Splogs: The New Badness

His specialty is writing engaging copy for client web sites, but Oneupweb content architect Christopher Carlson has been exploring the whole SEO landscape. Here’s what Christopher had to say about one particular blight:

Ah, will the horrors of bad SEO never cease?

Doing a search using, say, Google’s Blog Search brings forth a number of valid results but, sprinkled liberally among the valid results are, inevitably, a number of “blogs” chock-full of, well, spam. Indeed, a recent search led me to the discovery of the most horrifying URL I’ve ever seen; I won’t post it, but here’s a reasonable (yet truncated) simulacrum:

http://www.product-keyword-productkeyword-keywordproduct
keywordproductkeywordproduct-yougetthepicture.freeblog.com.

And then, of course, the “blog” itself was nothing but keywords and links. For an entire page.

Hence, “splog.” An unusually ugly word for ugly SEO used on blogs.

Here’s a question: does anyone actually think this does anything for their own or their client’s site? One of the first rules of marketing (a term with which SEOs should be familiar, as marketing should be a major concern) is don’t irritate your potential customer to the point of revulsion. Putting your name in someone’s face repeatedly with absolutely no accompanying content is no way to build brand equity.

You might get a slightly better Google PageRank, but what good is that if you’ve spent no time on your content (and trust me, these sites haven’t)? People visit, don’t get what they want, buy nothing, and never come back again.

To be fair, Google Blog Search, and blog search in general, is still in relative infancy. The fact that these “blogs” are getting good search positions at all, when to even the casual observer they’re an abomination akin to email spam (h3rb@l V1@gr@, anyone?), points to a deficiency that should be addressed.

It’s true: there are no real shortcuts. Natural, organic results take time. But a combination of an attractive, useful site and well-written, informative content will go far toward building the natural links (maybe even in legitimate blogs) both you and Google are looking for. A better PageRank and better search placement will come, and with them will come your customers.

And they’ll stay.