Asbestos blogger was doing a bot's job

Early this year, an entrepreneur created a stir by unveiling a blog designed to attract Google ads. Spammers have figured out how to do it more efficiently.
Stephen Baker

Remember Michael Buffington? He was the entrepreneur who created an asbestos blog last winter with hopes of mining a rich vein of Google Adsense ads. He abandoned it after a month because he found that maintaining an up-do-date site on asbestos was loads of work--too much to justify the revenue.

Now, it turns out, the spammers are taking his idea and outsourcing it to automated programs. Consider this home equity spam blog. It's created by a machine, and as you can see, it has lots of Adsense ads. Sure, maybe it gets less hits than Buffington's asbestos blog. But when you have hundreds or thousands of these spam blogs, and machines are running them, the economics are far different.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.