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.blogspot sites are being rewarded for hotlinking
munkiestyle




msg:4183829
 2:28 pm on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Has anyone else noticed that blogspot domains which hotlink numerous images are ranking very high for popular keywords?

However they're mainly showing up in the 3 or 4 preview images that sometimes get served up at the top when doing a websearch.

If you do an image search usually google returns the host website. But in websearch it's the hotlinkers that almost always win over the host website.

The only reason I would think google is doing this is because either:

a) Google seems to currently like new pages so they return the new blogspot page with the old, established image embedded.

or

b) Because google also likes pages which load fast, they're seeing these domains which use hotlinked images as somehow optimised for load speed by spreading the http requests across different servers.

Either way you end up on a spam website with a load of adsense stuffed in, no text or original content, and often they don't let you click back to the SERPs. Now that's a quality result for the user, well done G.

In Blogger's defense, when I've submitted spam reports for these types of blogs in my sector, most of them have disappeared within a day or so. Sadly a few of them have returned after a few days of being offlined.

 

tedster




msg:4183909
 6:53 pm on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's not just Blogger sites by a long shot - watch out if your images get hotlinked from a domain with adult content. Members here have been seeing the Google Images hotlinking problem grow and grow. For example, have a read through the Google Image Layout Change [webmasterworld.com] thread.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4183946
 9:51 pm on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm wondering if the algo changes have affected blogspot blogs inadvertantly. They are all individual blogs but they share the same root domain and might be benefiting from that. Some blogspot links seem more potent than they should be.

munkiestyle




msg:4183955
 10:03 pm on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, I've seen that it's not just blogspot sites benefitting. However many of the blogspot sites don't even have a single paragraph of text, yet they still get priority over the host site. Most other sites which hotlink images at least attempt to get some text content on their pages - even if it's just stolen.

I'd also been watching the Google image layout change thread you mention.

Of interest is the fact that blogger has taken down about 90 percent of the sites that I've sent them through their spam blog submission page. Often within 24 hours. It's very satisfying to see them go! Some of them I had been tracking for weeks (trying to find contact emails), and then I thought I'd see if blogger really did take spam seriously. Amazingly it seems they do. I highly recommend it! Sadly it obviously only works for blogspot spam sites.

Another factor I find very interesting is the fact that in the image SERPS they generally seem to return the host site, not always obviously, but it's far better than the preview images in web search for not serving up the hotlinker's site.

Seems odd. It's as if they can do it, but choose not to for the 3 or 4 preview images seen during some web searches.

Planet13




msg:4183956
 10:26 pm on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

By the way...

One site, that has a Hawaiian word for its domain name, was is sort of hot linking to my images. Instead of calling my image directly, they are calling it through google images - so in order to block them, I would have to block all of google images.

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