Back in April of 2004 I was posting about something I called “splogging“. Basically it was the repeated and never-ending activity of leaving comments on someone’s blog post, essentially, spam comments. At the time, it was funny, because I was using this against friends! Eventually spam comments became a real problem, and it was no longer funny. I first experienced huge amounts of spam on my blog in October of 2004, which forced me to introduce a Human Interaction Proof control, commonplace on the web now.
The term splog is changing though. No longer does it mean spam comments (which, fortunately have declined in numbers). Instead, it refers to fake blogs setup for the sole purpose of creating link farms. Here’s what the sploggers do:
The splogger executed a script that ran searches on blog search engines for specific keywords, said [PubSub’s Bob] Wyman, notably names of some of the A-list bloggers, like Dave Winer and Chris Pirillo. Then the splogger took the results, went to Blogger-BlogSpot and, using the service’s application programming interface, or API, automatically created tens of thousands of blogs that contained text from the bloggers’ real Web sites, Wyman said, along with links to the mortgage and other sites.
People querying the well-known bloggers’ names in blog search engines, and people who track these bloggers and their write-ups via services like PubSub, Technorati and Feedster, then received feeds to the fake blogs, jamming RSS readers with useless links, Wyman said.
I am by no means an A-list blogger, but I have noticed it happening to me too. If you search Google for mastermaq, the results are littered with results for fake blogs. Most of the ones that affect searches for me are not hosted at Blogspot, but some are. And that’s where most of the problem has originated from.
The problem has gotten really bad lately, as described in the CNET News.com article I quoted above. Who knows what will happen, but we need a resolution! To get things started, Chris Pirillo has posted Ten Suggestions for Google’s Blogspot. I particularly like suggestions two and six – no brainers in my opinion.
Read: CNET News.com