

Spam Blogs Pollute Blogosphere

Pay attention to the stats on the growth of the blogsphere and you'll think blog aficionados have a reason to rejoice. Most of the new blogs I find lately are nothing but spam -- call them fake blogs, spam blogs, spamblogs or splogs, as in a cross between spam and blogs. You decide.

There is a dark underbelly to these numbers, however: Part of the growth of new weblogs created each day is due to an increase in spam blogs - fake blogs that are created by robots in order to foster link farms, attempted search engine optimization, or drive traffic through to advertising or affiliate sites. -- Sifry's Alerts
What are spam blogs, you ask? Spam blogs can have one or more of the following characteristics:
1. Embedded ad banners. No content. No commentary.
2. Endless links to another site designed to sell you something.
3. Repetitive keywords, no doubt inspired by the top search terms of the week.
4. Fake blog entries, with keyword links to so-called related content. I fear these are automated. No human actually reads the sites these splogs link to. For example, for a craftsmaking column, I wrote a piece about creating rosebuds from red cellophane and chocolate drops. The article appears on the Paper Crafts site at BellaOnline.com. In the instructions, I mention using jewelry pliers to create a stem. Lucky me! One of those spam blogs actually linked to the article. The blog's topic? Jewelry. That's right. Jewelry...not chocolate or crafts, but jewelry.

Even more galling is the fact Technorati Honchos keep touting numbers signaling the Blog Renaissance, yet I can't get the oft-referenced site to recognize I updated this blog weeks ago. Oddly enough, in spite of this Technorati logjam, spam blogs don't appear to suffer this fate. Nuts!

I'm not the first frustrated person to comment on these spam blogs, as evidenced by the links in this post. I know I won't be the last. There may come a time when major search engines decide to ignore blogs from certain blog service providers. If you're hosting your blog on one of those services, you may have to move your blog and start over with all your blog directory listings. I'm not looking forward to it.

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3 comments:

Adam Hertz said...

Kim,

Believe it or not, I'm really glad you wrote to complain about how we weren't indexing your posts.

I looked into it, and sure enough, about a month ago we mistakenly classified your blog as spam. When that happens, we "quarantine" it, which is to say, we stop accepting and indexing updates.

I'm really sorry. We've reclassified your blog, and your recent posts should be in the index shortly.

Adam Hertz
Vice President of Engineering
Technorati

Trevor said...

Technorati does a much better job with this than Blog Pulse. Blog Pulse is absolutely filled with spam blogs, and it skews their results terribly.

My problem with Technorati is that my rank never changes. Maybe I'm on the spammer list too.

Good tips here, I blogrolled you!

Pascal Van Hecke said...

Hi,

I suggested "tagging" spamblogs when you encounter them:

http://pascal.vanhecke.info/2005/06/01/hunting-spamblogs/