April 27, 2006

Having Splogs (Spam Blogs) Boost Your Technorati Rank

When I wrote the Google logo chocolate poker chip post, I knew the keywords might attract spammers (I can tell which of my blog posts are popular in search engines, because they're the ones which become targets for spam). But a side-effect of attracting spammers seems to be attracting splogs (spam blogs). Roughly, these are blogs which exist to try to fool search engines, and often scrape other blogs for content. And Technorati, which ranks blogs by number of other blogs linked to them, can be fooled by these spam blogs.

So my post ended up being linked to, by some of these spam blogs. Which counted towards my Technorati "Authority". Which is another sad commentary on the concept (spammers are not notable for being great judges of worth).

A non-spam blogger probably couldn't push this too much without being caught. But, for these limited purposes, it's an intriguing bit of judo that if you can't get A-listers to link to you, mindless spammers seem to work just as well.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in spam | on April 27, 2006 06:00 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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One minor problem with the theory. Technorati seems to work actively to remove such blogs from their search and, I believe, once they do so that any authority gained from its posts is removed.

There is an easier way though, just post comments. I learned that Technorati, much of the time, can't distinguish between in post links and comment links.

I discovered this quite on accident a while back (I noticed sites I commented to kept appearing in my links) and haven't really done much to take advantage of it (I've always posted a lot of comments) but it is interesting.

Give it a try sometime if you get bored...

Posted by: Jonathan Bailey at April 27, 2006 10:15 PM

A decent compromise would be to go for the M-listers – it works in more than one way.

Posted by: Zoli Erdos at April 28, 2006 03:39 PM

A friend of mine recently suffered a sudden plunge in Google rankings. She discovered a lot of splogs were linking to her, and she thought she was being sandboxed because of this. From there she developed a theory that enemies had somehow encouraged this splogging to ruin her Google ranking.

At this point, I was raising a Spock-brow and trying to talk her off the paranoia ledge. However, just last week I read this:

Pagerank assassination. Hmmm. Maybe not so paranoid afterall. Worse, this is a corporate-sized weapon, for people who can afford to rent zombie nets and whatnot.

Posted by: Elisa at April 29, 2006 01:15 AM

What do you do if hardcore pornographers are not just scraping full pages off your blog but also using your name to get up their Googlerank? I just found this out, by accident while googling my old archives. I stumbled upon some seriously hardcore sites with whole pages of my blog on their index.html. It's just driving me nuts!

Posted by: liza at April 29, 2006 10:38 AM

Jonathan: Yes, they try to remove the splogs - but they're not perfect at it. And I think the comment trick has been mostly eliminated now by the "nofollow" tag.

Zoli: It's a matter of efficiency. Spammers don't have to be asked :-)

Elisa: It can happen in rare cases that someone can hurt you in Google. But I'm not sure it can be done so easily

liza: Report the sites as spam to Google - http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at April 29, 2006 07:50 PM