Are Free Blogs More Likely Scraped?

It has been known for some time that many factors affect the amount of scraping your blog sees. For example, the more popular your blog gets, the more spam friendly your keywords and the more sites you ping out to, the more likely your site is to be scraped.

However, one factor that I had not actively considered, but has come up in recent conversations, was if the service you used could help draw more attention to your site.

Specifically at issue is if using a free blog host, such as WordPress.com, BlogSpot or LiveJournal could draw attention to spammers that specifically targeted those sites. I have seen a handful of spam blog networks that seem to target one blog host specifically, but these occurrences have been seemingly rare.

I would like to get feedback on this issue to see if it is something I should look into more deeply. I would love feedback from those who run both self-hosted and freely-hosted blogs and their experiences with scraping on both.

It would seem logical to me that they would be greater targets for scraping given that it is known freely hosted bloggers have fewer tools for stopping RSS abuse and lack the server control to block scrapers. However, freely hosted blogs would also seem to be less reliable considering there is no penalty for bloggers walking away.

If this seems to be a factor I’ll plan on looking into it more deeply and seeing which services are most at risk and what can be done about it.

I look forward to your thoughts.

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