Faux blogs live off RSS feeds and AdSense

 
 

Faux blogs live off RSS feeds and AdSense

Seems there is a rather large boom in faux blogs lately. I mean blogs that have no real author, but are auto-generated somehow and geared to a very specific topic. I noticed that if we mention anyone famous in a posting here lately, like Paris Hilton, Robbie Willams or Carmen Electra we'll end up on site dedicated to that 'star', like this one webblogz.com/carmen-electra/. Mention Britney Spears and a plethora of sites will serve said article, like breaking news Britney Spears and Britney Spears Shopping. But it's not just the obvious, like popular artists, there are honey-pot blogs for nearly everything out there, blogging secrets about blogging, Cingular Wireless about wireless phones, Online Auctions about, yeah auctions, and HifiBasics about your hi-fi. There's thousands out there, some are ironically dedicated to serve feeds about Google Adsense only.
So what are these desolate "blogs" where no human writes, and nobody links to? My guess is that they are honey-pot blogs where the owners hopes to make a killing on the Google Adsense ads that they sprinkle generously all over it. Why not, the blogging software & hosting is free, getting a script to comb through RSS feeds for your specific keywords isn't too hard, and the posting itself could even be automated. No frills and no work money-making network - these bloggers don't even have to write anything themselves. My guess is that after all the hype about blogging, the belief that starting a blog automatically gains a high google-ranking, and the myth that google-text ads can make you thousands of buckaroos some fly-by-nighters simply had to give it a go. It must be working too, as these blog are now mushrooming all over the place, six months ago you might find a single one, now you find at least ten for every conceivable topic. They've become the new version of FFA link farms. :/

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Via Marketingfacts (fellow nominee in the MarketingSherpa survey by the way) I found that Loic Le Meur has also spotted these "spamblogs" littering the likes of Technorati. While he notes that "This is really bad." (meaning the blogs, not technorati itself) other commentors agree showing that we're not alone in spotting the problem. Ever alert David Sifry Technorati CEO chips in with his two cents as well;

"Yes, we know about this and are combatting this on a daily basis. It is a bigger problem than many think, given how easy it is for people to create robots that create fake blogs on free hosting services to serve as link farms or for adsense fraud.

Technorati is working really hard to identify and eliminate this spam, and is developing both automated and social-oriented filtering and spam identification tools. I think that this is going to be a major differentiator in the next year or two, as spammers and SEO operators have discovered the value of the blogosphere in directing and orienting attention on the web...

This is why we helped organize the first Web 2.0 Spam Summit earlier this year, and we're working with all the groups, large and small, to help squash this before it becomes an even bigger problem."

My point is that the kind of "Faux blogs" discussed here add momentum to the ever increasing automation of market communications. My previous researched focused that trend, where I conceptualized one consequence as "artificial market actors". Machines both create and consume message. Marketers have to understand that, including the drivers such as the Adsense revenue highlighted by our beloved Dabitch. (for more info on my research, see http://www.fek.su.se/home/rgi/public/dissertation/index.html).

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