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What's up with all the spammy "Referrers"?

  1. For the past couple weeks I've gotten a bunch of spammy links in my Referrers list. They don't seem to be affecting my visitor stats but they're definitely obnoxious.

    For example:

    freesexmovie. irwanaf. com/
    student -loan- consilidation.com/
    maths-catch. com/NoNoiseHeadPhones /2010/06/denon-ah-d5000-reference-headphones-review-worth-the-price-tag-59/#comments

    Etc.

    Anyone else have this problem?

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

  2. Yes, and the filtering of it is non-existent. It's rather sad. Had it since I moved my blog to wordpress.com, though (a few months). It probably is real spam bots, and it's not much one can do about it except employ similar spam filtering to referrer logs as you'd do to comments and the like.

    I also miss grouping of urls by domain. Ie: reddit.com instead of reddit.com/f/ reddit.com/f/tag/foo reddit.com/popularstuff/f/foo reddit.com/blattiblatti?page=sortblatti etc... Ie: stuff piwik did for me :(

    I think referrer spam needs some attention at the very least.

  3. I have seen a few threads that indicate that Staff is working on the spammy refers problem. The problem with trapping the refers is that anyone can link to your site. I could link to you then click on the link and unless my link is from a WordPress.COM site not much that can be done other than filter after the fact.

  4. I too have received spammy referrers. It is more sporadic rather than regular. Does going to those links reinforce return visits? I live a sheltered computer life.

  5. WordPress is asking people to send the links directly to WP Support:

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

    Since they're away until the 19th just copy (right click on the link, then Copy Link Location) them and send them later. I think I have over a hundred of them from the past week alone.

  6. Thanks for the information. Today, my referrers really got spammy! Usually, it's just a handful. I'm copying the links right now! Grrr!

  7. Here is the situation.

    Only you see those links, no-one else. They want you to click and go to them so if you don't they lose.
    Yes it means they crowd out others.

    We will be taking steps to filter them - and the next day please watch the forums for the indignant yelling that we may have blocked a real referrer and they want any filters turned off. I absolutely guarantee that will happen. In fact we will probably be accused of censorship. So what do we do then?

    These spammers make domains, send a bunch of junk then move. So 100 domains reported today may never be used again. If you want to send them that's fine but when filters are introduced they will act on the current information mainly.

  8. I have gotten many as well. It seems the same ones keep repeating over and over again. I was afraid my blog had been hacked or something. Glad I'm not the only one. The student -loan- consilidation.com one appears over and over again.

  9. waltzingaustralia
    Member

    Well, it's nice to know one is not alone. Too bad there are people out there who think spamming is a good idea. If one ignores the links, I'm guessing they won't hurt us -- but it is a bit unsettling.

    And thanks to the support team that has to try to deal with all this (both spam and backlash if it's stopped).

  10. Okay, what can you do to raise our hits so that we don't see the referrers who only send us one or two clicks a day?

  11. And here I was preparing a list to send to Staff when Support reopened, which is what I thought we were supposed to do. Over the past week, spam referrers have taken over my stats.

    How are these any different than spam commenters, which Akismet does a great job of catching? And, yes, once in a blue moon a legit comment gets caught as well.

    Regardless, will be sending in the list and glad to know that steps are being taken.

  12. If we kill the referrer links people will yell we are censoring.
    If we kill the link leave the stat alone people will ask where their stats are from?
    If we kill the link AND the stat then we will have stats drop and the cries of censorship..

    There is no way to win here, the forums will get noisy and the conspiracists will create something where there is nothing.

  13. Mark- I certainly don't have any interest in artificially inflated stats from spam referrers. I just want to get my stats back.

    Two weeks ago, it wasn't nearly this overwhelming. Please, censor away.

  14. Check box: "Hide possible spam referrers".

    If you can't choose between A and B, then don't. Either do both or neither. Right now, you are only doing A: "Don't hide possible spam referrers".

  15. How are these any different than spam commenters, which Akismet does a great job of catching? And, yes, once in a blue moon a legit comment gets caught as well.

    Regardless, will be sending in the list and glad to know that steps are being taken.

    It's quite a bit different, unfortunately.

    Referrers were not tied into Akismet at all until recently (mainly because there had never been a need to). We've taken some initial steps to prevent spam referrers—and have seen a decrease in them since—but it is an ongoing project.

    A problem is that Akismet doesn't have any context to go on when receiving a referrer link. When working with a comment, there are keywords and other methods for sorting out spam—referrers don't have a lot of those things. They have URLs, which as Mark said, are constantly changing.

    We really are trying to find the best possible solution for this problem, but it's not easy.

  16. Ryan- Again, glad to know it's being worked on. Meantime I'll send in that list. Seems like the keywords are part of the URI.

  17. Lots and lots of these referrers spam, but they seem to all saturate in one post.

  18. I'm going after the source.

    Put the referrer freesexmovie.irwanaf.com into WHOIS and fire off emails.

    In my case, I checked the source code of the page and saw a link crawl at the bottom. There you'll see more sources of spam & scripts. Throw them into WHOIS and let the admins know. I doubt registrars will act, but, it may be worth a try.

    seductivex.com/01171131012010.cgi is referenced; registrant = [email redacted by slik]
    http://refererx.com/crawlerdisplay.js is referenced; registrant = [email redacted by slik]

    Anybody see any common threads there? :) [][][] andy and azlan got emails from me today.

  19. I left a message at the website of the script-writer, RefererX.com:

    Message:How do I get the link to my wholesome blog off your spammy,
    scammy link crawl at irwanaf.com/learn-forex-trading ?

    On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 3:28 PM, RefererX Support <[email redacted]> wrote:

    For your information, the script run by itself, finding sites from search
    engines randomly using certain keywords. Even though it can be changed to
    block certain domain from appearing but the method used is not perfect.
    We're working on a newer script that will have all this enabled easily. But
    that will only be ready by early December.

    Your patient is highly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Support Team
    RefererX.com

    And I replied:

    Sir/Madame:

    I thank you for your reply. Please be aware that users of your script are abusing it to spam thousands of blogs. It would appear that you have spent many manhours producing your script and building the name RefererX. I would appeal to you to not reduce the value of your product and brand by allowing such users to abuse your product.

    My patience is extended because of your personal reply. I adjure you to make a plan to adhere to your stated schedule.

    Regards,
    Fred

    I'll wait to see if I their actions allow me to continue playing nicely.

  20. re: http://refererx.com/crawlerdisplay.js. The following was mailed to the registrant of the domain Womenpregnancyguides.com, [email redacted by slik].my ; to the host, theplanet.com
    ; and to the author/host of the script, [email redacted by slik]

    Sir/Madame:

    I have located yet another page containing your script, Womenpregnancyguides.com . The site is nothing but spam. Have a look at some of the articles: http://womenpregnancyguides.com/category/diet-products/ The information is of no value. Why would the site include a video of a dog in labor at http://womenpregnancyguides.com/video-gallery/ ?

    I suggest to you that your script is being abused by spammers and scammers. I strongly suggest you either expedite your revision to keep it out of the hands of spammers and scammers or disable the script. I am very persistent and will not stop emailing until countermeasures are in place. Your script left referrer links on my site, http://scammerdatabase.wordpress.com, so I am assuming you are a promoter of scam.

    Have a nice day,
    Fred Harmonium

  21. @horzluber Spammers will put up a front (like that) acting like they care to defray the consequences. Your actions are noble, but they may just end up getting you more spam (if you're leaving your email and other contact information). In many cases their hosts are complicit (or they have their own infrastructure).

    I don't really recommend that tactic.

  22. @horzluber

    I removed the emails because they're not allowed in the WP.com forums

  23. Uhm, good point. I have not read the forum rules. Where might I find the forum rules?

  24. Quoted from the Moderators Guild line page

    Note that you shouldn’t allow users to publish email addresses either, to try to keep spambots at bay. If they do, edit the address with [email removed, don't feed the spammers -your id]

    [Sorry Can't source the quote only moderators and staff have access to the moderators guide page]

    As for rules that the forum members have access to can be found at this sticky thread → 8 Things To Know Before Posting in WordPress.Com Forums

  25. Please delete my postings. If I cannot see the rules, I cannot be expected to obey them. Please delete my postings. I will not be back.

  26. @horzluber

    The reason you won't be able to see the moderators guide line page is because it's on a private forum that is password protected that only Moderators and staff have access too... plus it pertains to how we as moderators should present them self's as well as our duties that we as moderators are require to complete...

    I am sorry as moderators we usually don't delete replies upon request because it wouldn't be far to others that have been turned down with such request of deleting replies or threads...

  27. What I don't get is that almost all of my referrers are spammers, especially on lower volume days and I am not seeing referrals from many sites where I expect to see them coming from. Are we missing genuine referrals as well as having all these spammers?

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