Google's Splogsplosion


We all knew it would happen, and indeed it's been building for a long time now, but i get this feeling that the tipping point has now been reached

At eight when I looked at my PubSub feed, there were 31 entries, 30 splog. Just now at 9:45 there are 15 more. Technorati and Google feed search are similarly infested. The total numbers must be mind-boggling; this particular surge is using blogspot as an attack vector. The software that’s generating these things is pretty sophisticated, you might think they were real at first glance. Uh, ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, I think we have an emergency on our hands.

Hope you don't mind me pinching most of your post there Tim...

Alex is also calling foul on Blogspot, as is Chris Pirillo

In the past few days, I've been inundated with an enormous amount of subscribed search spam for designated keywords. To the tune of hundreds, if not THOUSANDS, of bunk entries. Who knew "lockergnome" and "pirillo" would be THAT popular?! Still, I can't help but think that others are having the same headaches - and 99% of the crap coming in is directly from a single domain:

This, from Google. Yes, the same Google that have been notifying spammy websites that they're baddies, the same Google that recently hosted the 2nd "Spam Summit" and yes, the very same Google that provides the cheif source of funding for autogen'd spam blogs and hosts them..




If in adsense you had to add each website individually rather than one to get your account then free for all after then some of these would dry up. Without ROI from adsense a lot of these wouldn't exist?

If you're creating splogs

If you're creating splogs wordpress is a superior tool. It's much more powerful, has many more tools, and much more versatile than blogspot could ever hope to be.

Now of course if you run a search engine with a time/quality delay ranking function built in you can say how "much better" your index is because you don't rank the drivel that Yahoo and MSN do. Here's where it gets priceless, Google has found a way to monetize the other search engines that do rank the drivel.

Google has found a way to

Google has found a way to monetize the other search engines that do rank the drivel.

That IS priceless heh!

What if there was a $1 charge to have your blogspot get indexed?

After seeing Chris' rant earlier today, I thought up and blogged an idea:
What if Google created a new domain, say "" and required a $1 payment to create a blog there or have one's blogspot blog promptly promoted to that domain. Anyone could still create a blog on blogspot[regular] for free, and could even petition to have it promoted free of charge after [x] posts and [y] months if a $1 payment was a problem.

- $1 is cheap for most people.
- Spammers don't have an unlimited number of credit cards or bank accounts.
- *all* search engines could easily benefit from this, since they could just filter out

Your thoughts?

Spammers don't have an

Spammers don't have an unlimited number of credit cards or bank accounts.

Nor do teenagers who are prolific in the blog community ...

Google's mission is to

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful if you pay us $1.

Doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

the barrier of $1

About teenagers not having an unlimited number of credit cards or bank accounts... I had a bank account, I think, when I was 13. Obviously co-signed by my parents, but still.

Or what if blogspotgold accounts were free with an invite from an existing blogspotgold member? Or free via SMS (text message) request? (e.g., just like Gmail now).

I think that just trying to solve the splog problem algorithmically is not enough...

Barriers can and will be

Barriers can and will be overcome as long as there is enough of a financial incentive to do so (reading too much freakonomics). Google's not responsible for creating the spam but they are responsible for creating the incentive.

I'll even go so far as to say Google's time/quality delay threw gasoline on the fire. By delaying ranking, web publishers had a choice sit around and wait or find ways to monetize MSN and Yahoo more effectively. Scraping and uniqifing content really ain't that hard. Hobble together a scraping script, put it on cron job, take advantage of remote publishing, and you're creating zombie splogs at a phenomenal rate.

With this "splogsplosion",

With this "splogsplosion", how long can we really expect MSN & Yahoo! to operate without a "sandbox" of their own? It's only a matter of time unless they can come up with a better silver bullet in response.

Looks like Google plans some

Looks like Google plans some kind of move. More and more people are picking up on the "slam blogspot meme" also: Dan, Susan and check this out, a a non snarky comment from Phil on GW's comment above. That's made my morning! :)


Tiny Icerocket has actually blocked blogspot domains from it's index temporarily.

I'd link you to a blog search engine to show how far this meme has spread, but they're full of blogspot shite of course heh.. here, have memeorandum instead, it's better :)

Blogger don't appear to have

Blogger don't appear to have e-mail contact information anywhere on their site. So having found a blogspot blog using my business site information, I have no immediate channels of communication to make a complaint. I guess it's the fact that channels of communications are closed make it easy easy to abuse Blogger, without Blogger having to face the issue.


...what if blogspotgold accounts were free with an invite from an existing blogspotgold member?

Oh, yes. That certainly worked to ensure Orkut was populated by nothing but articulate members & high-quality content, didn't it? ;-)

Touché, Mivox :D

But is broken in so many ways that I think using it as an invite-only case study isn't quite fair :D

And seriously, if Google enforced a "blame the inviter" rule for sploggers (along with the other suggestions I mentioned above), I'm guessing the splog problem would be reduced to almost nil.

>"blame the inviter" Guilt

>"blame the inviter"

Guilt by association you've got to be joking right?

No, I'm not joking

If I invite a friend to a party and he gets piss drunk and pinches the bums of my female friends, they're going to be mighty peeved not only at him, but at ME for inviting the lout. I see no reason why the same should not be true online in an ideal world. I'm not saying that if someone accidentally invites one twit to a service that they get their access revoked, but I'm suggesting if someone makes a habit of inviting jerks, then they should get their invite privileges yanked and/or blog unindexed.

And keep in mind that I proposed the invite-thing as an alternate option, suggesting that the $1 fee and/or manual requests for approval would be the primary method for getting one's blogspot blog indexed.

Granted, this'll never happen because, as someone noted above, "We index everything on the Web for free, except we charge $1 to bloggers" just doesn't have a really nifty PR ring to it. But I still think it'd be a very effective and minimally painful method for solving the splog problem.

You invite a friend they

You invite a friend they invite a fictional person this fictional person invites a dozen other fictional people, each of those fictional people invites a dozen fictional people who then create splogs ...

As Mivox pointed out that experiment failed poorly with orkut.

What if you couldn't invite anyone...

...unless you had been blogging for a minimum period of time?
That'd make your example moot.

no it just moves the time

no it just moves the time frame back slightly. Make it to restrictive you'll kill the whole thing.

You can do anything you want but as long as there is a financial incentive people will seek out and find the loopholes and game the system.


[edit] This poster is an idiot posting a long list of porn links [/edit]

Guilt by association you've

Guilt by association you've got to be joking right?

Isn't that a core aspect of the current Google process.......

In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.

Raise the barrier to entry - reduce the motivation

I like the line of thinking anyhow Adam. It could really be $.10 - who cares. Something has to raise the barriers, or reduce the financial incentive. The trouble is, many times people take other issue with solutions that would actually WORK.

Barriers can and will be overcome as long as there is enough of a financial incentive

You got it spot on GW - this is at the CORE of all the spam issues. If you haven't read freakonomics yet, PM me the 'plex address Adam, and I'll send ya my copy.

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