So I got my first pingback today, and although I was being cautious, I’ll admit I was a bit excited about it. Someone noticed me!! And without me having to insist to one of my friends that there is something of value on my site that they just have to check out! (Hi, Paul!)
I considered the domain name for a few moments… thegeekyblog.com, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? (Of course, if this story had a happy ending, I would have linked to them there… OH, PLEASE don’t go to their site! They may end up profiting from your curiosity! I, personally, didn’t see any ads, but I’ve got my firewall on fairly high settings.) I thought perhaps this was just a fellow geeky blogger who thought I had something interesting to say. Further piquing my interest was that it was the “timemanagement” subdomain that pinged me. So I went to visit the site.
The article that pinged me had only two lines of text: one said, “Read the rest of this great post here” (and of course, flattery will get you everywhere), and the other happened to be a phrase very familiar to me, and so I thought that maybe this person had liked more than one of my articles and was making an offhand (underhanded?) reference to another one. Still, I had no alarm bells going off in my head. (What is that they say about hindsight again?)
I clicked around the site some more, and was a little puzzled that their articles didn’t all seem to be very focused on time management. Curious, I went to the ‘About’ page. It was the default WordPress wording! I went ahead and emailed firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know that he really should have thought of changing the default About page before adding over 13000 blog entries… all Uncategorized… all seeming to merely quote and link to a bunch of different sites… and by this point, yes, something was starting to smell suspicious.
Hindsight, I say, HINDSIGHT!!!
Somehow, I thought to look at the bottom of the page, and I found a “disclaimer” link, to a page saying:
Please note, all content posted on this blog remains the property of its writer/s.
We did not and will not write any original content, all the content displayed has been pulled from public RSS feeds and is there to mearly spread my fellow bloggers work and provide a PageRank giving link back to the work.
If you object to me using any of the above methods to further the excellent information these, and many other bloggers create, please feel free to email me with your reasoning – email@example.com
We are not here to steal content, this is mearly a social experiment.
Thanks for your time.
The Geek Blog Army
Are those bells of warning, I hear, or some kind of chorus of wonderment?! Could there possibly be people out there whose sole purpose is to help their fellow bloggers get some link love? Having never received link love, I couldn’t be sure, and I really wanted to believe that this was a Good Thing. People are mostly good, aren’t they?! (Or is it, most people are mostly good? Hmm….)
So I marked the trackback as “not spam”. And I (am so glad that I) proceeded to search for more news about this so-called “geekyblog”… and I found that someone else had taken issue with their disclaimer. Gaaack! Warm fuzzy feeling fading…
Long story short (or perhaps just because I see that I’ve spent over 500 words on the subject without getting to the point) I got victimized by link spam. Or something — the terminology is still vague in my head, but I’m pretty sure that splog and sping don’t apply here … maybe “spingback“? (Aww, I’m not the first to use the term!) Maybe I was just scraped. Ouch!
Anyways… I suppose I will chalk this one up as experience. I’ve ‘unapproved’ the comment, to be sure, and I figure I most likely won’t hear back from the admin at the site — unless he turns around and tries to sell it to me or something. Seriously, my diligent Googling actually helped me find out that the guy is trying to sell his blogfarm! And he had to cut the price because Google AdSense has cut him off. Ha, ha, haaahhhhh~!
Honestly, though, it sickens me that there is so much effort put forth to try and obtain money without having to earn it by providing something of value. At least it seems there’s checks and balances against these efforts!
As an example of the checks and balances, I had also found a discussion from someone concerned about the many scraped copies of one of his articles. In fact, there were so many, his actual original article was not even in the top ten Google search results. UGH! Thankfully, when I just did a quick search, I saw that his original article has since restored its rightful position at the top of the search results. What a relief!
Anyways, I just think it’s unfortunate that there is such a need to fight against these sorts of things. I intend to do what I can to join the battle, but I’ll probably stick mostly to being a cheerleader. Goooo, good guys!! :)