One of the sites I write for regularly has a rather large visitor base, 5k daily uniques to the site and over 2k rss feed subscribers. We’ve always published a full article feed for the convenience of our readers but in the last year we have constantly battled splogs – spam blogs who exist only to aggregate others’ feeds for monetization purposes.
We’ve experimented with few different tactics, but lately have settled on “poisoning” the feed with blatant copyright information with links back to our site and requests to inform us if they find our feed on a non-approved site:
© 2006 thesiteinquestion.com. This RSS Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can take the appropriate legal action.
While it may be a minor inconvenience to our subscribers reading our feed in their own feed reader, it amounts to 2-3 lines of text following some white space at the end of each post and should be fairly unobtrusive.
Another tactic we’ve tried in the past is stuffing hidden links in our feed. Taking a page out of the link-spamming technique of including a hidded div and creating keyword rich links to domains that feed into affiliate programs. While this was highly successful in creating backlinks to sites (blackhat SEO Tip to think about), many of the web-based feed readers were running into display problems with the hidden div (namely bloglines.com). We’ve since discontinued the practice until we can perfect a way to avoid the display issues.
I hate splogs.