15 July 2008

Twingly delivers spam-free blogs search results

With growing popularity of blogging, there is inevitable parallel growth of the spam blogs sometimes called splogs. These are artificially (and mostly automatically) created weblog sites, used to promote affiliated websites or to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites. The purpose of a splog can be to increase the PageRank or backlink portfolio of affiliate websites, to artificially inflate paid ad impressions from visitors, and/or use the blog as a link outlet to get new sites indexed. Spam blogs are usually a type of scraper site, where content is often either inauthentic text or merely stolen from other websites. These blogs usually contain a high number of links to sites associated with the splog creator which are often disreputable or otherwise useless websites.
All the responsible organizations like blogging platform providers or affiliate marketing companies are doing their best to weed out the splogs from the blogosphere, however, the sploggers, equipped with automatic software and modern techniques, are able to generate new splogs in stead of removed in no time. Unfortunately, readers are suffering from splogs as well. When you have to pass through several splogs, looking for information, before you get to the real blog, you waste your time, you loose your money, and the real blog ranking and visibility can be diminished as well because of the “splog competitors”.
This problem is addressed by Swedish company Twingly, promising to deliver spam-free search results. In June, it opened up its blog search engine to the public. At present, it offers two search options: regular search and spam-free search; the latter is still in beta testing. It now covers 30 million blogs, and results can be sorted by authority (number of incoming links) or most recent posts. A spam-free search option only brings back results from the hundreds of thousands of white-list blogs known to be real.
"The traditional way of building a spam-free index is to remove spam blogs as they are discovered, but we are starting from scratch, only adding spam-free blogs to the index," said Martin Källström, CEO at Twingly. The benefit is better results; the drawback is a longer development phase. Before ending the beta phase, Twingly wants the spam-free index to include several million blogs. "At that point the plan is to remove the regular search option," he said.
To keep spam out, Twingly uses its own algorithm. One thing its algorithm does when adding a new a blog to the index is look at other blogs it links to. Linking to other known spam-producing blogs is usually a bad thing. Combating spam has become a must for search companies, according to Källström. Since spam blogs are now considered to stand for the majority of the blog posts worldwide, traditional search engines are becoming useless.
Check Twingly search results: http://www.twingly.com/
Bloggers might consider ping Twingly to include their blogs in the trusted database.
To promote its search engine among bloggers, Twingly developed and distributes freely an attractive screensaver, visualizing the global blog activity in real time. Forget RSS readers where you see only what you’re interested in. With Twingly screensaver you get a 24/7 stream of all (viewer discretion advised) blog activity, straight to your screen.
Video presentation of the Twingy Screensaver:

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