Archive for May 31st, 2011

31
May
11

Referrer Spam’s Hidden Value?

Okay,  we HATE referrer spam. And comment spam. And email spam. And Spam, that weird meat-like stuff in a can. Unless you fry it really crispy. But we digress.

Our least favorite things right now are referrer and comment  spam. Referrer spam’s when some douche bag sends robotic traffic to your site hoping that their URL will then appear in your referrer logs, which, if they are public, then counts as a backlink. They usually do this in a shotgun manner, plastering giant segments of the web with fake traffic that skews our visit data and makes it hard to see just how many real people might be using our sites. Comment spam is where some douche bag attaches automated, pretend-sy relevant comments on other people’s blogs hoping that they will get published and generate a backlink.

As a rule, we have been discounting any traffic that seems artificial and also adding any known traffic spam domains to our ever-growing list of filters. As for comment spam, we just flat delete ’em.

Only, wait a minute. What if there were some benefit to us deriving from these spam attacks? Could there be?

Well, we do strongly suspect that Google’s algo at least touches on average traffic as a ranking factor, so just maybe all that fake traffic makes our sites look more popular and maybe that’s at least a small boost to our ranking.

And with the new Panda update thing, the Goog seems to be prioritizing flags like “like” and “favorite” as well as comments and replies to comments. They even announced that they were going to start looking more seriously at “popularity” as a ranking factor.

So, at for now, we’re going to just the spam traffic come, making us look more frequently visited. Also, we going to start publishing spam comments! At least the ones that don’t look too skanky. Of course, we’ll remove any link back from any comment that is not a legitimate bit of conversation. Which means, if you want to leave a real comment on this blog—and you want to get link credit for it—you should probably say something more pithy than

Wow! What a great site! I favorite you! Can you help with a blog traffic problem? Your themes are just great! Can you show me some good blog themes?

Because if you do leave a real, actual, conversational, interesting, or useful comment, we’ll be more than happy to give you a “dofollow” link.

Will this work? Who knows. It’s an experiment. We’ll keep you posted.

That is all.