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The Lure of Autopilot Traffic and Spam Blogs

In response to my post the other day about short term versus long term thinking, a reader, who wished to remain nameless for reasons you are about to discover, let me know about her experiences with a traffic report from an Internet Marketing “guru”.

It seems this guru has recently discovered blogs.

Actually, correction, has recently discovered splogs, along with “RSS Marketing”, Trackback/Ping.

You can imagine where this is going.

Apparently this guy is making thousands of dollars every month creating “autopilot” traffic using a mixture of scraping content, free blog sites, auto-posting software, auto-submitting software for social bookmarking sites, and is pinging his spam repeatedly.

Oh I bet his victims readers just love his network of valuable sites. Not.

*Sigh*

I am glad my reader had alarm bells ringing before she tried this scheme, I was able to help her avoid a big waste of time and prevent more splogs joining the blogosphere.

  1. Blog networks work by attracting and distributing authentic traffic and links, just creating a bunch of splogs with duplicate content will not attract either and so there will be no traffic or links to distribute
  2. Point number 1 means no authentic traffic or links so you have to do unethical stuff to create them. Google and the other search engines are getting better and better at counteracting these techniques
  3. Point number 2 means instead of the whole thing running on “autopilot” as you were promised in reality it means you have to keep up with the treadmill of spamming and generating more rubbish with zero reader value.

Wouldn’t you much rather spend your time and energy creating valuable content that you can be proud of and gets rewarded naturally and honestly?

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Comments

  1. Well said and to the point! Enough junk out there already, don’t need more.

  2. Well said and to the point! Enough junk out there already, don’t need more.

  3. Yeah even i saw that once…and the moment I saw it…I thought what crap! And now you’ve explained to us that why it is crap!

  4. Yeah even i saw that once…and the moment I saw it…I thought what crap! And now you’ve explained to us that why it is crap!

  5. Grrrrr! I’m so sick of these frigging splogs linking to us. I delete them whenever I can, but I’m sure I miss a few here and there. The worst is when I can’t tell if a blog is spam or not because someone’s liked with no context, then I have to dig around to figure out that they’re real.

    I’ve nearly insulted people before by deleting links, only to find they run a (relatively) legit blog.

    Call it “The Fog of Splog”. Hmmm… That’d make a good post ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Grrrrr! I’m so sick of these frigging splogs linking to us. I delete them whenever I can, but I’m sure I miss a few here and there. The worst is when I can’t tell if a blog is spam or not because someone’s liked with no context, then I have to dig around to figure out that they’re real.

    I’ve nearly insulted people before by deleting links, only to find they run a (relatively) legit blog.

    Call it “The Fog of Splog”. Hmmm… That’d make a good post ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I really do not know what these spineless spammers get out of it. I mean, I can recognize a splog the moment I notice it.

    On the other hand, the RSS and auto publishing is useful. I use it on my personal blog, where I want to provide links to posts I write at other places with out actually putting the links manually there. This and such other genuine reasons are when you need to use ‘auto-‘anything.

    I do want to build a network of sites, but splogging is definitely not the way.

  8. I really do not know what these spineless spammers get out of it. I mean, I can recognize a splog the moment I notice it.

    On the other hand, the RSS and auto publishing is useful. I use it on my personal blog, where I want to provide links to posts I write at other places with out actually putting the links manually there. This and such other genuine reasons are when you need to use ‘auto-‘anything.

    I do want to build a network of sites, but splogging is definitely not the way.

  9. As long as people don’t understand that “when it sounds too good to be true…..” these kinds of scams will continue to make money.
    Chris, glad you could help your unnamed reader. That’s one more educated soul.

  10. As long as people don’t understand that “when it sounds too good to be true…..” these kinds of scams will continue to make money.
    Chris, glad you could help your unnamed reader. That’s one more educated soul.

  11. There’s at least half-dozen sites that scrape my blog – pisses me off to no end. So I’ve starting putting links in articles to my own blog just to counter act the scrapers.

    I’m sure you get scraped too Chris – they find you!

  12. There’s at least half-dozen sites that scrape my blog – pisses me off to no end. So I’ve starting putting links in articles to my own blog just to counter act the scrapers.

    I’m sure you get scraped too Chris – they find you!

  13. Chris,

    I imagine you must be thinking the same thing I am — what runs through your mind when you contemplate these kinds of “silver-bullet short cuts”?

    All that slogging and scheming sounds like a helluva lot of work to me!

    All that coding — setting up all that “automation” — all that scheming — it takes a lot of money.

    It takes a lot of energy, time… Not to mention how much more traffic you need to net any income.

    If you’re going to spend all that effort, imagine what you can accomplish when it’s something you REALLY feel good about putting out there, that people can admire?

    I always feel a little sorry for anyone who thinks splogging sounds “easy.” Being spammy must still be work — what a lousy, emotionally unfulfilling source of income, right?

  14. Chris,

    I imagine you must be thinking the same thing I am — what runs through your mind when you contemplate these kinds of “silver-bullet short cuts”?

    All that slogging and scheming sounds like a helluva lot of work to me!

    All that coding — setting up all that “automation” — all that scheming — it takes a lot of money.

    It takes a lot of energy, time… Not to mention how much more traffic you need to net any income.

    If you’re going to spend all that effort, imagine what you can accomplish when it’s something you REALLY feel good about putting out there, that people can admire?

    I always feel a little sorry for anyone who thinks splogging sounds “easy.” Being spammy must still be work — what a lousy, emotionally unfulfilling source of income, right?

  15. I have talked to a few people who run 100s of splogs and from what I understand they aren’t paying off nearly as well as they used to. The Search Engines have done a good job of keeping them from making too much money. They still manage to make some money from them, but it’s barely worth their time anymore.

    That is what the book “The Death Of Adsense” was all about. Made for adsense splogs were no longer that profitable, so they moved on to the next big thing “click flipping”. I would prefer to make a great/valuable site that rakes in money and not depend on the “latest” tricks to make money online.

  16. I have talked to a few people who run 100s of splogs and from what I understand they aren’t paying off nearly as well as they used to. The Search Engines have done a good job of keeping them from making too much money. They still manage to make some money from them, but it’s barely worth their time anymore.

    That is what the book “The Death Of Adsense” was all about. Made for adsense splogs were no longer that profitable, so they moved on to the next big thing “click flipping”. I would prefer to make a great/valuable site that rakes in money and not depend on the “latest” tricks to make money online.

  17. I have noticed with alot of the “internet gurus” they seem to always have the easy, no work way to make money.
    If it was so easy and worked so well why are they trying to sell you the methods? Why not just do it and clean up?

    Maybe I bit off more than I can chew but I would rather struggle with my current blog and my two new ones itsaboutboxing.com and womenat100.com than create junk blogs. At least they are mine…:-)

    Besides I hate spam anything!

  18. I have noticed with alot of the “internet gurus” they seem to always have the easy, no work way to make money.
    If it was so easy and worked so well why are they trying to sell you the methods? Why not just do it and clean up?

    Maybe I bit off more than I can chew but I would rather struggle with my current blog and my two new ones itsaboutboxing.com and womenat100.com than create junk blogs. At least they are mine…:-)

    Besides I hate spam anything!

  19. Your appeal to the better nature of people who don’t have one will probably fall on deaf ears. Most of those who oppose such behavior don’t do it in the first place. A few fall into the rationalization that it is meant to drive up ratings, traffic or income and is therefore justifiable – you would not deny me a means to feed my family would you? This is of course a logic used by bank robbery, pickpockets and shoplifters.

    I have not commented in a while – I just wanted you to know I still read your blog every day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Your appeal to the better nature of people who don’t have one will probably fall on deaf ears. Most of those who oppose such behavior don’t do it in the first place. A few fall into the rationalization that it is meant to drive up ratings, traffic or income and is therefore justifiable – you would not deny me a means to feed my family would you? This is of course a logic used by bank robbery, pickpockets and shoplifters.

    I have not commented in a while – I just wanted you to know I still read your blog every day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. This is something that squarely hits right between the eyes of the whole means vs. ends debate. People often say “by whatever means necessary.” Really? In that case, you should rob a bank, since, as Jesse James once (I think) said, “that’s where the money is.”

    Blogging is about means, not ends. The ends do not justify the means. It is the means which justify the ends.

    At least, that’s how I see it.

  22. This is something that squarely hits right between the eyes of the whole means vs. ends debate. People often say “by whatever means necessary.” Really? In that case, you should rob a bank, since, as Jesse James once (I think) said, “that’s where the money is.”

    Blogging is about means, not ends. The ends do not justify the means. It is the means which justify the ends.

    At least, that’s how I see it.

  23. I was about to buy a software which was cloaking a site’s pages: readers would see the normal content, while bots would see some datafeeds from affiliate programs. I don’t remember the name, but it was so nicely presented that I almost bought into it. Luckily I thought the method was quite fishy, so I did a bit of research. Too bad that such scams are sometimes so well packed that newbies who want to learn buy before thinking twice. This became my problem when I started blogging: who of all “guru’s” is credible and who’s not? One year later, I’m still not sure about some of them.

  24. I was about to buy a software which was cloaking a site’s pages: readers would see the normal content, while bots would see some datafeeds from affiliate programs. I don’t remember the name, but it was so nicely presented that I almost bought into it. Luckily I thought the method was quite fishy, so I did a bit of research. Too bad that such scams are sometimes so well packed that newbies who want to learn buy before thinking twice. This became my problem when I started blogging: who of all “guru’s” is credible and who’s not? One year later, I’m still not sure about some of them.

  25. What a waste of life for that guy… You’re really doing a helpful service for the world, splog man.

  26. What a waste of life for that guy… You’re really doing a helpful service for the world, splog man.

  27. Augh.. this stuff drives me crazy!

  28. Augh.. this stuff drives me crazy!

  29. @Dave – Some searches are full of them ๐Ÿ™

    @ReviewSaurus – If it was that easy the guy wouldn’t need to sell the technique ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Robert – Fog of splog, like it!

    @Vyoma – Yeah it is the evil intention and combination of tools rather than the individual pieces of software

    @Joost – Exactly, it’s yet another form of “instant riches in your PJs”

    @mark – Yeah I get scraped a bit but I guess there will always be people who want an easy ride off others hard work ๐Ÿ™

    @Slade – Agreed, I don’t think I could live with myself even if it was (by some twisted miracle) profitable

    @George – Yeah, in fact my approach is all about creating enough value that you don’t depend on tricks or Google for anything, not traffic, not income. GIGO. You get out what you put in.

    @Steve – It’s interesting how the *real* experts, people like Seth Godin, Sean D’Souza, etc, provide information you can use and verify, and never say it is easy … I think that is the real test.

    @Roger – Thanks and I guess you are right. The particular lady contacted me because her BS detector was red-lining, most people wouldn’t bother checking I guess.

    @Michael – That makes sense but for me it is simply about creating something worthwhile. It was part of the reason I set out to work for myself, I wanted to choose what I worked on, stuff that would lift my spirits and help people. Rewards came as a side effect and for me that is the best way ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Simonne – Cloaking does have ethical uses, unfortunately the unethical ones are those you hear about and get promoted. As mentioned above, some of the gurus are good guys but it is sometimes hard to detect the good from the bad. The best ones demonstrate their expertise openly (ie. no “hidden black art secret tricks”) and don’t peddle make millions in your underpants stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Jason – I really believe what you put out you get back so these guys will get their “rewards” soon enough ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @sara – Me too but I guess we have to focus on the nice and good things otherwise it would just get us down ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. @Dave – Some searches are full of them ๐Ÿ™

    @ReviewSaurus – If it was that easy the guy wouldn’t need to sell the technique ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Robert – Fog of splog, like it!

    @Vyoma – Yeah it is the evil intention and combination of tools rather than the individual pieces of software

    @Joost – Exactly, it’s yet another form of “instant riches in your PJs”

    @mark – Yeah I get scraped a bit but I guess there will always be people who want an easy ride off others hard work ๐Ÿ™

    @Slade – Agreed, I don’t think I could live with myself even if it was (by some twisted miracle) profitable

    @George – Yeah, in fact my approach is all about creating enough value that you don’t depend on tricks or Google for anything, not traffic, not income. GIGO. You get out what you put in.

    @Steve – It’s interesting how the *real* experts, people like Seth Godin, Sean D’Souza, etc, provide information you can use and verify, and never say it is easy … I think that is the real test.

    @Roger – Thanks and I guess you are right. The particular lady contacted me because her BS detector was red-lining, most people wouldn’t bother checking I guess.

    @Michael – That makes sense but for me it is simply about creating something worthwhile. It was part of the reason I set out to work for myself, I wanted to choose what I worked on, stuff that would lift my spirits and help people. Rewards came as a side effect and for me that is the best way ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Simonne – Cloaking does have ethical uses, unfortunately the unethical ones are those you hear about and get promoted. As mentioned above, some of the gurus are good guys but it is sometimes hard to detect the good from the bad. The best ones demonstrate their expertise openly (ie. no “hidden black art secret tricks”) and don’t peddle make millions in your underpants stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Jason – I really believe what you put out you get back so these guys will get their “rewards” soon enough ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @sara – Me too but I guess we have to focus on the nice and good things otherwise it would just get us down ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. The newest version of this is trackback spam. A good frind of mine is a splogger, he makes an ourageous sum doing this. He has been trying to convince me to do it , even willing to give me the software. Needless to say I politely declined the invite.
    They just have a different mentality altogethor. I do it to crete value and entertainment they do it to game the system and arenot for value. I think at last count he doesnt even know anymore he has like 10,00 blogs (might be an exaggerration, but im sure it isnt of the mark to far) making like a buck a day each on adsense.
    Its BS really the whole notion of auto pilot profits “click and spam your way to fame and fortune”
    Not my bag of crisps to be sure. Over the weekend he was showing me how he does it using trackback spamming.
    I suppose I wouldnt mind having my contenet scraped if the spammers would at least include a resource box with a link back.
    Hell might as well get something out of it if theyre going to scrape and use my trackbacks as their splogger food

  32. Man, 10k splogs from one spammer is just depressing. The good news is Google is getting better and better at nuking them, both in the search (their air supply) AND in adsense (their food).

  33. The newest version of this is trackback spam. A good frind of mine is a splogger, he makes an ourageous sum doing this. He has been trying to convince me to do it , even willing to give me the software. Needless to say I politely declined the invite.
    They just have a different mentality altogethor. I do it to crete value and entertainment they do it to game the system and arenot for value. I think at last count he doesnt even know anymore he has like 10,00 blogs (might be an exaggerration, but im sure it isnt of the mark to far) making like a buck a day each on adsense.
    Its BS really the whole notion of auto pilot profits “click and spam your way to fame and fortune”
    Not my bag of crisps to be sure. Over the weekend he was showing me how he does it using trackback spamming.
    I suppose I wouldnt mind having my contenet scraped if the spammers would at least include a resource box with a link back.
    Hell might as well get something out of it if theyre going to scrape and use my trackbacks as their splogger food

  34. Man, 10k splogs from one spammer is just depressing. The good news is Google is getting better and better at nuking them, both in the search (their air supply) AND in adsense (their food).

  35. I get at least half a dozen spam trackbacks a day. Yet I’ve never seen a legit trackback that I can recall when I have been linked to from a legit blog. I can’t help but wonder if my blog script is somehow broken in a way that only allows the junk trackbacks to be acceptedรขโ‚ฌยฆ

    I have things configured so that all trackbacks have to be manually approved before they show up on the page, so the spammers are getting no Google juice from me. That doesn’t stop them from trying, though, and having to periodically go through the admin panel and delete all the junk trackbacks is no fun.

  36. I get at least half a dozen spam trackbacks a day. Yet I’ve never seen a legit trackback that I can recall when I have been linked to from a legit blog. I can’t help but wonder if my blog script is somehow broken in a way that only allows the junk trackbacks to be acceptedรขโ‚ฌยฆ

    I have things configured so that all trackbacks have to be manually approved before they show up on the page, so the spammers are getting no Google juice from me. That doesn’t stop them from trying, though, and having to periodically go through the admin panel and delete all the junk trackbacks is no fun.