SPLOGS – Do They Really Suck?

What the heck is a SPLOG and who keeps making up these new Industry Terms for the Internet anyway? Well someone has to make up a name for some of the new things going on as the Internet Evolves. SPLOGS is a term that is used to describe “SPAM BLOGs.”

You have seen these Junk Websites, which are filled with content that was scraped from some legitimate website, such as an article directory site, a blog or forum. Sometimes an actual website where the pages were copied scrape google. On these sites you will see many advertisers or syndicated advertising and pay per click ads of various types. Some article websites lose out to these “Cheaters” on junk SPLOG websites and it also cheats the Internet Surfer out of a quality day at the beach surfing. One Article website leading the charge against these SPLOGS and those who promote them is the fearless Christopher Knight and he tells his article authors on his; “Category Killer” Online article directory website specially designed for Ezine Editors and authors that:

“Any author listed on our site that gets reported or identified and investigated for splogging will lose their account. We do not want to associate with those who engage in SPLOGGING. The last thing we need on this planet is more SPLOGS — they are just as evil as email-based spamming.”

Many website owners are sick and tired of their content being stolen from their websites and one smart cookie; Soni Pitts of; “Got any advice for those of us who have been scraped? I’ve seen my stuff slapped onto a lot of splogs, but to be honest it seems that A) contacting them to take my content down simply invites further conversation with a splogger (and gives them my email address) and B) is simply a more Augean task than I care to take on, given the sheer numbers. . .”

There is not much we can do about copyright infringement on the Internet, but companies like Google are de-listing some them so it makes their search results cleaner. You can see the huge problem out their with these SPLOGS. Myself as an little unknown author could not agree more, what is bad about these SPLOGS is that they scrape our articles put them everywhere on junk BS websites, then we get penalized in the search engines when our same articles shows up everywhere, as duplicate content and thus no one reads them.

You see, most surfers who hit these sites click out and leave and are mad. This destroys the Internet and the Internet surfing experience, as humans like to track and hunt down information it makes them feel good and also the discovery of information.

Finding interesting articles and ironic information makes their N400 brainwave activate; it makes human beings happy as scientists have discovered. But when an Internet Surfer hits a “junk website” that is what I call them; then they are skeptical of the entire Internet and that hurts everyone including the forward progression of information sharing and the human race.

What started as a seemingly innocent looking pingback on one of my articles on pay-per-click advertising quickly turned into the discovery that someone had violated my copyright! They had stolen my entire article without giving me any credit at all. There was no mention of an author or of my blog. I honestly felt that I had been robbed. A quick search of the Internet presented me with lots of horror stories from other people who have encountered the same problem. I also found a site dedicated to stopping plagiarism including steps for contacting the copyright infringer and notifying their host. Of course, a quick whois lookup for contact information was futile. I posted a comment on their plagiarized version of my article notifying them that I was aware of the theft and to immediately remove it but of course it was ignored. So what do I do? Do I pursue it?

In between muttering to myself and diligently researching online, I started to question if it was worth my time and energy to pursue it further. My next step was to vent on Twitter and Facebook to see if anyone I correspond with could add words of wisdom. The replies included “think of it as a form of flattery” and a suggestion to use “Blog-Protector”, a WordPress plug-in that disables right click and selection of text.

Since I wasn’t feeling very flattered, I immediately installed the Blog-Protector plug-in. It works as advertised. I couldn’t even copy and paste from my own site. As I became increasingly frustrated, Kimberly Castleberry (@AskKim for those of you on Twitter) left this comment:

I’ve been following Kim for a while and I do count her as a valued resource. Since Blog-Protector was frustrating me on my own site and since I personally copy and paste a lot (into personal documents, with the originating URL to keep as a reference), I decided that I would rather risk being plagiarized again than lose a single reader. After all, my main purpose for blogging is to be a resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Why wouldn’t I want my readers to copy and paste?

It got me thinking. Do plugins like Blog-Protector stop the bad guys or just other people like you and me? What’s this “content scraping” and piping content into “auto-blogs” that Kim was talking about? Turns out that there are WordPress plugins that you can buy to scrape content and automatically feed it into blogs. That’s exactly how my content was stolen! The combination of content scraping and auto-blogs make powerful affiliate marketing blogs. The blog that my stolen post landed on is riddled with Google AdSense ads – probably making someone somewhere money.

So, personally, I’m going to concentrate on blogging and the needs of my readers. If I end up having my content stolen again (which I can pretty much expect will happen) I will mutter to myself again and rant and rave to anyone who’ll listen. They say that the Internet is the new Wild-Wild-West. I guess I’ll just have to put up with a few robbers.

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