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February 4th, 2007

Yes, yet another weird new word describing something to do with those danged Internet tubes. This is one that I actually reported on six and a half months ago–though at the time, I did not know the name for it. I called them “Spam Blogs,” and have since found that the abbreviated name “Splog” has been applied. An ugly word for an ugly practice, fitting enough.

A Splog is a fake, auto-generated blog that acts as a platform for spam links, or for AdSense or Amazon Associates links that will generate money for the spammer. The idea is to horn in on the keywords generated by blog posts to get listed in search engines, which will lead to people linking in and using the outbound links, thus generating cash for the spammer.

If that weren’t bad enough, these splogs don’t generate their own content. You do it for them, if you have a blog. The splog first finds your blog, then it grabs the text you wrote and automatically slaps all or selected parts of your entry into the splog. One way to discover if your site is being mined by splogs is to search for unique content on your site in Google’s Blog search engine, and then see if more than just your entry comes up. I did a post on “Maeuri-ken,” or advance ticket sales in Japan, just a few days ago… and within two days a splog had swiped my text and used it to try to generate themselves some cash. Here are the results from the Google Blog search (results will disappear after a few weeks of this post).

Here’s the original post, in part (image):


And here’s what comes out on the splog:


The splog page has links to dog breeding and pet care sites, as well as cross-links to other splogs and spam stuff. As splogs go, it is relatively inoffensive. It actually links back to the blog post it stole from, does not go overboard on spammy stuff like some splogs do, and does not inject spam links into the stolen text directly, as has been reported to happen. Also, note that in this case, the splog does not reprint the full text of my post, or even a coherent paragraph. It is more like the result of a search engine query looking for the keywords “small,” “dog,” and “sale,” all of which appear in that post.

That doesn’t mean that it is inoffensive, it just means that it is slightly less offensive than the many other splogs I’ve found mining my writing for their sleazy profit.

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  1. February 5th, 2007 at 07:19 | #1

    You know, oddly, when I get hit by Splogs, it’s always on the entries about my puppies. Wonder what’s up with blog posts about dogs and Splogs.

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