In my web pages' IP logs, I have recently begun seeing some very strange referrers, like this:

  • http://haddies.4t.com/tramadol-hcl/tramadol-hcl-200mg.html
  • http://bosnia.00it.XXX/percocet/acetaminophen.html
  • http://perso.wanadoo.XX/paranormal2000/indocin/indocin-yellow-stool.html
  • http://darany.fabpage.XXX/concerta/concerta-dose.html
  • http://kralicek-a-slepicka.prodejce.XX/prednisone/prednisone-iowa.html
  • http://gruber.20m.XXX/flomax/carmichael-flomax.html
  • http://www.freewebs.XXX/epenoy/flagyl/pancreatitis.html
  • http://rjdownloads.angelfire.XXX/sibutramine/rohypnol-wiki.html
  • http://perso.wanadoo.XX/digerk_dany/azithromycin/azithromycin-for-uti.html

(Used XXX to render the addresses useless here)

I am really puzzled by the appearance of these crap pages pointing to my pages, but even more puzzled by the fact that some idiots out there are actually visiting the crap pages and then clicking on links that lead to my pages.

Anybody know who these people are??

  • They may be bots. Though still, the question is to what end they are configured. In any case, I don't think it can cause you any harm. – Luc Aug 15 '12 at 23:31

Usually those are a spammer's bots who fake the referrer and try to make you click on it. Those pages don't really contain a link to your page. (They might also use the e-mail address field, in fact any input to spam you with their domains, URLs and keywords...

Especially small sites and individuals are excited about visitors and where they come from, so they tend to click on those referrer URLs which only contain ads and/or malware. Steer clear and ignore them.

  • Do enough people look at "referer", and then double-check the weird ones, to make this technique work? I look at my apache logs and I have noticed the weird referer values lately, but I haven't clicked them, as they look too stupid. – Bruce Ediger Aug 15 '12 at 23:44
  • Well don't forget about web analytics software, you don't have to painstakingly read apache access logs. I don't know how good referrer spamming works, but we know how spam works: As long as a single person clicks such a link it works out for spammers... – Tie-fighter Aug 15 '12 at 23:48
  • I haven't clicked on them but I was kind of worried that Google might think I was trying to link to my own pages to boost the page-rank. ALSO: It occurs to me that if a person wanted to decrease my pages' ranking, they might use such links to make me look like I paid someone to boost my SEO. – Mithras Aug 16 '12 at 0:10
  • I don't know about Google internals, but I'm not sure it would make any sense to allow people not only to positively but also to negatively influence rank. Imaging the wars companies would wage in order to decrease their competition's rank instead of improving their own site... – Tie-fighter Aug 16 '12 at 0:16
  • 2
    There is blog software out there which displays recent referrers in a side bar. – Hendrik Brummermann Aug 16 '12 at 4:12

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