Blog Wars: Attack Of The Splogs
Blog Wars: Attack Of The Splogs
?Copyright 2005 Priya Shah
The engines, namely Google, are striking back at sploggers and their malevolent
creations, the splogs.
According to media reports Google has taken measures to impede those attempting to
use its Blogger service to create and maintain fake blogs.
Blogger's official corporate blog mentioned the "spamalanche" that has search engines,
blog search engines and net advertisers in a tizzy.
They are now working together to eliminate the economic incentive for splogs by
identifying them at their source - by domain - and not indexing them.
Can CAPTCHA Stop The Spamalanche?
The "CAPTCHA" test is a method by which automated programs that post or create
blogs can be foiled--where the user is asked to type in a sequence of letters from a line
that people can read, but computers can't decipher.
Blogger is currently working on ways to reduce false positives and ensure that once a
blog with word verification has been established as legitimate, the blogger will no longer
need to solve the CAPTCHA.
Why Create Splogs In The First Place?
Splogs generally fall into one of two categories, notes Mediapost: Link farms, which pack
hundreds or even thousands of blogs with gibberish or recycled content, and contain
multiple links to a particular Web site, which allow them to game Google's PageRank
algorithm, creating artificially high organic search rankings; and spam blogs that simply
recycle content with AdSense or other advertising on them in the hopes of making
money from errant users clicking on the ads.
Splogs most often get their content by scraping - the process of sending an electronic
copying bot to take everything it sees, recreating it on an unlimited number of instant
documents, writes Jim Hedger.
Literally millions of instant sites have sprung up over the past twelve months, most of
which are free-hosted Blogs, containing content scraped out from the original sites.
Why Splogs Are Evil
An article in the Wall Street Journal notes that the splogs are a big source of frustration
for several search-engine start-ups that focus on blog searches, such as IceRocket.com
LLC, Technorati Inc. and Feedster Inc.
Jim Hedger makes some excellent points about why splogs are a menace to genuine
bloggers, notably that:
Splogs are content thieves and can cause honest webmasters to get caught up in
technical and financial issues by losing search engine listings and advertising revenue
Splogs use up blogging resources, especially those of Blogger and Blogspot
Slogs clog up the search results with crappy and irrelevant sites.
Splogs devalue the legitimate uses of blogs as communications and marketing tools
Splogs might lead future blog readers or users away from the growing blogosphere.
Pete Blackshaw, chief marketing officer of Intelliseek, a firm that monitors and searches
blog content, said that spam blogs make it harder to convince companies to blog.
What Can You Do About Splogs?
Ití»s not just the engines that are fighting back. There are a few knights in shining armour
out there, like Frank Gruber, a blogger in Chicago who became frustrated while
encountering splogs in search engines, and recently launched a site called
SplogReporter, reports the Wall Street Journal.
SplogReporter lets anyone submit the Web address of a suspected splog. Gruber has
created an index to rate how "spammy" a blog is, and is building a database of splogs
that he may share with search engines.
Google engineer, Matt Cutts, provided tips on how to report spam to Google on his blog.
Use his tips to report spam and do your bit to clean up the blogosphere.
I first wrote about spam-blogs here, and recommended that instead of using blogs for
spam, marketers must focus on building content-rich sites and getting high-value links to
Don't restrict yourself to just the SEO benefits of blogging. Appreciate the value that
blogs can add to your marketing and public relations strategy and use them the way
they were meant to be used - as cutting-edge and "cool" tools for communicating with
your target audience.
(CC) Creative Commons License
Priya Shah is a partner in the search engine marketing firm, SEO & More www.seoandmore.com Request the whitepaper Boost Your Search Engine Visibility With Blogs And RSS www.seoandmore.com/blogs-rss/