A spam blog is a blog or website that exists for the sole purpose of receiving page visits and hits, usually through search engines. A spam blog is often referred to by the neologism "splog," which is a play on the words "spam" and "blog." Administrators who create spam blogs use a variety of tricks to achieve high search engine rankings and traffic.
Spam blogs often use blog scraping to increase the amount of relevant content visible to search engines. With blog scraping, the author copies an excerpt from another blog with or without a link back to the original post. The result is a blog post that appears relevant to a search engine and to a web user before he or she clicks on it, but the actual post contains little to no information. The term "splogging" refers to the act of creating a spam blog.
Keyword stuffing is another tactic of the spam blog. By inserting a number of keywords for a particular topic, the creator of a spam blog might be able to fool search engines into including the post as a relevant page, when in fact it does not contain the information indicated by the keywords. Most search engines have fine-tuned their algorithms to reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of keyword stuffing.
The creators of spam blogs might also engage in other tactics to increase their search engine rankings. One such tactic is comment spam, in which spam blog authors comment on other blogs and include a link back to their splog. Automated systems usually post these comments, and there are a number of anti-spam websites and blog add-ons designed to filter out comment spam.
Spam blogs are usually monetized through affiliate links, because most contextual ad services specifically prohibit placing ads on spam blogs or spam websites. The links might redirect a user to a specific product or service. An affiliate identification code in the link ensures that the spam blogger is credited and paid when the web user clicks on the link and orders a product or signs up for a service.
A spam blog is commonly hosted on one of several free blogging platforms, although a splogger might pay for a more professional-looking service as well. Some of the free blogging hosts will remove blogs that it deems as spam. Although hard statistics are unavailable, some analysts estimate that one out of every five blogs is a spam blog.