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Friday, February 19, 2016

Blogger, And Home / Small Business Blog Clusters

One topic of frustration, occasionally seen in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, involves home based business blogs, that may be victims of their own success.
We are not spam - we are a network of blog owners, in select cities all over the country. I am tired of hearing the apologies, this needs to be resolved.
The blog owner is being quite polite, but insistent.

Blog clusters, whether developed by home / small business owners, or malicious spammers, create problems for all Blogger blog owners. Home / small business blogs are clearly not intentional spam - but their structure makes them easy to mistake for spam blog farms.

Blogger values the creation of blogs with original content. Replicating original content across multiple blogs however, violates the Blogger Spam policy.

Blogger Content: Spam provides a good definition of the Blogger Spam policy.
Spam: Spam takes several forms in Blogger, all of which can result in deletion of your account or blog. Some examples include creating blogs designed to drive traffic to your site or to move it up in search listings, posting comments on other people's blogs just to promote your site or product, and scraping existing content from other sources for the primary purpose of generating revenue or other personal gains.

The most recently observed home / small business blog cluster, which generated traffic in the Spam Review section of the forum, was a USA based coupon sharing club, that had expanded into other areas - such as dining, entertainment and local events.
We are MORE than a coupon group. Our network works with Disney, Nickelodeon, local restaurants, reviews and products and events locally.

Other blog clusters have involved an Australian blog franchise of electronic / tech products and services - and a California / Florida carpet / home cleaning business.

Home / small business blogs can be mistaken for spam blogs.

Each of these three examples appear to have started as home / small businesses, possibly with one blog - and grew exponentially, as franchises. And each of the examples present problems, with automated spam classification.

  • Aggregation of blogs produces unfair advantage, over other small businesses using Blogger.
  • Aggregation of blogs skews spam classification, by tweaking the heuristic spam filters.
  • Aggregation of blogs makes detection of actual spam blog farms more difficult.

These three concerns produce side effects, in the Blogger spam mitigation program - and lead to periodic spurious spam classification of home / small business blog clusters.

As the size of the clusters increase, so does the chance of repeated classification.

  • Blogger policy prevents whitelisting the blogs in the cluster.
  • The more blogs in the cluster, the greater chance that one or more blogs will be classified, at any given time.
  • The more blogs in the cluster, the longer it will take to review a blog, when classified.

Understand your role, in the spam classification / review process.

If you operate a home / small business, which involves blogs clustered on a geographic and / or product - service relationship - and your business is impeded by spurious spam classification, we'll work with you, and try to get your blogs reviewed.

Please, understand that your home / small business may be pushing the limits of the Blogger spam mitigation program. Try to minimise content which replicates through multiple blogs in the cluster - and content which is scraped from various commercial websites.



Some owners / operators of home / small businesses, which use #Blogger as a backbone for their business, produce clusters of blogs, organised on a geographic / product / service basis. Rapid growth of the businesses may lead to blogs which share content too heavily - and may lead to repeated spurious spam classification.

Owners of the blogs should learn to expect occasional spam classification, and try to minimise blog features which lead to spam classification.



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