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Referrals from Unrelated Adult Content Sites

Why am I seeing them, and how can I block referrals from them?

     
4:02 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am getting referrals in my logs from extremely explicit websites.

I visit the URL in the log and it brings me to a totally pornographic page with absolutely no links to my site. I have however found a few of these pages cached in Google, and they start out linking to a bunch of legitimate sites, then throw up porn once the pages get indexed.

What is the purpose of this, and what benefit can come of it for the publisher.

How can I block referrals from these domains? Will receiving referrals from domains of this nature cause G to assume my site is somehow related?

6:48 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What is the purpose of this?

The purpose is to drive traffic to the porn site. They would use a 'scraper' or other automatically generated content (including links to other sites like yours) to get ranked in google, and then switch the page or use cloaking or other techniques to display something different to the user.

How can I block referrals from these domains?

You could used the http referrer string to block visitors. However there's not much point - the visitors that actually get referred must be seeing the original page, rather than the changed (pornographic) one.

Will receiving referrals from domains of this nature cause G to assume my site is somehow related?

In theory, no. In theory, google won't ever penalise your site for things other webmasters can do.

You could try filing a spam report:
[google.com...]

In general, there's not much you can do to prevent someone linking to you, however undesirable an association might be.

7:02 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We get a lot of these as well. From poker sites, porn sites, diet sites...etc. All the usual spam topics. I used to check them out when I spotted them in stats but now can usually recognise them and ignore.

I doubt we get penalised for them, though after reading some of the stuff on WebmasterWorld you have to wonder...

7:07 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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When checking for some bot name lately I found a lot of sites with unsecured webalizer pages. I think there's some kind of referal spammers who stuff logs like these with their referers.

Wanna see examples? Simply feed google with "msnbot webstats" or any other bot name combined with "webstats".

8:14 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think there's some kind of referal spammers who stuff logs like these with their referers.

Do you mean that spammers are deliberatly linking to other sites in order to show up as links on referrer logs that are crawled by googlebot?
8:19 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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As I understand it, that is exactly the point. Many sites leave thier webstats programs wide open and the bots find them. Apparently, the "referrer logs" these bots find count them as links...etc.

I think as long as your stats are secured, it's just junk in log files.

EVO

9:38 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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They don't even need to link, just use a program to change the referrer that their browser reports when they visit your site (this also causes a false hit to your site). Then they just visit your site with their site in the referrer, and hope that you publish your stats so Googlebot will see them and pick up the link to their site.

This is why you should *never* publish referrer stats in a search engine bot visible location.

10:46 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So to go back to Nolimits' question...

It may be that those links from adult sites never actually existed, but were faked into the referrer string as an SEO technique.

11:45 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Nolimits:

Just make sure your visitor stats numbers are NOT online.
(I'm amazed at the number of sites that put them up for all to see.)
Evo is right. The porn / drug and other black hat sites just want free links.
Keep that stuff private, and their plan is foiled. A few extra lines in your access log files
is a minor annoyance at most. I wouldn't try to ban them, there are too many different ones. -Larry

3:07 am on Oct 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It may be that those links from adult sites never actually existed, but were faked into the referrer string as an SEO technique.

Yeah, man. The links don't exist. They might have used that technique or others. It's just spam intentionally planted in your logfiles. At any rate, they aren't links.

I was away from WW for a while, and I can't believe how many people are suddenly flipping out about common logspam. Look folks (in this thread and a whole bunch of others), when your site went missing, it had nothing to do with the logspam - you got nailed in an algo change.

8:59 am on Oct 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I began a long thread on the topic of some sites abusing published webstats. They would send automated referrals which had the effect of turning them into keyword-laden links back to the original site, which resulted in a major SE ranking boost. The post included detailed info on how the scam works. Googleguy asked for some examples of the scam, which I provided. Within about a month, Google shut down the technique. I assume it is still shut down. This thread appeared about a year and a half ago, I think.