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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Tinned Meat from WordPress

Somehow it was only earlier today that I read about Waxy.org catching the WordPress site spamming search engines. Basically they took advantage of their high Google PageRank (boosted by links from default WordPress installations) to do a deal to host thousands of search engine bait pages which included adverts. Links to these pages were hidden using CSS.

What’s amazed me is how understanding people have been (including Google). Search engine spam is a big problem, and someone who’s created blogging software will be especially aware of this (comment spam has crippled countless sites). He must have known what he was doing was rather dodgy, yet most comments (including those in response to Matt Mullenweg’s explanation) seem to be expressing wildly enthusiastic support, urging people to donate more, and portraying critics as malicious or ill-informed.

Yeah, in the end it’s no big deal, and I’m sure he’s a great bloke, but since when were bloggers OK with this kind of thing? And how many search engine spammers who haven’t written popular blogging systems get their blacklisted sites reinstated by Google within hours of removing the offending material?


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