Make your own link spam

30 November 2007

Copying and pasting somebody else’s HTML into your blog may not be the best idea.

Case in point: earlier today I followed a link from Dan Cohen to the new Digital Scholarship in the Humanities blog. I’m always glad to read of new exploration in the field. At the bottom of a recent post the author displayed the following badge suggesting the reading level of her blog:

Readablity badge

This is an attractive gimmick from a site called Critcs Rant. On their Blog Readability Test page you can enter any site’s URL to have it evaluated. I jumped on this myself, testing my own blog and several others. I don’t know that the results meant much, but it was briefly amusing.

The good news: you can easily and quickly rate your site and paste the pretty badge on your blog. HTML code is provided for copy-and-paste convenience.

The bad news: in addition to linking the badge back to the Blog Readability Test page, the supplied copy and paste code contains a text link to a site called Do you really want sleazy advertising on your blog? Our digital humanist cleverly removed that link from the HTML before she posted the badge. Would you have noticed it?

The tip-off: there is no information provided either at the Critics Rant or Readability Test websites about the method used to determine readability or who’s behind the sites. Hardly scientific. Or inspiring of trust.

Looks like a clever way for someone to make money on the web at our expense. I’d avoid these folks.


Added 12/6: behind AotW scoops the (Manchester) Guardian :)

2 Responses to “Make your own link spam”

  1. Lisa Spiro says:

    Yikes! Thanks for the alert. I was trying to add a dash of humor to my post, but I messed up. I’ve removed the image…

  2. Brian says:

    Hi Lisa – no criticism of you intended, I don’t think you messed anything up. This post is more a shout to the two bloggers that read me to keep a sharp eye out if they should be tempted by shiny, sparkly things.

    The humor part worked fine!

    I’m enjoying your blog and look forward to more. Best luck.

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