Hey, Google? What are you doing about this?
Three out of every four unique Blogspot.com URLs that appeared in the top 50 results for commercial queries were spam, the study said. Blogspot is the hosting site for Google’s blogging service. Blogs created for marketing purposes are sometimes referred to as “splogs.”
Right now, hauntedvampire.com is being hammered by a comment spammer who is using nothing but blogspot.com URLs. Hundreds and hundreds of them, all unique, all following the same pattern (spamproduct-randomstring.blogspot.com), and the bots are all coming from a huge range of IP addresses, so I can’t efficiently ban access by IP blocks.
Oh, it’s all being caught by our spam trap, but still – it’s annoying as hell, and frustrating to see THE SAME HOST again and again and again. I expect to see spam on .info sites (And as an aside: can we just shitcan the entire .info top-level domain now? Please? Has anyone ever seen a valid .info site? The signal to noise ratio in this TLD is rapidly approaching zero.), and .edu domains frequently have ancient or understaffed subsystems just crying out to be exploited, but Google? Google’s got the cash and the brainpower to do this right, and well… they aren’t.
It’s almost impossible to reach Blogspot.com abuse, and it is impossible to report more than one splog at a time. Given that Blogger’s new AJAX facade has also made it a more attractive delivery platform for malware exploits, you’d think that Google would want to make it easier to contact abuse. But no – you have to search creatively to even find the link to their crappy ‘report abuse’ form. (Here’s a hint: you’ll have better luck using Google to perform a site-specific search on help.blogger.com instead of using the actual Blogger knowledge base.)
Now that’s customer service.
You’d also think that a company like Google would be able to discern the patterns in these splogs, and implement some proactive measures. Oh, wait! That’s right! They make money from this too, since they’re the ones selling the ad space in the first place.
Mind you, Google isn’t alone in this – AOL and Netscape’s free pages are probably equally polluted, and their abuse team is just as impossible to contact. (Surprisingly, Tripod and GeoCities are the most responsive, and easiest to contact.) But I guess I’ve come to expect a little more from Google…
Don’t be evil, right? Behold, the Invisible Hand: producing varying values of ‘evil’ since 9 March 1776.
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