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|What is Referral Spam?|
|Referral Spam is a type of Search Engine Spam or Spamdexing.
These are methods used by deviant web designers, hackers, and
SEO companies to manipulate the search engines.
Everyone on the web wants to be #1 on Google for specific search phrase keywords. For example; what if Google had your site listed first on it's list when someone typed in the keywords "Real Estate", or "Medicine", or the name of the latest popstar? Well, you'd probably soon be a millionaire.
What a search engine spammer does is try to exploit the weaknesses of search engines, as the spammer learns the "ranking recipe" or "algorithm", he starts to find ways to automate the process to take advantage of his knowledge.
One such "weakness" is the fact that Google gives "points" to a site for having links to it, from other sites (This doesn't actually apply anymore). One way to manipulate this is to get on site referrer lists. The referrer spammer writes a script that crawls the Internet, searching for sites that have a referrer system. A referrer system is a common function seen on many sites, mostly on many of the common blog sites. It is a list of the sites that send the most referrals or visitors to them.
It is a great thing to know; which sites your visitors are coming from.
The referrer spammer creates a script that confuses your server into thinking that visitors are coming from any site that they choose, meanwhile there are no real visitors and there is no link on their site.
Then as the spammer "dings" your site over and over, his site climbs up to your referrer list. When Google spiders your site, the spammer gets "points" toward his rankings because you are linking to him. Sometimes the spammer has harmful material on their site and Google gives you negative points for linking to them.
|To Remove Referral Spammers|
|To remove this spammer,
, or any spammer, you will need a little programming knowledge.
You could build a simple referrer approval system.
This will make it so that your site won't actually link to anyone until you approve them. You could just disable your referrer system all together. A good precaution is to make sure that you don't have the text "Top Referrers" or similar text on your site, this is how the spammers find you in the first place.
If you can monitor your access logs, you can pick out abusive IP addresses.
If you want to stop these Bot Visitors, you can create a "Banned IPs" list that you can put on your site. Here is some PHP code that does just this:
This can be placed at the top of every page on your site. You can also add IP address to the list (or remove IP addresses from the list).
|Note to Referrer Spammers|
|If you are an SEO Company and are using Referal Spam to promote
your clients' businesses, you are doing them, and yourself a huge
disservice. Multiple sites have complained that we were taking
over their search rankings. But we weren't their only problem,
because of their referral spamming, they were soon completely
dropped and blacklisted from Google completely. We have no more
complaints from them, because they are blaming their SEO Companies.
They had to register new domains.
If you are a nerd or miscreant that thinks that they have to cheat in order to succeed, you are wrong. With that strategy, your site will fail. You will climb up the ranks, and then soon fall out of them forever. And it takes a long time to get ranked with Google.
Remember, you can't really get ranked using trickery, it's just a matter of time, and then you'll get blacklisted from Google. Then you'll have to start All Over.
Be honest, create a resource, and you'll get ranked, that's the only way to do it.
Piggybacking on other peoples' sites is weak.
Don't leach off others, lead the way.
|Your site is on this list and you're not a Spammer|
|If you're on this list, it's because you (or your web designer
or Search Engine Optimization company) have used trickery to get
Once you've sent a referral, we spider your site to see if there is really a link.
If there is none, or if there is a redirect, someone with access to your server has obviously spammed us.
If you feel you've been put on this list unfairly, simply send a message,
using the Message Board below (on this page only). Include the name of your site, and what you have done to resolve the problem, Once received and approved, we will remove your site from this list promptly.