According to “Wired” magazine, a new blog is created every two seconds – that’s 43,200 new blogs every day. At the same time, some experts estimate that 30% of new blog articles today are spam. This phenomenon is so prevalent that a new phrase has already been coined: splogs.
Splogs, as defined by Wikipedia, are “… Web Log (or “blog”) sites which the author uses only for promoting affiliated websites. The purpose is to increase the PageRank of the affiliated sites, get ad impressions from visitors, and/or use the blog as a link outlet to get new sites indexed. Content is often nonsense or text stolen from other websites with an unusually high number of links to sites associated with the splog creator which are often disreputable or otherwise useless Web sites.”
It’s not hard to see that splogs are straight out of the black hat SEO toolbox, and can do significant damage to the ranking of legitimately optimized and relevant websites. How can you combat splogs and make sure your site rankings don’t get hurt by blog spam? There aren’t any quick fixes.
As a general recommendation, make sure you grow your own site’s keyword-rich content – but do this in a natural, non-spammy way. For example, add pages describing why your products are ideal Christmas presents, including ideas of how you could use them, but do not add new pages that are only stuffed full the keywords that you’d like better ranking for, like “Christmas gift ideas”, “Christmas presents” etc.
In addition, make sure you monitor your existing pages regularly and update and tweak their keyword content, e.g. add more copy including keywords you are targeting, review the keywords your users use and add any new ones to the copy.
It is also very important to grow the amount of relevant, on-topic backlinks to your site, i.e. the number of sites that link to your own. Links from directories, information sites or sites offering complementary products and services can be a great source of quality, relevant backlinks. It can be cumbersome to contact individual sites and ask for a link to your site (these sites will also often ask for reciprocal links from your site to them), but it’s worth the effort. Alternatively, the ineedhits G-Boost and Y-Boost products also include a backlink development component.
Last but not least, if you’ve found that your rankings have slipped, you could always consider pay-per-click advertising to ensure you still get your desired exposure to search engine users. However, this means you will have to pay for each click you receive. If your site does a good job at converting traffic to prospects or customers, you should still be able to achieve a positive return on such an investment, but you certainly will have to free up some of your marketing budget for it. Nevertheless, paid search advertising offers you a way to quickly compensate for drops in organic traffic. So splogs really cost you money on two fronts – through lost revenue and in forced increases of marketing expenditure.