Friday, February 04, 2005

New Web Site Traffic-Generating Tactic

I was reviewing my web statistics today, and I saw a couple of unexpected "Referrer URLS" from [domain deleted so as not to give them free advertising] in my top twenty. Ever curious, I pasted the addresses into my browser and found that they led to online casino gaming sites. I found a few other gaming site URLs further down the list, as well as a couple of "performance enhancement pill" dealers.

I know these guys aren't actually linking to me, so this must be a new (to me, at least) tactic to boost traffic to their web site. I am guessing that they have some sort of spam bot that plucked my URL off a search engine and generated a "click" to it from their URL. Interesting idea, but I doubt that they would have much luck with this sort of tactic. Then again, it worked on me, although I didn't stay for long--just long enough for a big popup window to appear. When I closed it, three more popups appeared. With a design that obnoxious, do they ever get returning visitors?

3 comments:

decrepitoldfool said...

It isn't that they're hoping people reading your site will click through to theirs (though that could happen.) But having links to their site plastered all over the place, even if it's in your comments or referrer logs, raises their Google ranking when people search for gambling or whatever.

They do the same thing to my blog, too. If I could figure out how to send a fifty-trillion-volt shock back through the web and straight up their shorts...

David Johnsen said...

I know what you're talking about (I've seen it done and read about how it is a growing problem for bloggers), but this is different. These sites don't show up in my blog comments or on any other public HTML on my site--they are in my host's web statistics in the list of sites that my visitors came from (mostly search engines and a few sites that link to my bicycling pages). Someone viewing my site would never see these "referrer URLs," nor would a search engine's spider. AFAIK, they are password-protected; I have to log into my web host or my FTP account to access them. Maybe other hosts don't protect this information? Even then, I can't imagine why a spider would read a log file unless someone linked to it directly (I suppose the gambling site could create a page that links to the log files of others as part of the scheme, though).

nita said...

uh, that's why i'm reading you...you were in my referral list. i don't get sitemeter yet, but it is interesting!