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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Unfortunately, I must briefly interrupt my happy musings and questions about gardening to provide a brief public service announcement...

I use Google Alerts to keep up with new websites, news sites, and blogs (which they recently added) with key words on things I am interested in, like gardens, gardening, May Dreams Gardens, stuff like that. The Google Alerts arrive once a day in my email. Two days ago I got a Google Alert with a link to a blog with a new post about "gardening symposium". (I set up an alert for that phrase long ago because I want to find out if there is ever a gardening related lecture, conference, symposium, etc. coming to my area...)

I looked at the alert, which shows a few sentences that contain the key words, and thought, hmmm... this sounds familiar, very familiar. So, I checked out the blog and saw that it was made up entirely of all kinds of my blog posts, with the side bar full of links that would take you to a bunch of spam type web sites. Yes, it was a spam blog, or splog. Spammers don't just send email any more!

The site had a link where you could "flag" it for moderation. I did that, and for the reason I wrote "copyrighted material - stolen content". I didn't even list my site's url. A few hours later I checked the link and now it just displays a message that the blog has been archived or suspended. So, I've taken care of that one. Are there more?

By the way, it was not a Blogger blog, it was a type of blog I had not heard of. Their main page lists recently updated blogs and the few I checked are all of this type, so I think the site, though it looks legitimate, is set up just to generate a bunch of spam blogs.

So, be alert. Use something like Google Alerts or at least periodically do some key word searches that generally lead to your blog. If you find your content and it is not your site, figure out how to report them and stop them!

It's like a neighborhood watch. It will take all the good people and then some to keep the bad people from ruining it all for the rest of us!

And, now, I must get back to happy thoughts about gardening and seed sowing and pruning.

7 comments:

Mary said...

Yikes, that's bad. Thanks for the warning...

Sissy said...

Good for you!
I have even seen private sites set up to spam you, they make money from each email addy left on the site.!

Jenn said...

Interesting news. Thanks.

Petunia's Gardener said...

Ohhh thanks for the warning. That and junk e-mails, paper mail and phone calls. What a waste!

Kathy said...

I think I've mentioned this before, but this page:
http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/what-do-you-do-when-someone-steals-your-content/
outlines the steps to take if someone is stealing your blog. Good for you, Carol, for being vigilant!

Apple said...

I've had my work stolen from various genealogy sites and I know how aggravating it is. Thanks for letting us know about google alerts. I'll have to check it out.

Carol said...

Another one of those *crappy* Splogs (spam blogs)showed up one one of my Google alerts, with some of my posts. I've gotten it shut down. Now I am looking for someplace to report the actual site that seems to generate these blogs. Thoughts on who to report them to?