This morning’s email inbox contained a scary message from Google saying one of my blogs has been identified as a potential spam blog. In it’s fight against unscrupulous search engine optimisers doing link spamming, Google’s automated classifier had flagged it is spam, and invited me to logon to provide an explanation and submit a review request.
I was thinking “Surely this is a phishing request for my Google account details.” I don’t write spam, or at least I try not to!
After a moments reflection I realised the Google email was genuine, and it really was a spam blog that Google had found. Less than 12 hours ago I had demonstrated how easy it is to create a blog by setting up a dummy “Worcester Internet Fun” blog, and included a single jokey posting with a keyword rich anchor link to my Hallam Internet marketing website.
It was a light hearted way to demonstrate how easy it is to blog, but it contained all the link spamming signals:
- nonsensical text in the body copy
- hosted on an open platform like blogspot
- with links to irrelevant websites
Note to self: delete all blogs created as part of the teaching process
On the one hand, Google’s rapid response is excellent news:
- Blogger addressed the issue quickly, with the spam site disabled within 12 hours
- In the event the blog isn’t a spam blog, then the Blogger human team undertakes to review the site within 2 business days
- The email from Google is clear and helpful
However, Google has had some trouble in the last few months when it inadvertently locked down innocent blogs due to a glitch in the spam processing algorithm.
I’ve written elsewhere about fake blogs, so let this be another salutory lesson to optimisers thinking links from blogs is the silver bullet to the top of the search engine results.