“Blog spam,” from an unlikely source

Last night I noticed that The Spam Weblog had done a number of updates to its entries. I had not seen much from them recently, so I clicked on the Bloglines served feed to check it out.

What I saw was none too pretty.

I found, and what others have since found as well (see Zmarties: Blog entry spam by WebLogs Inc), is that Weblogs, Inc. peppered their existing (and quite old) entries with the following update:

“The Weblogs, Inc. Network is pleased to welcome three new blogs to the network: TVSquad, Cinematical, and Divester.”

As Zmarties pointed out, they could have easily added a single entry on their network for the new sites, but chose the unwise path instead. Later, it seems they even updated the update, by adding this additional line just above the previous:

“Weblogs, Inc. RSS feeds brought to you by”.

I noticed the same updates to a number of Mark Cuban’s entries at BlogMaverick as well. I am certain Mark is too smart to have approved the trick. I say trick because the updates do not show up now in the original posts, as far as I can see, and since they are on old entries, they are difficult to retrieve via Bloglines…

…BREAKING NEWS…

THEY JUST DID IT AGAIN (AS OF 10:22AM). THE FEEDS WERE JUST UPDATED ONCE MORE, THIS TIME WITH A CHANGE TO “THE UPDATE TO THE UPDATE.” NOW THE LINE SAYS:

“RSS FEEDS BROUGHT TO YOU BY”.

Is Weblogs, Inc. having technical difficulties, or are they just trying to piss people off through new blog PR?

Now that it has happened a third time, I really don’t care. Just stop it…you are clogging up my reader with nonsense!

PS: I saved a clip from Bloglines so you could see for yourself. Excusing the blurriness, you can grab it (pdf) here (since removed), as I could not find the updates at the original site(s).

****UPDATE****

The BlogMaverick posts from March 7th through April 11 were updated again, at 10:37am (Bloglines time?), without the references to the new Weblogs, Inc. sites.

Comments

dirvish says:

How does that qualify as spam? It is their feed, they can do what they want with it.

What you have said is not much different than saying “That site over there is clearly full of farmed links, but it is their site, so they can do what they want with it.” Yet search engines keep knocking them out of their indexes.

Sure, it is Weblogs, Inc’s feed, and they can do what they want with it. But they shouldn’t expect people to continue subscribing to it if they use it to promote off-topic blogs.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the new blog indexers start doing the same dumping as their traditional web cousins.

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