Parasitic Blogging: What Do You Think of It?
Now before I start this entry, I just wanted to say that I'm not picking on any one person in particular. I picked the example that I did because this person is a high-profile blogger. I guess I was a bit surprised that they run some of their blogs the way that they do. To me, it's not really "blogging." Let me explain.
Darren Rowse runs a number of blogs, including Pro Blogger. This blog is a must read for anyone who tries to make money from their blog, and I highly recommend it. There is a great deal of unique content generated by Mr. Rowse that I have found to be very valuable.
However, Darren Rowse runs a number of other blogs, including:
Digital Camera Reviews
Camera Phone Reviews
I must admit, I have a bit of a problem with how these blogs are run.
Take this post for example: Nokia 76 Review
Basically, he's copying and pasting a paragraph fragment from a review on another site. He includes two links to the real article, one at the top of the article, and one at the bottom.
My problem is that this little "snippet" exists solely to snag random traffic from the search engines. If the real review comes up #1 in Google for "Nokia 76 Review" and Darren's "review" comes #2, then Darren is going to get quite a bit of traffic to his blog. Which is fine, however his site is so ridiculously monetized that it's pretty clear that he's looking to send thie traffic out to his advertisers as soon as possible. Let's look at a typical subpage for his Camera Phone site. A typical subpage has:
Google Adsense Text Ads at the top of the page
Adsense Leaderboard Ad above the article
Shoplinc Ad to the right of the article
Amazon.com Banner to the right of the article
Text Link Ad to Shoplinc to the right of the article
Chitika Ad just above the Article
Google Adsense Ad blended into the Article
Another Chitika Ad Below the Article
Related Products Ad Under the Article
Another Google Adsense ad
Yet Another Chitika Ad
By my count, that's 11 ads on one small page (don't forget, there is only a paragraph of actual content, and it's not unique.)
Now some people would say, what's the problem, he's linking twice to the real article. He's sending them traffic! The problem is that the intention isn't to direct traffic to other sites; the intention is to piggy-back off of someone else's content, and get visitors to click on an ad, rather than visit the real article. If the intention was truly to direct traffic to the real review, there would be way less advertising on the site.
My problem is that I have had problems with parasitic bloggers before. If you ask me, it's a bit unfair to spend an hour or two or more writing an article, and then have someone else include a snippet and a link to my article on a page FULL of ads. I know what they are doing. Technically speaking, there is nothing wrong with that they are doing, but it's still kind of shady if you ask me. With so many garbage pages out there on the Internet right now, it would be nice if there was a focus on creating new, useful and unique pieces of content, rather than just copying and pasting someone else's article and hijacking some of their advertising dollars.
I don't think that it's the most ethical thing in the world. What do you think?
Filed under: Making Money Online | General Knowledge