Friday, April 12, 2013

The fillintheblankstats and other evil referrerbots

Not long ago, I started paying attention to my blog stats and noticed some referrals coming from a vampirestat/villainstat/zombiestat site. Searching, I – fortunately – turned up a couple of bloggers who’ve posted recently warning people about these referrerbot operations that exploit the stats feature to get bloggers to visit their sites, where the lucky will be subjected to ads and the unlucky possibly to worse. (The comment threads are worth reading, too.)

The takeaway:

• Don’t click on these or other unfamiliar referring sites.

• Don’t include their full URLs or link to them for any purpose, including in posts or comments ranting about them.

• Do face the reality that many of the visitors to your blog are likely bots. Sigh wistfully, and keep writing.

Site Meter apparently doesn’t include them in its stats, so I see no reason Blogger can’t find a way to exclude them as well. After all, their using Google's features for their own malicious purposes will make people less likely to trust or choose Google, so Google would seem to have an interest in putting a stop to it.

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