It won’t surprise any long time WordPress.com bloggers to see what’s not allowed on the WordPress.com platform is likewise not allowed on Blogger, but I thought new WordPress.com bloggers would benefit from gaining some insight into Terms of Service Violations.
In January 2008, Blogger started to act on removing the massive numbers of splogs and spam blogs on blogspot sub-domains. Among them were splogs automatically filled with stolen content sucked up through RSS feeds and posted as duplicate content. Blogger Staff also began to focus on blogspot blogs being used for other illegal purposes such as hacking instructions, porn distribution, and spam distribution. All of these were in violation of Blogger Terms of Service and the efforts of Staff led to closing a significant number of splogs and banning those who were in violation of the Terms of Service.
The work of removing blogs for ToS violations from any blogging platform is ongoing, so it’s not surprising that in 2011 we can still hear those who were in contravention complain the they were given no warning prior to their blogs being deleted. After a blogger complained to me about not being able to appeal the closure of his blogspot blog I did lots of reading on the Blogger help site.
I located an excellent thread that lays out some facts worth examining and have posted excerpts from it below. It wasn’t the only thread I located and the best were all answered or posted by nitecruzr.
“If your blog has been falsely classified as a spam (hacking, porn) host, we apologise. Nobody gains, with genuine, non spam Blogger blogs being deleted or locked falsely. Given the fact that automated spam detection is not yet a perfect science, Blogger Support is always willing to investigate any reports of false positive spam reviews, politely posted here in the forum.”
That being said, before you request an appeal, it’s worth describing a few examples of what Blogger regularly removes, as part of its zero tolerance policy to abusive / inappropriate content:
– Affiliate marketing.
– Content created with scripts and programs, rather than by hand.
– Content or links referencing referral-based activities such as GPT, MMH (“Make Money from Home”), MMF (“Make Money Fast”), MLM (“Multi-Level Marketing”), PTC, or PTS.
– Content scraped from other blogs / websites.
– Copyright Infringement.
– Large blogs with multiple, unfocused / unrelated subjects.
– Links to Illegal Downloads / Streaming / Torrents. *
* If you are looking for an excellent blogspot blog on ethical practices and the ins and outs of Blogger blogging, I’m recommending nitecruzr’s
Blogger and WordPress.com: The Differences
On one hand, WordPress.com has been displaying advertising on our blogs since 2006. As the ads do not display to us when we are signed and as many bloggers use browsers with Ad Blockers you may not have seen them. The ToS section 9 that you agree to in order to get a free hosted WordPress.com blog states this, the features page states this, and so does the advertising entry in the support documentation. The bottom line is that if you do not wish to have advertising displaying on your blog you will have to purchase an annually renewable No-Ads upgrade.
On the other hand, no blogger initiated advertising, retailing or reselling the work created or services provided by anyone other than yourself is allowed on free hosted WordPress.com blogs. E-commerce transactions via shopping carts and the like cannot be conducted on free blogs from and being free hosted by WordPress.com. So if your plan is to use a free hosted WordPress.com blog to promote affiliate links, get rich quick programs, banner ads, and/or o house solely or mostly of duplicate or automatically generated material, or is part of a search engine marketing campaign, then WordPress.com is not the place for you.
The advertising exceptions noted in support documentation are for high traffic blogs that qualify for and are accepted into the Ad Control program, and for extremely high traffic blogs that qualify and are accepted into the paid VIP hosting program. The exceptions noted in support documentation with regard to affiliate links are found in Types of Blogs.
To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category.
As well as reading the Terms of Service every WordPress.com blogger ought to read this important section in the support documentation. If your blog been deactivated then you will have a warning notice on your dashboard with a link in it. Please click the link in the notice so the ToS department receives your request for a review.