Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Referrer Spam

I am posting this to hopefully keep other bloggers from experiencing the problem that I am having with Google/Blogger at the moment.
Recently I noticed some traffic sources in my stats that I didn't recognize. Because I have little experience with nefarious internet ploys and pitfalls, I innocently clicked the traffic link to see where the new traffic was coming from. It was a porn site... I quickly hit the back button and grumbled to myself that a porn site was referring people to my blog... Well that is not what is happening. No one is actually coming to my blog from this site, it is a spammer who gets paid by clicks and is using Blogger to collect money for fake clicks via my blog. I unfortunately I now have this site and two others (probably the same person with multiple sites) messing up my traffic stats. I am not really interested in numbers except that it is nice to know that my posts are being read and to see that I am reaching people, so the stats aren't a biggie anyway. But it bothers me that I have to be suspicious and skeptical of tools that Blogger has given me to help me with my blogging.
There is nothing that Blogger or Google can do about this since the traffic from these sites looks the same as normal traffic to my site. According to what little info I can get on the subject from forums, the only way to prevent these spam sites from ruining your stats and abusing Google/blogger bandwidth is to never click on the Referring Traffic links in your stat information. By doing so the Spammers will have access to your traffic stats and your numbers will climb exponentially from one day to the next. If Google doesn't have any way to control Referrer Spam then I wish they would just not make it possible to follow a traffic link to start with! Google says that eventually there will be enough complaints and trending from a particular spammer that they can identify them and block them, but until that happens I will just have to not pay attention to my traffic stats or page views, and try not to think about the dark forces that lurk behind everything that is done on the web...
  Sometimes I think I will give up on the Internet, just close my laptop and disconnect my access, because there is so much junk that can be stumbled across while trying to go about my own business. I am not wired to think bad of people and I hate having to be suspicious and cautious of what would seem to be simple things, like opening an e-mail without a subject line, or now... using the tools that were given to me to use by Blogger. But without Internet access, I wouldn't be able to connect with some of the people I love who live far away, or express myself  by writing my blogs, I would miss out on relationship with all the friends I have made through my blogs and that would diminish my world considerably, so I won't stop using the Internet...But much to my dismay I do feel like something has been taken from me. I am exposed here on the web, not safe to go about my business in peace. What a shame..

** so if you see unfamiliar links on your traffic stats... Don't click them! 

Blog Hops that this post is linked to:
Clever Chicks Blog Hop #24

12 comments:

  1. Elle, I am blocked from just about all of that on wordpress. I can't think of any that have gotten through. They have a great spam filter and catch it. You may want to think of moving to wordpress. I moved from blogger a few years ago. It's easy. You can import your whole blog and not lose a thing -- take it all with you. Then come back here and leave another post that you have moved and give the new address. It does take a little getting used to the different set up, but if I can do it, I'm sure you can.

    Just something to think about. You can also still track your traffic there. Come check out my blog and see if you like it first. Even enter my Silly Contest. ;) I'd love to send you my art postcard with my new zazzle stamp on it.

    Sorry this happened to you.

    Hugs, Sharon in TX

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon! Thanks for the input! Actually, I have been playing with the idea of moving to Wordpress... I have a sister site on Wordpress for my www.aviewfromthecottage.blogspot.com as an experiment. It is called: www.heartseasecottage.wordpress.com I am still playing with it. One thing I don't like is that I can't have a Blog roll on my page with Wordpress, (or at least I haven't found one...) I like to be able to post the blogs I follow so that I can help to promote other blogs.
      It also takes some getting used to as far as handling photos etc but I can get used to the difference...I actually still struggle with getting photos where I want them on Blogger. Did you have any trouble with people not coming to your new blog site? I know that lots of time people just click on their blog feed and they might miss my announcement if they don't see it on the day it is posted. What are your thoughts? Maybe I can do a post asking what everyone thinks...
      I will come and check out your blog, I k I have been following it, but I haven't been on the comp. much recently, too much going on... but I will come check it out and give you a shout! Again thanks for your thoughts, see you in the mail!

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  2. Elle, you can have a blog list. When I'm a little more rested, I can help you with that, if you like, for your wordpress blog. I have one on my blog. Have you checked it out yet? It's just not quite as easy to set up. Once you figure it out, it's not that difficult though. Just different. If you want to, email me about it. livin4qltn@embarqmail.com

    Sharon

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  3. I've had the same problem! At first I thought my site was just getting more traction but this explains the strange website listed under Traffic Sources.
    Thanks for the heads up! I'll check out wordpress too.

    Anne

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  4. Hi Elle, it has been a while since I dropped in and glad to see you are still posting! Awful stuff about those spammers out there. Thanks for continuing to write...

    Hester

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  5. Hi Hester!
    I have been thinking about you! I hope all is well and I hope to get some mail off to you in the not to distant future. Life has been interesting but i think I will survive... Hugs for now!

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  6. Oooh, so that's that! I've been experiencing the same lately, and I must admit I have clicked the links as well. At times I'm not too bright.. Hope you're doing ok, would love to read another blog from you in the futue :)

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  7. Hi Elisse!
    I have been in the garden working pretty much non-stop... I am hoping the garden demands will slow down soon and I will have some brain power left to write some posts for my blogs. I have been composing posts as I weed, water, and plant, but then by the time I get to sit down and write I am so tired I can't think.I appreciate you reading my blog and will try to be something written very soon. Have a great day and take care!

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  8. Same thing happened to me; I just take my stats with a bit of salt. Not just a grain, mind you...actually I was quite excited that I was getting so much traffic, then I looked up the website...too bad.

    But happy blogging, love your site!
    Vikram

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  9. Hi! I’m new follower of your blog and would like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/03/clever-chicks-blog-hop-24-and-three.html



    I hope you can make it!



    Cheers,

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the invitation Kathy! I have posted one of my blog entries that I thought fit the theme of you blog Hop. I hope that it is Ok that it is one of my older post... Take care! Elle

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  10. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

    ReplyDelete