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A strange referrer showed up at the door this morning...

  1. Regarding entries on the dashboard widget "Referrers":

    Okay, I have just had my first weird referrer crop up, and the whole
    affair has me scratching my head and wondering how all this works.

    Traditionally my referrer traffic has been very lean to nonexistent and
    has come consistently from verifiable and reliable sources -- usually
    from wordpress support or comment links, and then I have one guy
    who followed me over from the news forums I sprang forth from, I can
    always tell when he's visited because I get a yahoo mail referrer entry
    in the widget. So in the end I may have 2 or 3 daily hits cataloged as
    referrers, or none at all. And when they have come in, the "value" as-
    signed to them over at the far right has invariably been "1" -- one hit
    per referrer, never more.

    But this morning when I looked over the Referrer widget, I found 1 hit
    each from three of the usual suspects, then EIGHT from a spammy-
    looking URL I'd never seen before. As I commenced to checking it
    out, red flags went up: it appears to be a valid blogsite, "Beautiful Na-
    ra" and powered by wordpress. But it's apparently located in Malay-
    sia and every bit of the contents is in Maylasian, or whatever they
    speak. It's apparently a thriving blog, as there's lots of posts and
    comments and such, but again, it's all in a foreign language.

    But there's also tons of ads. In fact, when I clicked on the referrer
    link, it opened up a full-page web-hosting ad, with an option to "skip
    to the blog". And in cruising around looking for any evidence of one
    of my own blog articles or any links to my site (none of which were
    ever found) I encountered 2 or 3 different varieties of URLs in the
    navigation bar. Finally, although it was dificult to arrive at an author-
    itative assessment, the general flavor I got was that the content of
    the blog bore no resemblance to my own content.

    So what gives? None of this seems logical to me, and I'm really
    wanting to know what this is all about and if it's bad for me and if
    so then how to make it go away. I mean, naturally I could use the
    hits, and international exposure sounds good too. But nothing about
    this adds up, and that's what's really bugging me. If it's some sort
    of a scam I'd like to try and nip it in the bud, if possible. Thanks...

    I am located here: http://thedirtylowdown.wordpress.com/

    although it appears they may be linking directly to this page:

    http://thedirtylowdown.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/the-quickest-most-convenient-way-to-cook-up-some-cancer/

    This is the referrer: (now I'm showing 12 hits from them) : Opens with:

    [spam referrer links removed]

    The blog I need help with is thedirtylowdown.wordpress.com.

  2. Hi AirOdyssey,

    Thank you for your response and this valuable information.
    But I think you may have missed the point. Actually it may
    easily have been a simple cas of just "too much information".
    Sometimes even I look back over my posts and say, "Damn,
    that sure looks long!" (Too long...)

    My point is I'm wondering whether or not this scenario IS un-
    desirable, as at least initially, it's providing me with hits, not
    spam.

    Yes, it runs diectly through a redirect to an ad site webpage,
    but when you navigate through that, you arrive at a thriving
    blog.

    I don't want to discourage any legitimate hits. But my primary
    concern is I can't find the link, or any reference to my site on
    the blog in question. And the general content couldn't be more
    diverse. So the whole thing has an illegitimate feel to it.

    But in the end, it's providing pageviews, and apparently with no
    perceived ill effects. So again, I'm wondering if this is a bad thing,
    or if I shouldn't stare a gift-horse in the mouth, as my old Uncle
    Elmo used to say.

    Any other word on this?

  3. Okay, I have just found this thread:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/unknown-referrers?replies=29#post-476563

    which would probably be a better example for you to throw out
    in cases like this as it's infinitely more informative.

    I get it.

    Too bad I had to learn this the hard way, like everything else. I
    was all over those URLs like ants at a picnic, clicking away at
    everything that popped up. I can now see what a great ploy this
    is to get your unique visitor and pageview count up. I would never
    click on that site or read any of the content naturally, I was just
    looking for my link. But they must have gotten 20 or thirty clicks
    out of me...

    Thanks!

  4. And thank you. There are so many threads about spam that it's sometimes hard to pick the right one.

  5. You're welcome. Just when you thought you'd seen it all.
    The problem was the way it works is counterintuitive when
    you haven't seen it before, but I will say when I first laid
    eyes on that URL in the referrer widget, the first thought
    that went through my head was, "Spam".

    I sent all the information in to staff.

    Thanks again for your timely assistance in the matter.

    JD

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