Attack of the Splogs
Spam watchers have seen a huge spike over the past couple of weeks in the number of new "splogs," or fake blogs created by junk e-mail artists for the sole purpose of increasing the search engine rankings of the Web sites used to sell their wares.
According to this interesting post by Dave Sifry over at Technorati, in the past two weeks there were 805,000 new weblogs created, out of which Technorati tracked 39,000 new fake and/or spam weblogs.
Just in the past few days, Technorati began tracking an explosion in splogs that were seeded with popular search terms -- including notable names in the blogosphere. Sifry surmises that's because spammers know bloggers frequently conduct vanity searches on their own names to find out what other blogs are saying about them.
Web site monitoring firm Netcraft says the splogs were created with automated tools in Google's Blogspot hosting service. Spammers can use the tools to create self-publishing blogs that populate automatically with keyword-optimized posts and Google AdSense advertisements, all of which make a site more visible to people searching the Web with Google.
With the broad deployment of e-mail spam filtering products, little wonder that spammers are increasingly turning to splogs to hawk their junk products. I've not encountered many of these spam blogs in my daily searches, though I'll admit I do Google my name and my blog's name roughly once a week to see what's what.
Still, I am constantly deleting advertisements that spammers leave in Security Fix's comments and trackback sections. Usually the spam links appear on the weekends and advertise generic pharmaceuticals or porn sites.
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