13 August 2006 | 4,394 views

Microsoft Takes an Effort at Cutting Down Blogspam – Splogs

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Splogs are becoming a huge problem, half the stuff you search for nowadays returns a splog, mostly auto syndicated content.

I find a lot of my own entries on there, surrounded by Adsense ads.

New age scrapers I guess.

Technorati returns a lot of results from splogs too, but at least they have made some efforts to clean that up and Google and being making sign-ups for blogspot much stricter so people are having to resort to their own domains, like the scrapers.

Microsoft today released new research on the epidemic of spam blogs — or “splogs” — as well as the “comment spam” that dodgy marketers splatter all over blogs in a bid to improve their sites’ search-engine rankings. Redmond’s research team found that splogs hosted on Google’s Blogspot.com appear to be widely spammed and fairly effective at jacking up the search results for the spammers’ Web sites.

Comment spam is also getting pretty bad, I can get a couple of hundred a day on some sites.

I’m glad they are making some kind of effort to sort it out.

Yi-Min Wang, manager of Microsoft’s cybersecurity and systems management research group, told me that the goal of Search Defender is to help the software giant automate the filtering of splogs and comment spam links in search results returned on MSN.com.

“We now have a method to identify spammers so that before they get indexed into search results, we can block them,” Wang said. “When this is fully automated, the spammers will need to spend a lot more effort trying to get into our search results.”

We ourselves as writers also have to take measures to curb the comment spam, I use Akismet and find it extremely effective!

But that’s just a start: Sitepoint has some excellent tips on fighting comment spam. Also, most of the major blogging sites now include pointers on how to use antispam features. Blogger.com lets users require commenters to follow a verification process — essentially a captcha — to help weed out automated processes. WordPress has its own tips here, or users can outsource their blogspam patrol (well, sort of) with Akismet, a free (for personal use) tool that compares any link, trackback or comment left on your WordPress blog to a service “which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and returns a thumbs up or thumbs down.” SixApart, which runs TypePad and LiveJournal, also lists a number of tips for users fed up with blogspam.

At least everyone is aware of it now, we just need to get back to fighting it.

Source: Washington Post



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One Response to “Microsoft Takes an Effort at Cutting Down Blogspam – Splogs”

  1. Michael R. Farnum 14 August 2006 at 2:31 pm Permalink

    As you say, Akismet is an extremely effective tool. It is invaluable at keeping my comment spam down.

    There are also some WordPress plugins that block IP addresses and URLs that tend to throw spam. You have to be careful with these, and they tend to not be as effective, but another layer helps.