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Help with false traffic generation replaced by even worse traffic!

 4:14 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hoping to get some help on an issue which is very troubling to the owner of a site hosted on our server.

He purchased a domain based on good traffic numbers supplied by the seller, which justified the asking price.

Within days of his temporary webpage resolving, the stats revealed 100% of its traffic was coming from a traffic generation website (where the site owner pays to have random traffic sent to his site).

Of course, that traffic is of no value. It's sometimes done by dishonest domain sellers to inflate the value of the domain to get more money from its sale.

Upon discovering the apparent scam the buyer was unable to get a refund. He then made a website devoted to the details of the fraudulent sale and gave the names of the seller, the broker and others involved. He did that to warn the public about scams like that, which drew some complaints.

After a few months online the domain stopped getting traffic from the traffic generator source but was replaced by porn traffic - and lots of it from numerous porn websites. It did not get porn trffic in the past and was never connected to porn sites in any way according to archive.org.

Now the domain gets much more traffic than it did when it was getting the generated false traffic but its traffic is even worse and more negative what with it being from many dozens of porn websites.

The only reason we can think of as to why this would happen is someone was upset about revealing the traffic fraud so to get some kind of weird and twisted revenge they somehow managed to get all those porn sites linking to the domain.

Can someone please suggest a way to stop all that porn traffic as the site owner now wants to remove the old traffic generation warning site and put up a typical content website targeted toward the category the domain should be in?

Of course, we do not want all that porn traffic going to his domain and clogging our server what with his new mainstream website being online soon (now under consruction).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



 5:25 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

stink, stank, stunk.

Might be best if your client cuts his losses and runs. The historical stench of a bad neighborhood, first from the traffic -generation scam, and second from p0!rn traffic, might reek for a long time for the search engines.

If your client is looking to have a legit website and trying to promote it on the search engines, this smelly domain might not ever do it.

New domains can be found for $5-$10, and you are starting with a fresh clean history.

If your client is only looking for ANY eyes to come and click on ads, well, that's a different story.


 5:27 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>Now the domain gets much more traffic than it did when it was getting the generated false traffic but its traffic is even worse and more negative what with it being from many dozens of porn websites.

Got a lemon? Make some lemonade. Throw up a porn affiliate site :).


 5:38 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

....Got a lemon? Make some lemonade. Throw up a porn affiliate site :).

A very interesting idea but never looked into that aspect or sure we would want to do that anyway.

If the owner does not want to be involved with the porn traffic in any way, is there any other solutions?


 5:54 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Do the prawn links show up in google and yahoo - it may be too late if they do, however i think the links will come down soon - its a waste of pr.

How about a 302 redirect to the FBI website - that might frighen the linkers off.


 6:27 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

302 redirect to the FBI website

I expect the Feds would enjoy the pr0n traffic about as much as the current victim.

I would think twice before annoying a major law-enforcement agency.


 7:00 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Perhaps using .htaccess, you could redirect those traffic to a p0rn affiliate while those not from those sites see your actual content?

After a while, they will lose steam and they will stop so meanwhile enjoy the free traffic.


 7:43 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

302 redirect to the FBI website - and read webmasterworld from a cell? You mad?


 4:51 pm on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

...Got a lemon? Make some lemonade. Throw up a porn affiliate site :)

Thanks Wheel for the suggestion. That is basically what I did today by using htaccess to forward the traffic to a parking-site (which displays porn affiliate ads).

Did not want to do this as I had no porn content and vowed to always avoid them but I saw no alternative other than doing this (and may even make some PPC money from it :)


 5:10 pm on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Gee, the last time I check Fraud was a crime. Why didn't he pursue criminal/or at least a civil case against the person who pulled the scam.

At least, the threat of legal action, should have gotten him the refund.


 2:22 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Buying a domain just because it has lots of traffic never works anyway because once the ownership changes the "new" site is demoted to the sandbox.


 11:34 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Suggestions for the site owner or webmaster.

If the access log file is accessible (most are, if unknown ask the hosting server) many hosts have a web analysis program available online or one can purchase a standalone program.

With either the online version or standalone program, analyze the log file to determine the IP numbers causing the problem (ie, they typically will have a fake referer named something like lovepillsforever.com which may or may not be a valid site, example more-viagra-4u.com, or similar referers that may be valid sites or not.)

The analysis programs should show the high-hit IP numbers, bandwidth usage, etc.

Without such online or standalone analysis program you could just view the log file with Wordpad and visually scan the log file "viewing the GET filename and referer field".... with a "stats" program you still may have to view the log with Wordpad.

Once you have a list of the bad IP's, use one of the online IP whois tools to see if it is a company, or an ISP, and where it is located. Then you make the decision of whether to block the individual IP number (if a dialup it may not be effective) or to block a small portion of that IP range, or you could decide to block that entire provider or company.

Blocking is best accomplished by using the .htaccess control file and a person would simply list the bad ip's as deny from 132.45. or as deny 123.45.67. or as deny from or by cidr group. After a while (month or so) the owner or webmaster could unblock a group simply with the # comment character and if the trouble came back, then restore the block.

Note that this suggesting may or may not be a cure for all, but for my own domain and those I manage I found it the best way to go. Recently for a friend who I have been helping, he found that his bandwidth went out the window one day. My research found that his forum sites (using PHP) were being hit by log-file-spammers.... most bad IP's were requesting his stats file in the hope that his file was being listed on SE's and that their hits would add their entries to his file(s). Wrong! His file was not available to the web so their efforts were not effective to their benefit. I simply blocked many bad IP's and I also made the stats file accessible only if it was his site that asked for it.

My best recommendation, though, is to start with at least viewing the log file to determine if there is a common file being asked for, and (2) if there are common IP's (or IP's within a group or from a certain area). Depending on the problem, the provider of the IP service or the Upstream provider of service may be able to terminate the offenders.

Hope these suggestions have been helpful.

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