The media and some blog search engines have gotten excited about counting the number of blogs in the blogosphere. If the number of blogs is growing, the medium must be real. Right?
Right in concept. Unfortunately it’s impossible to count the number of blogs in the blogosphere due to the number of spamblogs, splogs, zombies, whatever you want to call them.
While the number of blogs has been placed by those who like to speculate about suchthingsin the 15mm range, new blogs per day in the 30k to 80krange, and blog posts per day in the 500k to 900krange, no one seems to want to put an asterick next to any of those numbers and try to remove the number splogs.
Whats a splog? A splog is any blog whose creator doesn’t add any written value. I’m sure some might argue that packaging data, such as news feeds or the blog posts of others is added value. I dont think it is. After all, thats why there aretopics andindexes. If I want information about the Dallas Mavericks, I can search for it, optimize it, and save it. Because indexes are based on freshness, my searches are automatically updated, freshest data first, as new postsare introduced.
How many splogs are there and how many posts do they carry? It’s difficult to quantify, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we have excluded more than 1mm of them at IceRocket.
Want to get a good feel for how much splog is out there?
Go to your favorite blog search engine and type in hair loss. Or you can try Cialis, or Discount Tickets… You get the idea. Anything that has ever been spammed about is spammed in monstrous proportions in the blogosphere because its so easy to do.
Any traditional spam key word will get you thousands if not more than 100k results, and there are a ton of spamwords you can think of.
What makes the problem particularly frustrating is that it doesn’t cost anything to setup a blog on what is probably the most common blog host, blogger.com from Google. It’s fast, its easy, it’s free and it can be automated. So blogs are coming at us left and right. We are killing offthousandsa day, but they keep on coming.Like Zombies. It’s straight fromNight of the Living Dead. Brain dead splogs. Coming at us by the thousands.
Blogger is by far the worst offender. Google seems to be working hard to adjust their relevancy indexes to exclude splog from having influence on search rankings, but they don’t seem to be doing anything more than removing reported splogs. Kind of like going after the zombies one at a time with a shovel. Can we get some help on this Google? (You can check out weblogs.com to get a feel for just how much splog we are talking about.)
Google’s problem with splog isn’t just a blog search engine issue. It’s an end user issue as well. No splog detection algorithms are going to be perfect. Not only do we miss splog, but we take out innocent victims along the way as well.
If you are an individual blogger whose blog is hosted on blogspot.com, every day the chances of you being excluded from icerocket.com’s, and other search engines’ indexes increases. It’s not just blogspot.com, pretty much 90plus percent of blogs hosted on .info sites are splogs as well.
What to do?
We are exploring a variety of options. The blog hosts can obviously help, but I think the best solution will come from the pinging process that is used to let blog search engines know a new post has been added. If blogging is supposed to be a personal medium, I don’t know why we can’t use an email confirmation for blog posts. We do it for comments to keep out comment spam. Why not do it for blog posts?
The intellectual property that is available in the blogosphere is an amazing source of ideas, facts and imagination. Now is the time to do something before the splog overwhelms it and make it difficult to discover new and exciting blogs.