2

In the logs of my website, there's a lot of visits with a HTTP referer set to spam-like websites (usually Russian sites, I've noticed). I assume what they're doing is just using a web crawler to visit any site they find with the HTTP referer as their site's URL.

Not only is this annoying because it skews stats regarding how many visitors I get, I really can't see what they hope to achieve either. That, on the rare occasion that I go crawling through my logs, I see a referer set to "spammyrussiansite.ru", and decide to visit it? There's more effective ways of spamming your site's URL than that, no?

3

I would search for some of the excellent answers on https://webmasters.stackexchange.com/ but simply put most people use log analyzers to generate visitor stats. Most log analyzers convert those referers to active links and too many people don't shield their stats pages, so when indexed your spammer gets pageRank

At least that was the reason more than a decade ago. I have some doubts if that is still as effective today, though.

0

You'd be surprised how many people see an unknown referer in their Google Analytics and turn to online forums asking why this particular website is referring traffic to them. In the process, they post a link to the referer in question, and the referer often gets a free dofollow link!

I discovered this by googling one of the offending domains myself and coming across numerous forum threads created by people trying to figure out what was happening.

The previous answer mentions analyzer logs, which would indeed create an active link, but those logs will not get crawled by bots unless someone links to them, so it would be difficult for the spammer to create a reputable citation flow to these logs.

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