Duncan Riley> One of the great things about blogs is that they’re easy to use, free to use in many cases and rank well in search engines. One of the worst things about blogs is that they’re easy to use, free to use in many cases and rank well in search engines.
An interesting statement maybe, but what makes the blogosphere great is going to bring its greatest danger of serious down turn in the coming 2 years, because for every new blogger that joins the blogosphere this very minute, in all likelihood there is some cretin sitting in a dark room stealing content and/ or creating a spam blog at exactly the same time. We know the technology is there, I’ve written about it here before at The Blog Herald. Recent reports indicate that at times up to 90% of the pings to services such as Weblogs.com and Technorati are from spam blogs. Others tell stories of not actually being able to find a legitimate blog by using the blog surfing feature at the top of blogger blogs. Sure, the problem isn’t unique to one particular weblog host or piece of blogware, but amongst the crowd of blog fraudsters and thieves one service stands out as the choice of the spamming scum, and that’s Google’s Blogger.
There has always been people who are critical of the positions that blogs manage to obtain in search engines, but their voices are getting louder, and yet Google remains to busy launching yet another new feature or another every day of the week and ignores the fact that its servers contain more spam blogs than any of its competitors 100 times over. As more and more spam blogs are created, search engine results become more and more polluted. Sure, you could argue that as market leader Google would never threaten one of its own businesses. But its not Google that’s the concern. As Google results become more polluted web surfers will start to turn to Google’s competitors for their search needs. Current and new service providers will start to offer blog free search, or at least blogspot.com free search. The first to suffer will be anyone legitimately using blogger for their blogs. I’ve always been a pretty big fan of the service, but I’ve got to say that if you’re on it I’d be thinking of getting off. Remember how Google banned the WordPress.org domain over a few minor search engine manipulation issues, it’s not inconceivable that MSN and Yahoo! will ban Blogspot.com for exactly the same reason as long as Google fails to act. The problem then rises that Google is still a search engine company, and if it starts to lose search customers they might be tempted to do the same, or more likely separate all blogs from their search results, because I couldn’t ever see them knocking off just the ones on their own servers, and if this happens we are all in trouble. The blog boom bursts.
The solution? Google must act on spam blogs immediately. First and foremost they must implement the means of blocking automated programs from setting up and posting to blogs on blogger unless registered with Google, so legitimate software like w.blogger and similar can still post to Blogger but automated spamsoftware can’t, for memory eBay has a similar system in place for posting auctions. Sure, it doesn’t prevent the creation of spam blogs, but it will certainly slow them down a lot and turn away a lot of potential scammers. Secondly they must act to close down spam blogs, whether it be through their own methods or through a community tip-off process.
What can we do? Together as bloggers we can pressure Google to take action. Why should we bother you may well ask? well this one is for the greater good, because if Google doesn’t get its house in order with Blogger then we may all well be doomed. Harsh perhaps, but I never want to see a day where blogs are banned from any search engine, because whilst some will survive any major downturn in search engine traffic, for many it may well mean the end. Bloggers will still link to bloggers and read other blogs, but for most sites, take the search engine traffic out and you wind back the clock to the traffic figures of 1997.