So, here I was thinking I must be a Fabulously Interesting Person. Look at all the hits I’m getting on my recent posts! Finally, I’ve really struck a chord with my readers!
Whether you’re on WordPress or another hosting provider, if you’ve got access to your web stats, you’ve probably seen this crap: referrer spam.
It’s pretty simple. Some
douchebag not-very-nice person wants you to look at their idiotic web site for male enhancements or whatever scam they’re peddling. But they know you’re not completely stupid, and you don’t want to read about scams. So how do they fool you into reading anyway?
The short answer: they trick your web host into showing you referrers that don’t refer to you at all. You look at your stats and see some weird web address in your referrers. You click on it, wondering why the page in question is linking to you. But the page you arrive at doesn’t contain a single link to you. Instead, it tells you about Discreet Online Pharmaceuticals At Low Prices, or whatever horseshit you’ve just been conned into looking at.
Spammers add another layer to the trickery by using URL shorteners (the services that convert long, unwieldy web addresses into short, manageable ones for easy sharing). If someone asks you to visit buycheapviagranow.com, you almost certainly won’t. So instead, spammers hand you a stubby little URL that doesn’t tell you anything about what it might be. Then you click on it, and—well, you’re back to Discreet Online Pharmaceuticals.
I’ll leave a more technical (but very readable) explanation to Adrian Roselli, who has written a good article on the subject without divulging too much to wannabe spammers looking for a how-to.
For a reality check on your hit count, glance over your referrer stats for URLs that probably don’t link to you. And if you’ve been seeing these weird things in your referrers and wondering who’s stalking you, quite likely it’s no one—just another spammer’s program, shooting out junk to anyone it can.
And now, a photo illustrating (a) this household’s Star Trek: The Next Generation geek credentials, (b) the gratuitous referencing of Cincinnati chili, and (c) the comforting yumminess of Sunday morning coffee (Seattle’s Best Level 5).
Sunday Morning Geek Coffee
It’s 34°F and sleeting here. The furnace has a worn-out intake blower, but it should limp along until the new one arrives. I am listening to Water Makes Waves, the recent release by Seattle musician Greg Dember, with whom I was in a band much longer ago than I care to admit. It’s good! I have started reading the autobiography of George Takei. President Obama has not called to congratulate me on my foreign policy accomplishments, probably because I do not have any.
My favorite search terms that have somehow brought people to my blog, verbatim:
- funny offer signs
- leslie nielsen calendar
- old door knob
- funny special offer
- f unny sighs
- google things to do with chicken
Still bitterly disappointed that I’m not getting any misguided porn hits. I’ll just have to try harder. Kinky fetish kinky fetish kinky fetish! Britney Spears mudwrestling Miley Cyrus! Sex toy lube adult XXX girls! Gigantic fluorescent ostriches!
(Gigantic fluorescent ostriches?)
I’ve been using an RSS reader (RSSOwl) to keep up with my blogging neighborhood, and so far I’m delighted. I see new posts as they appear. Even after a few days away, I see exactly what I’ve missed on each blog.
So, I’ve had little contact with WordPress for 10 days or so. I finally sat down with RSSOwl, and—oh, my. More than 80 posts waiting for me.
Per person, the title of this post is an exaggeration: on average, each of the 26 ex-Voxers I follow is posting a little over twice a week. As a group, though, it adds up fast, especially since most don’t post little two-sentence newsbites.
It’s a lot to read, let alone comment on (especially when an interesting follow-up discussion ensues). And, as Jim Anchower would say, I been busy as a mofo.
How about you? Do you pay close attention to just a few and skim the rest? Skim everything? Sacrifice everything else in your life to stay up-to-the-millisecond with every single blog you’ve ever been interested in? Use a sophisticated array of computers with custom artificial-intelligence software that pinpoints exactly what you’ll want to read at any moment? Sacrifice a goat to the gods while singing random passages of Wagner? (I’m not sure what that last one would accomplish, but, you know, different strokes and all that.)