I’ve noticed a growing trend in referrer spamming as of late: Spamming with URLs that point to empty sites. It took me a moment to figure out why the hell someone would bother to register a domain name and then spam referrer logs with it when there’s nothing at the site to see. The only thing I can figure is these folks are spamming the hell out of them to increase page rank so they can then auction them off as guaranteed traffic generating domains on one of the auction sites catering to buying and selling popular domains.
It’s a clever idea even if I’m not sure it works all that well. Usually the domains will just point to a blank webpage, but I’ve noticed that some sites have been putting up fake ACCOUNT SUSPENDED notices on the page. I don’t know about anyone else, but I make it a point to blacklist any domains that I so much as suspect as being nothing more than referrer spam. If I got to a site and I don’t see a link back to SEB yet there’s 20 referrer listings for it then I assume it’s spam and ban it. Under EE this has the added benefit of also ensuring they can’t use that domain to do trackback or comment spam as EE uses the same blacklist for all three. So even though I don’t display referrers on my sites there’s still a benefit to checking my logs and banning suspected domains. Of course there’s always the chance I could end up banning a legitimate domain so if you find you can’t submit a comment or a trackback to SEB due to it being banned, let me know.
And for those of you out there who engage in this sort of thing here’s a word of advice: If you try to spam my referrer log directly I won’t even bother to check if you’re a legit site before I add you to the blacklist.