Pro Splogs - What You Don’t Know about Blog Spam
In the few weeks that I’ve been running my blog on Wordpress, Akismet has already deleted thousands of blog spam. Which in some respects is surprising considering that Blogger is supposed to be the supreme SPLOG platform of choice.
Which also brings me to the reason for writing this post. It seems to me that there is more to blog spamming than we first thought.
What is Spam?
Generally speaking, according to Wikipedia spam is:
“unsolicited or undesired bulk electronic messages”.
What common types of Spam are there?
- E-mail spam, unsolicited e-mail.
- Mobile phone spam, unsolicited text messages.
- Forum spam, posting advertisements or useless posts on a forum.
- Spamdexing, manipulating a search engine to create the illusion of popularity for webpages.
- Newsgroup spam, advertisement and forgery on newsgroups.
- Messaging spam (”SPIM”), use of instant messenger services for advertisement or even extortion.
- Spam in blogs, posting random comments to promote links or commercial services on blogs, wikis, guestbooks, etc.
- SPLOGS, spam blogs that are artificially created to sell ads and products, to promote affiliated websites, or to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites. Content on these blogs is typically plagiarized by scraping or duplicating content from other blogs or websites off the internet.
But is that all there is? I don’t think so. I submit there is yet another type of spam blog out there that has so far slipped beneath the radar, and that is:
So-called pro (professional) bloggers (or more appropriately money bloggers) who make money off us by:
1. Recycling (paraphrasing) content from Google and passing it off as their own without linking to sources;
2. Recycling (paraphrasing) other blogger’s archives and not linking to sources;
3. Recycling (paraphrasing) their own blog archives (for those rainy days and Sundays);
4. Recycling (paraphrasing) content from within their inner-circle (network) of friends (i.e. bouncing off each other);
5. Recycling (paraphrasing) content from books, educational or other non-electronic materials without giving credit to their sources of inspiration;
6. Creating blog ‘networks‘ with their circle of friends to artificially elevate themselves to a-list status so they can elicit more money for their ads, speaking engagements, etc.;
7. Link-baiting us to read their blogs, sell us their blogging courses and ebooks exaggerating income levels and promising riches, fame and glory.
I call these type of spam blogs … ‘Pro Splogs’. You might call them B.S.
They might not necessarily be created by a software robot, but human or not they’re still artificially duplicating content and gaming the system with the sole purpose of selling us something – aren’t they (rhetorical question).
What do you think?