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Awstats: Unwanted Referring Sites! :(


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Hi -

 

I'm not sure if this question belongs here or in the Site Security forum......

 

 

I've recently checked my AwStats through Cpanel, and was looking at the section titled "Links from an external page (other web sites except search engines)" under Referers: Refering Sites. I recognize most of the sites listed (they belong to friends who link to me), but there is also a number of websites that I don't recognize. I clicked on one, and it took me to a pornography site!!!!

 

I don't know how this website got my URL. It doesn't even have my URL listed on the page anywhere, so I don't know why it's showing up in my Referring Sites list. Also, I don't know how they got my URL, and I DO NOT want my site associated with them whatsoever. There are also other sites in the Referring Sites list that are about poker and gambling. Does anyone know how this happened? And how I can get my site unlinked from them?

 

These I AM A SPAMMER/poker/gambling sites only show up in my Awstats, so thankfully, they don't bother anyone visiting my website. But, I'm very, very concerned about HOW these sites got my address, and why they are linking to me?????????? My site's just a personal blog!

 

Any help is appreciated. Thanks. :)

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It's referrer spam, part of life on the web. Once upon a time somebody had the bright idea to put a script on his website that shows the last couple of websites that sent traffic his way. Very nice, but bound to be abused. Once the spammers caught on to that, they started this referal spam thing so they could get their links up on websites that have those scripts running.

 

For those of us that don't display recent referrals on our websites it's more of an annoyance than anything.

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As Tim said, quite well, it's just another form of spam that doesn't really affect most of us and you're not really linked from them - they are tricking the logs.

 

As for links to your site... there's really nothing you can do about it. There is no legal or technological way to stop someone from putting a link to your site on theirs if they chose to do so.

 

Fortunately, the search engines know this and won't penalize you for it. If your friends see a link at another unsavory site just ask them why they were looking at I AM A SPAMMER. :D

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Hi -

 

Maybe I'm not understanding the concept of "referrer spam," but who are they referring to me? And why would they want to refer someone to me, if my site has nothing (thank goodness) to do with their website? I mean, what's the benefit to them to refer people to my website?

 

Are they doing this in hopes that I happen to have a script on my website that shows recent referrers?

 

Oh, and thanks for all the helpful responses. ;)

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Are they doing this in hopes that I happen to have a script on my website that shows recent referrers?

I think you have it right.

I am sure they want people to click on the links that show up on a site that show recent referrers.

They may even have automated the process of doing the referring to a list of sites

I doubt they have the time to visit the sites they are referring to.

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I agree with Don. I get a few of those every month as well as my logs showing people trying to access scripts that do not exist on my site. I believe much of it is automated and they just check their logs to see if they get a hit from something so they can use it for further use on their part.

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Are they doing this in hopes that I happen to have a script on my website that shows recent referrers?

 

That is exactly what they are doing. If you did, they would get a boost in search engine rankings, however small, and someone may be tempted to go there.

 

I can't believe enough people have this kind of script to make it worthwhile though. :thumbup1:

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If it bothers you that those links are in your stats, you can edit your htaccess file to block the sites. Google for "referral spam" htaccess to find a number of sites with a description on how to do it.

 

I did this months ago ... I really haven't got a lot of referral spam in my AwStats lately, so I'm guessing it's working. I started with the example file here: h*tp://www.aaronlogan.com/downloads/htaccess.php and whenever I notice a lot of hits coming in from a site, I'll add it to the list.

 

Once you impliment this, it won't remove any sites that are currently listed in your stats, but it should stop any more hits from the site. Once a new month starts you shouldn't see the site anymore.

 

I also use this to block sites that I discover hotlinking files of mine. Seems to work.

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  • 2 weeks later...
If it bothers you that those links are in your stats, you can edit your htaccess file to block the sites. Google for "referral spam" htaccess to find a number of sites with a description on how to do it.

 

I did this months ago ... I really haven't got a lot of referral spam in my AwStats lately, so I'm guessing it's working. I started with the example file here: h*tp://www.aaronlogan.com/downloads/htaccess.php and whenever I notice a lot of hits coming in from a site, I'll add it to the list.

 

Once you impliment this, it won't remove any sites that are currently listed in your stats, but it should stop any more hits from the site. Once a new month starts you shouldn't see the site anymore.

 

I also use this to block sites that I discover hotlinking files of mine. Seems to work.

 

I just added that code to my .htaccess.

 

Out of curiosity, when it the .htaccess accessed? Since my .htaccess jut went from like 2k to like 50k will that add 48k to every visitors load time?

 

If I keep the changes to my .htaccess I will be back in a week or so to report on what kind of referral spam i am or am not getting.

 

Thanks for the tip KellyBelly

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Hey guys. As a warning to other TCH'ers I am getting an odd result from this spam stopping technique so if anyone is going to try to alter their .htaccess file like I did then they should be weary.

 

This link (http://www.totalchoicehosting.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=27093&st=0&gopid=172088entry172088) is a follow-up, so there you go! The changes in my .htaccess file were creating changes in my hotlinking protection settings...

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