In Google! Clean Up Blogger! Now!, I wrote about how a simple search for a news story turned into a massive multi-page hunt through Google search results of Blogger Blogspot spam blogs, finally finding a possible legitimate blog answer on something like page five but having to go through even more pages to find a second and third possible answer to my search question. I plowed through page after page of spam blogs and splogs, much containing copyright violating content and spinning spammers, although most of it was totally unintelligible collections of keywords.
In the article, I wrote an open letter to Google asking them to clean up Blogspot by removing the tons of spam blogs that litter its surface and abuse our content, as well as help us help them by making the process easier:
There has to be a nice way of doing this. Sure, there is always room for abuse, but let us help you. The good white hat wearing web users represent the majority and we are tired of this. We want Google cleaned up. We think starting with cleaning up Blogspot/Blogger is a good place to begin.
We, the bloggers of the world, really like you Google. We put your ads, search, maps, news, and gadgets on our blogs. We write our post content to meet your needs so you will like us. We design our web designs not just with web standards but Google standards in mind. Our lust for all things Google puts billions in your pockets. We live and breath through Google, so let us help you help us.
I’m not the only one to complain. In fact, bloggers around the world have been complaining for years about the vast quantity of splogs on Blogspot.
Today, while checking out the Technorati tags for WordCamp Dallas, I noticed that my blog, Lorelle on WordPress, had two sets of Authority Rank references. One was a “score” of 26 and the other was 1,846. It was for the same article. Suspicious, I thought I’d check this out.
It seems that my About page has its own Technorati ranking, which is odd, however, I uncovered dozens of Blogspot blogs scraping or abusing my blog’s content.
Still disgusted with Google’s lack of response to overwhelming pressure to clean up Blogspot, I opened those links in tabs to collect information on them for a big report I’m filing with Google to get action on the hundreds of scraping and plagiarism Blogspot blogs abusing my content – and found every Blogspot blog reporting that it had been shut down!
Is Google Cleaning Up Blogspot?
I kept going through the list and sure enough, for several pages of Technorati’s Authority Ranking results of spam blogs, while they show up on Technorati, all of these sites were shut down on Blogspot. Is Google really cleaning up Blogspot?
Matt Mullenweg has been up front about Automattic’s policy of keeping WordPress.com splog free, recently reporting that they’d cleared out more than 800,000 spam blogs. As more and more Blogger and Blogspot bloggers are moving to WordPress and WordPress.com, maybe Google is feeling the heat a little.
The only person I’ve found to notice that Blogspot is being cleaned up is Mero Guff, who cites the Blogger Terms of Service which states what types of blogs are allowed and which will be deleted, but that’s been there for a long time and still they allow splogs and scrapers to thrive.
I haven’t found any official news reports that Google is indeed working overtime to clean up Blogspot. I think they need to publicly come clean with an announcement if they are indeed cleaning up Blogspot. The less splogs in the world, the better that world is for everyone, including bloggers. It would be a great ice pack on the black eye Blogspot splogs have given Google.
Will Technorati Clean Up Their Act?
As for Technorati and their splog filled Authority Rankings and tags, the content from these splogs continues to sit on their pages for all to see, even though the links lead no where. I can only estimate, but probably 25% of those 1800 blog posts which lend weight to my blog’s ranking are splogs, skew the statistics.
I removed Technorati tag feeds from my feed reader a while ago as I was so sick and tired of plowing through screen after screen of spam blogs, porn, casino, mortgage, and other crap in the WordPress, bloging tips, and other topical tags I would love to follow. These are so overstuffed with useless and time wasting garbage, I can’t be bothered.
As an experiment, I looked again while working on this article. It appears that some of the splog sites have been cleaned out so there are a few less than before, however, the noise-to-quality content ratio is still way too high.
Technorati is not alone. BlogDigger, Blog Pulse, Digg, and a lot of tag, social bookmarking and site submission services are being bombarded with splogs and scraper blogs, so monitoring all of these with the most popular tags like WordPress, blogging tips, and blog news, makes it difficult as there is so much junk to process in order to find the gems worth blogging about.
We really need to find a tool that will help clean up all of these services universally. An Akismet for social networking sites. A community based tool that helps all these services block out the thorns in our virtual sides so we can get the information we need and want without exposure to the time wasters.
And if Google is cleaning up Blogspot, good on them! Technorati, it’s your turn. As for the rest of you social bookmarking, tagging, and digging sites – get out your brooms because the pressure to clean up your act will be on you next.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.