Spam Blogs Pollute Internet Searches - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Feature
News
5/11/2006
04:15 PM
50%
50%

Spam Blogs Pollute Internet Searches

Spam blogs, known as splogs, are invading the Web by the millions. Blog search engines are trying to stamp them out, but more work needs to be done.

A study in December by the eBiquity Research Group at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, found that an even higher portion of pings are really spings--nearly 75%. EBiquity also discovered that more than half of the blogs pinging Weblogs.com's server are spam.

Finin, who helps run eBiquity at the university, says Technorati is as good as any search engine at picking out splogs, but that about one out of every five new blog posts Technorati indexes is fake.

One of sploggers' newer strategies is to plagiarize material from other online sources. Then they insert a generic sentence that points to the site they're promoting. "It's not easy for even a human to tell" if the blog is real, Finin says. "It takes a minute or two."

Finin recently noticed, through Technorati, that a blog had copied content he had written about the OWL programming language. At the site, he found links to other stories that had to do with owls--not only the winged creatures, but the Temple University basketball team, a bar in Baltimore, and a street in Houston.

"The person who set this up also set up hundreds of others, focused on different keywords or phrases," he says. Finin believes the site is a "splog farm" that may look legitimate now but eventually will carry ads and links to target sites.

Part of the problem is that blog search is still in its infancy and the companies doing it are small, unlike the huge companies that dominate Web search and have teams of people dedicated to researching data quality.

On top of that, results for Web search engines are ranked by relevance, which means splog sites generally don't show up on the first few pages of results. But blog search engines rank results differently. "On blog search, what people are interested in seeing is not the most relevant but the most recent," Glance says. "If there's a spam attack on a particular topic on a given day, it will be on the first page unless we filter them out."

Just like with E-mail spam, it's likely splogs will never be eliminated. The hope is they can be suppressed to the point that they won't ruin the Web experience.

Illustration by Michael Klein

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll