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Friday, March 16, 2007

The New Face Of Spamblogs Part 1

Spamblogs are mutating into new and scary forms. They are being made with WordPress blogs and appearing in their own dedicated blog directories.

If I wrote this post 24 hours ago it would have been completely different. I would have told about my experience with content theft and how I contacted a blog hosting service to resolve the issue. I found that there was more to this than copyright infringement.

This began by accident. I was doing research on Blog Directories for this blog and ended up in an obscure search engine. I noticed a blog called armandorico that had a post with the same title as a post in one of my blogs. I clicked on the link and got a shock! Every one of the 16 posts on the blog came from a blog of mine called Braindance!

Here is a post on armandorico...

and the same on Braindance.

The blog looked like some test blogs I had seen and that is what I assumed it was. I bookmarked the site and searched for the blog in Google. I found a cached page that made me very angry. It showed an older version of one of the stolen posts. Links had been added and the 'test blog' was turned into a spam blog.

I found my way to's Abuse page to report the blog and have it removed. I was working out what to say and decided to think about it some more. I checked out the website and realized there was more to this than I thought.

I became suspicious when browsing the "Most Active" section in the sidebar. Every blog listed seemed like the one I had found. I thought a webmaster might need a few blogs to test out a hosting service or directory but this seemed excessive. Furthermore, none of these blogs were using Lorem Ipsum but were using text taken from real blogs.

Someone took a lot of time to create several blogs with stolen content. Were these test blogs or spamblogs? Who was doing this?

In part 2 I will talk about what I found and what I think might be happening.