Today I noticed that one of my posts had been syndicated by Blog-O-City. It appears to be a network of sites featuring blog posts related to a specific city–everywhere from Etobicoke to Shanghai. Here’s what I’ve been able to conclude about these sites:
- There are apparently no human filters. The results seem to come automagically out of Google’s blog search.
- The sites feature excerpts from blog posts, with no added information.
- Each excerpt has its own permalinked page.
- The sites are plastered with Google ads.
- All outgoing links are include the rel=”nofollow” parameter, meaning nobody gets search engine benefits from being linked to.
- The fairly cool design is a free template created by this guy (who has a frickin’ awesome looking site).
- I can’t easily identify or contact whoever created the sites.
In short, Blog-O-City.com seems to be hosting reams of excerpted content from other sites for no purpose other than to wrap ads around it. I wanted to contact them to ask about their rel=”nofollow” policy, and to have a chat about the ethics of what they’re doing, but I couldn’t find an email address.
What do you think? Is this a legitimate re-use of content, or just an automated cash grab? It’s the latter if you ask me. After all, they clearly aren’t trying to send people to the websites they aggregate. Their first priority is to pass people on to advertisers.