Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The War on Splogs

Plagiarism Today has another great splog article, Losing the War on Splogging?. In it he discusses many things I have mentioned here and some new stuff that I completely agree with.

I especially liked the part comparing splogs to email spam. I have been wanting to post on that subject for a couple days so I am glad Plagiarism Today brought it up. With email spam you can setup your own filters, there are commercial filtering services, and ISPs usually at least try to filter email spam. Splogs are different, if they aren't filtered by their hosts, all that is left is to filter them out at the search engines. Client filters just won't work against splogs.

Since we know not all hosts are going to deal with splogs properly, that only leaves search engines to solve the problem. If they don't, search results are just going to get less and less useful. Plagiarism Today says if this problem continues to grow it will be the end of the blogosphere. It could be far worse than that, at some point people will just stop using search engines because they can't ever find what they want.

That would be the end of the internet as a useful resource of information. Portal sites with their own content would become necessities. AOL, Yahoo, and MSN would really benefit out of that situation. Google does have a lot of services, but no real portal like the others. They would be playing catch up.

We would also likely see growth of the human edited directories like Yahoo started off as. Dmoz currently is the only large human edited directory I know of. It is a good supplement to search results, but it is not a replacement for traditional search engines. Inclusion requests often are handled very slow if at all. There is too much potential for abuse with volunteer editors. I have already read about corruption including spammers sneaking their way into being categories editors.

Not indexing any blogs in regular search results might seem like a solution, but is it really? Sploggers have gotten attached to this "business model." They will just expand to other webspam methods which will continue to fill search engines with garbage.

I don't think we are loosing the war on splogs yet, but with Google apparently dropping out of the battle we are headed that way fast. I hope they wake up. When you are the biggest search engine, it is your duty to help clean up the internet. No one else can.

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