Google takes on spam blogs
Earlier this week, the blogosphere was atwitter after a Gartner report predicted that blogging will slow down next year, citing Technorati stats showing that the number of new blogs created in October was 100,000 a day, compared to 160,000 in June. But InformationWeek called up Technorati for some context and got an interesting answer:
Dave Sifry [CEO of Technorati] said he believed the slowdown detected by Technorati may have been due to a decrease in the number of spam blogs, or splogs, Technorati has been tracking.Okay, so that's good news for bloggevangelists worried that their flock was thinning. But what of splogs, fake blogs that are created only to generate ad impressions or boost another site's page rank? They're a huge problem. Sifry told the Financial Times in October that "about 90 per cent of new blogs are splogs." Not only are they as annoying as any spam, junking up the web with useless stuff, they cross into the territory of intellectual property theft by reposting other blogs content on pages just to generate traffic. Ask Michelle Leder, author of the journalistically brilliant footnoted.org, who posted on behalf of about a half-dozen business blogs who are the victims of splogging. Or talk to the folks at digg.com.
The main culprit, when the problem first arose a year ago, was Blogger.com's Blogspot, which is owned by Google and feeds the search engine. Google then instituted one of those "please type what you see on the page" things to prevent robo-posting and a "flag" system to spot bogus blogs, and the blogosphere mostly stopped talking about the problem of splogs. But have they gone away? Clearly not.
Google, however, is still on the case, and just issued some guidelines and this tidbit addressing splog victims:
Don't fret too much about sites that scrape (misappropriate and republish) your content. Though annoying, it's highly unlikely that such sites can negatively impact your site's presence in Google. If you do spot a case that's particularly frustrating, you are welcome to file a DMCA request to claim ownership of the content and have us deal with the rogue site.We'll see if that fixes it.
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