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When I look at Awstats 404 errors I see sometimes strange referrers. For example on I might see a 404 error reported in Awstats that says:

URL (not found)        Referrers

some-file.jpg is a file that does not exist, so it's not strange that if someone tried to reach it got back a 404 from server.

The strange part is that the referring page DOES NOT EXIST TOO, I mean DOES NOT EXIST, so how could it be the referrer?

Is it some client cheating the referrer?


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have a look at this question and it's answers… – Iain Oct 30 '10 at 17:53
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Referrer Spam is where a spammer sends fake Referrer data to see if it ends up in the referrers section of your public web-pages showing your standard web-log analyses (e.g "Top Referrers"). If the fake referrer does become visible, the spammer know they can use this technique to place spam links into your web-site causing visitors to your site to see links to their spam sites.

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