E-week reports that bloggers and search-engine marketers are accusing the open-source WordPress project of spamming the major search engines. Although WordPress has been recently active in the blogging industry's effort to combat comment spam, WordPress has fallen prey to spammers. Thousands of articles about popular search terms such as "asbestos," "mortgages" and "debt consolidation" appear on sections of the WordPress.org site while being hidden from visitors to the site's home page. The inclusion of these so-called stories, although an odd thing for a software provider, would not necessarily be spam. But hiding them from view, now that falls within the spam criteria of search engines.
The intent of the articles is to gain traffic for Google AdSense advertisements carried on the content pages for a third party. The use of specious content combined with ads is a tactic often used by spammers. This ilooks like a two-cushion shot -- WordPress is a vehicle for a spammer and has tarnished itself.
Egregious though this is, it points out the problem with popular open source tools. They sag under the weight of their own success. The costs of sustaining the infrastructure needed to manage their popularlity forces them to look for funding. A spammer's dollars spend just as well as a donation from a user. If WordPress is to survive without a diet of "canned meat" (Spam). a more stable, better source of funding will need to be found.