I recently started noticing some new traffic on the websites that we host and manage. What was unusual was that the sites were showing up as referral sites on almost every one of our websites. Our sites all get traffic from Google, Bing, Yahoo and such. But the 2nd and third tier traffic usually comes from more industry specific sources. So, when almost all of our sites were getting referred traffic from a single new source, that was a bit alarming.
We were the victim of Referrer Spam. Referrer Spam is created by unscrupulous marketers that create a network of web crawlers that seek out websites and create fake traffic to them. The traffic gets recorded into the analytic logs on the websites in order to fool the search engines in the hopes of creating higher page rankings for the marketers clients.
The traffic that they create does not physically harm the websites. But it might damage the page rank of your site if Google and the rest decide to punish sites that don’t protect themselves against these crawlers. So, I researched how to block the Referrer Spam and found that although I can’t keep the bots from visiting my client’s sites, I can keep them from accessing the logs that record their visit. That way the traffic they are trying to create does not show up in the analytics. So, it’s like they were never there.
Do you have analytics on your site? If you do, look for Referring Visits from the following sites:
We had three of these crawling around on our sites. They boosted the traffic but the fake numbers were not helpful. And keeping our sites clean and honest will boost our credibility with the search engines. So, I believe that this was an important task. If any of these are showing up on your site, call your website develop immediately and have them install safeguards against this intrusion.
Call us. We will look at your site and advise you at no cost.