My Awstats used to show legit links from external pages. Suddenly, now it's showing hundreds of supposed links but there's no link to my website on their page. Is this some sort of coding trick to get you to look at their page? I asked this once before but never got a clear answer. Thanks for any insight.
In some cases, it might be an effort to get the webmaster to look at the supposed referring page, but in most cases, it's likely to be a primitive form of link spamming.
Some sites have their logs (or sometimes just the results of their analytics software) visible on the web. If a spider crawls these reports/logs, these supposedly referring websites show up as links. There are also some apps out there that display the most recent referers to a site's webpage on that page, so I suppose it's a way to get some human traffic as well.
I've had this sort of problem on two of my web sites (but one in particular) for about 18 months. About 80% of these type of referrer links are to the site homepages from one specific sex/porn website, I checked it out and it does not have links to my sites.
Sometimes half the traffic in a day is apparently from this same porn site. I use AWStats (I have Webalizer available but AWStats seems to give more consistent results). I traced some of the IP's and notified the ISP's but no idea if they bothered to do anything about it. :-(
The other 20% of the referrer links are to non-existent pages on my sites. These non-existent pages follow a pattern, usually something like: /webmaster.php /register.php /cgi-bin/register.php... etc.
I was supsious that they were trying to find a membership login/registration page on my site and hack in to it to perhaps promote their site? It that possible? or likely?