July 27, 2015

Referrer spam

My server (on which USS Clueless can be found) has always attracted a lot of referrer spam, though it's gotten steadily worse as the years have gone by. I think more than half my total traffic is referrer spam, or attempts to break into my security.

Those latter are weird; there will be several hundred attempts by the same IP to access various files that don't exist on my system. I assume that they're file paths which would exist if I was running WordPress or Movable Type or some other kind of site management system, but in fact my stuff is really rather vanilla and none of those files are there.

The referrer spam is more annoying. Some page of mine will be accessed three times in quick succession from the same IP and ostensibly with the same referrer. If I check (usually I don't) they're usually porn sites in Cyrillic. Lately it's been a new trick: the referrer is from a URL shortener.

In the last couple of weeks, though, it's been something entirely new. The Jehovah's Witnesses have been spamming me. For a while the bogus referrer was to the Wikipedia article on "Jehovah". But today it was for the home page of the church.

Referrer spam is a form of SEO, and the Googlebot stopped paying attention to it years ago. Indeed, some kinds of referrer spam actually reduce your rating and move you even further away from Page 1.

Anyway, I can't think of any reason why the Jehovah's Witnesses would care about SEO. About the only thing I can come up with is that this is some zealous member of the church, doing it on his own for the good of everyone's souls, or something.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Site Stuff at 06:28 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 292 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Youreh server wiiyall be SAVED!!!
Gotta hit that last word hard.  I grew up in the Bible Belt.  I can do this all day...
But I'm not going to.  

Posted by: ubu at July 27, 2015 07:37 PM (GfCSm)

2 I am deepl grateful to you for resisting the urge...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 27, 2015 07:42 PM (+rSRq)

3 More likely someone out to lower their page rank by doing bad things?

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at July 27, 2015 08:54 PM (ZPBgr)


That would be pretty stupid, because I can't believe the Jehovah's Witnesses care about their Google page rank.

Anyway, who would they be competing with for the search result for "Jehovah's Witnesses"?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 27, 2015 09:37 PM (+rSRq)


There's another weird referer that started showing up about a month ago. It links to an article titled "stop-forced-vaccinations".

Marvelous. I looked at it when it first started showing up and it was full of claims about things like thimerosol in vaccines causing autism. (Never mind that they stopped putting that stuff in vaccines ten years ago, or that there was and is no reliable medical evidence that the stuff caused any harm.)

It might have been written by whatsername, that blonde who used to be a VJ on MTV about 30 years ago, and posed for Playboy, and then went into the infomercial business.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 27, 2015 11:04 PM (+rSRq)

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