2homeinfo dot com is a (quite pretty) fascia for a giant splog ring. Its posts, however pretty, link off to other sites, such as modularhomeweb dot com, (surprise surprise, it’s the same site, just copied over…), except this site has stories whose “original posts” are all on usedmobilehomes dot wordpress dot com.
And this is where the poop hits the fan, so to speak. On this site, each post ends with two SPAM URLs, each to its own SPLOG, along with links back to 2homeinfo and other copies of 2homeinfo (to keep Google Pagerank up).
From here, the spam circle grows exponentially, where each splog links to 2 other splogs per post.
This SPLOG ring starts out with nicely laid out, handcrafted sites, and ends in bot-created trashy, ugly-looking splogs.
I’ve hand-reported a bunch of third-level Blogspot SPLOGS (that get linked to from usedmobilehomes dot wordpress) to Blogger Support. I’m going to let a spider run through this ring and see how big it is.
(Keep in mind that the bot that creates spam rings like this will throw in legit websites every now and then in a spammed link, to either throw you off the trail, or because that’s a site they want to boost PageRank on)
usedmobilehomes dot wordpress seems to be a news aggregator that pulls articles from other sources and adds its own links to them, along with its own two links at the bottom of each article.
Short story: 2homeinfo -> modularhomeweb -> usedmobilehomes dot wordpress -> Hundreds of different splogs
Update: I received an email from WordPress support regarding usedmobilehomes dot wordpress:
Thanks for the note.
I searched on blog owner, IP address and links from the blog. Caught around a dozen others though none – it seems – directly related to that blog.
But the blog is bookmarked so we keep an eye on what may come from the same place.
So it seems that spammers aren’t just one-trick dogs.
This type of SPLOG targets WordPress-MU-based free blog hosts such as siggie.net.
This SPLOG posts blocks of text that may be copied from other sources, and/or mixed together to create a regular-looking block of text, generally with entire coherent sentences but not coherent paragraphs. Random groups of words are linked to the target sites, which are either:
- other iterations of this type of SPLOG, running on WordPress MU and a free blog host (To let Googlebot search a huge network of SPLOGs, thinking they are legitimate sources, ie. Search Engine Optimization sites, as in the example photo)
- ‘target’ sites (sites the spammers want to end up with a great Google PageRank score, hence showing highly on google for relevant searches)
The page in this particular example seemed to be all ‘target’ links, linking to various user profile pages on various websites.
This type of SPLOG (or Spam Blog) is essentially an amazon.com category listing created by a spider. It copies images and descriptions straight from the corresponding Amazon.com page, and posts it to the SPLOG, complete with affiliate link.
This particular iteration creates a blogspot account and creates the maximum number of blogs (5), with names appropriate to what they are ‘selling’ (ie. Grinder Accessories, Collectibles, Nancy Drew books, etc.), with a URL that is slightly mangled (ie. grrinderaccessories.blog…, co-llectibles.blog…, etc.)
If and when you click the links to the items they are peddling, and actually purchase something from Amazon.com, the spammers make money.
Although this is a decent way to make income, keep in mind that the websites mentioned add nothing of value over what you get directly from amazon.com. There are no ‘personal reviews’, no added human commentary to recommend one over another, etc. Please don’t feed the spammers.