Identifying Splogs

Charles C. Mann writes in Wired about the growing problem of spam blogs. He reviews a number of techniques, suggested by David Sifry, founder of Technorati, of identifying potential splogs. These include:

  • short posts (50-100 words) with hyperlinks to lesser known websites as opposed to links to better known websites and more prominent blogs
  • search terms in the anchor links
  • odd-looking, super long URLs that are packed with keywords
  • multiple dashes in the URLs
  • use of .info domains (which are favored by sploggers because they are often offered free for the first year
  • Well, let me suggest another potential technique, one that would be very easy for the pay-per-click firms such as Google and Yahoo to implement.

    Search to see how many different websites utilize the same affiliate code in their online ads. Most affiliates will operate a small number of websites. Sploggers, on the other hand, are more likely to operate a large number. Most will likely not set up multiple accounts but will instead utilize the same affiliate code. The means are available. The real question is whether they have the incentive to do so absent class action lawsuits or real push-back from their advertisers.