Wordpress.org Being Used to Spam Google

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Over at Waxy.org, there is a story about how the WordPress web site has been used to spam Google. Basically, they are hosting a few thousand articles on topics related to valuable search keywords on behalf of another company. WP gets a flat fee, the company gets ad revenue from Google ads on the articles, and the articles get the benefit of WordPress.org’s high page rank by putting links to the articles on the home page in such a way that only search engines (and screen readers) can see them.

Besides being a violation of Google’s TOS, it’s just unethical. I have no problem with Matt or any of the rest of the WP folks being compensated for all the time and money they have put into this project, but there are legitimate ways to do that. Gaming the system with hidden links and taking advantage of all the folks who link to you because they are proud of your product isn’t one of them.

Reading the article, I have no doubt that Matt will listen to the complaints and stop this practice as soon as he can. Until he does, however, I have removed my front page link to WordPress. I won’t be a party to spamming.

Update: Matt has responded to this issue by apologizing and removing the articles. Hats off to him for doing the right thing and dealing with this so quickly. The WP link is back.