Saturday, November 24, 2007

They really love me. The splogbots love me.

I'm reasonably sure I have a fairly small readership.

Ok, miniscule.

So it's interesting to note that I have some fan base. Sort of. Splogbots like me. They've like me since mid-2004.

What's a splog? Spam blogs, or splogs, are computer generated blogs that pull posts from true blogs and use them to generate new blogs with associated adwords. The business model is parasitic (like Dell's, for example); cloned content is harvested to attract readers, and adwords generate revenues. Splogbots use my full content RSS feeds to harvest posts, then they reuse these and others to create faux blogs. Spolsky described this well in 2005.

I'm sure there's a good biological analogy.

I know about this shady readership because one of my bloglines feeds is a subscription to the results of a Google Blog Search [1]. That canned search finds all blog postings that link into Gordon's Notes. So, if a post of mine links to another post of mine, and the first post is incorporated into a splog, then it shows up as a hit on my standing search.

Google tries hard to filter out splogs (spam blogs) but lately there's been a surge in new hits showing up in my search, and they're all splogs. So for the moment they've slipped past Google's radar.

Ironically, this post may show up in a splog somewhere. So if you're reading this and the blog title is not "Gordon's Notes", you might be reading a splog. (Note Brad DeLong tends to quote entire posts, so if the blog is "Grasping Reality" you're in good hands).

So how do I feel about it?

I don't bother with adwords, so it's not like I'm losing revenue to the parasitic splogs. I do partly write to inject memes into the metamind, so I suppose a splog might help with that. On the other hand, Google used to confuse my blogs with splogs, perhaps because my original posts matched those appearing in the splogs (they seem to have fixed that problem).

So I'm ambivalent, but mostly bemused.

So why do they like me so much? I don't know the business, but a colleague of mine once moved to the Dark Side and started writing splogbots. I wonder sometimes if he used my blogs as an early test case ...


Update 11/29/07: I may have been seeing a part of a massive 'SEO poisoing' attack on Google. I think the links are going away now.

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