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One in Five Blogs Is Spam

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NEW YORK While 80,000 blogs may be created every day, about one in five is spam, according to new research.

Umbria Communications, a Boulder, Colo.-based consumer-generated media monitor, found that 2.7 million out of 20.3 million blogs are spam, or splogs as they are sometimes known. It estimates between 10 and 20 percent of blogs are spam.

Spam blogs are sites created only for marketing purposes, often using stolen content via RSS feeds to trigger keyword-based ads from Google's AdSense and other contextual ad programs.

Splogs "could become a detractor to people using, enjoying and finding value in the blogosphere," said Howard Kaushansky, CEO of Umbria.

Umbria examined results in October from three blog search engines—Technorati, IceRocket and BlogPulse—and found them rife with spam sites. On average, 44 of the top 100 results on the engines were spam. For instance, an Apple iPod search turned up splogs in 80 of the top 100 results on IceRocket, and 75 and 71 on BlogPulse and Technorati, respectively.

Research found the splog problem is getting worse. Kaushansky said while many splogs are usually created to boost search engine rankings for sites, they are more frequently created to make money from text ads or affiliate programs. The main culprit often fingered is Google, which has fed the splog problem through its Blogger tool, then made it profitable through AdSense.

Blogger's open API made it easier for computer programs to create splogs, Kaushansky said.

"We noticed a very strong correlation between the date Blogger opened [its application program interface] and when we saw spam starting to explode," he said.