We've always had referrer spam. In my case the bogus requests mostly came from a DE - hosted server but was for some reason mostly pushing Russian spam sites.
But the last couple months or so this is getting completely out of control! The strangest thing is that I am now very often finding bogus referral strings leading to rather prominent sites (though not of the eHow caliber, say one tier below that) - site that you would think not lower themselves to engage in the spammy behavior and sites belonging to Web publishing houses with established names in the industry.
So, my question is: has this become an acceptable practice lately or has it been shown to work all of a sudden? I mean, there's only a handful of servers out there that would leave access logs in the open and AFAIK there's precious few that would go as far as to convert the referring URLs into links (I presume these links are the endgame here). Seems like a wasteful use of resources to me but what do I know?
So, why the sudden onset of referrer spam and, perhaps most importantly, why is EVERYONE WHO'S ANYONE in the industry seems to be doing it?
Anyone here has any insight to share?