Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Those Weird, Fake Blogs

I get a lot of requests from other bloggers to do link exchanges. Unfortunately, most of these are for spam blogs. A lot of the e-mails come with the same template, so I can recognize them right away. Stuff like, "Hi, I have reads you site, letsgosox.blogspot.com , and I find it most enjoyable. If you would find to do link exchange, please for my contact info. My blog is on sportoftheday.com. Thanks." I used to click the link, but I quickly learned they're all the same: A collection of unrelated cut-and-paste articles vaguely related to "sports."

Yesterday, I got one that almost seemed legitimate. (After all, you never know if it's going to be a real blogger who just happens not to speak English well and who just happens to have written an individualized e-mail that looks just like the spam template.) So I checked it out. It looked fishy. I took a few of his lines and Googled them, finding out that he'd copied them from somewhere else. One post, shown at the top to be authored by "Jeremy," was signed "Ted" at the bottom. I knew something was wrong before I even saw that, though--nobody writes a post about horse racing followed by one about the benefits of pool tables in your rec room followed by one about the best tennis camps, without some ulterior motive. I don't know why the hell people do this, but I decided to track down Ted.

Ted wrote back quickly and said I was right in that this "Jeremy" was not authorized to simply copy Ted's work without mentioning it was not his own or providing a link to the original work. I guess these fake bloggers are making money off this stuff somehow, pulling in people from search engines, who then click on his ads or embedded links. In fact, I clicked on one of his ads, and it was a company that offered an affiliate program--"Jeremy" gets 20% commission on every sale. So these people just create fake blogs so they can have a spot to place ads. They pull their articles from sites full of droning articles written by other people, probably so they themselves can somehow make money.

Here's a fun little trick. Copy this line into Google: "Ice hockey is unusual in the fact that fighting does not always carry an ejection penalty". Put it in quotes. Look how many "bloggers" just happened to have written this exact line. That's an example of how the whole thing works.

So, Red Sox and other bloggers--beware of who you exchange links with. When I went to that dude's blog right when I got his e-mail, there were maybe three other blogs linked. Went I went back to check into all this, he had over 20. So a lot of bloggers are getting these e-mails and doing the exchanges without really looking into the blog of the other person (robot?). If you don't care, that's cool, but just a heads-up for those who might.

Thanks for the post, Jere. I'd get a lot of those requests and stopped accepting them a while ago. I have a number of those blogs on my site and I plan to clean them out.
i get the occasional 'commenter' that is vague about 'following' my blog, and links their own totally BS site. I erase them. They're always bogus. F those clowns.
Last night after I wrote this I got a spam comment which I rejected about where to download different templates and stuff. So even just using the word "template" makes these people find and attempt to spam you.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States