Archived posts from the 'Spam' Category

Nailing Referrer-Spammers

The recent referrer-spam renaissance annoys me. Scumbags like the ten million pixels home page, ads on the moon and zillions more of Alex Tew plagiarists, assclowns like the dutch loan & mortgage scam afab.nl, legions of eBook diddlers like articledirector.com and other make-me-rich-while-screwing schemes, affiliate mobsters like googlecashworks or adsensetoyourincome, link peddlars like belinked.info, and gazillions of other low-life artists are running bots spoofing the HTTP referrer to make me click on their fucking scam URLs in my referrer stats.

Because those suckers are usually smart enough to avoid static IPs, it’s hard to block them. However, it’s possible to shut them down. I’ve sent a few cease & desist letters, received apologies, and stopped a couple of referrer spammers. Unfortunately, this approach involves work, that is research.

My emails cc:
· the admin/abuse/hostmaster email address of each domain appearing in the referrers
· the abuse address of the hosting company
· the abuse address of the domain registrar
· all email addresses collected from whois searches including the hosting company
· the abuse addresses of the ISPs from where the bots ran
· the email addresses of local authorities and all sorts of spamcops

Q: How to get the hosting service and domain registrar via domain name?
A: Do a whois search at WebHosting.info

Q: How to get the spammer’s ISP?
A: Search your server logs for the faked referrer URL and do a whois search at GeekTools for the user’s IP address

Q: What is a C&D letter?
A: Example C&D “Konstantin Lysenko and Sergei Goshko, stop your referrer spam bot or I’ll shut you down. 100 faked requests per hour to several URLs not linked from your site with your home page as referrer URL is abusive.” Example answer “Dear Sebastian, I worked on tool that checks my clients resources for inappropriate content. Possibly it went out of control. I disabled it for now. I’m really sorry it caused you problems. Thank you, Sergei”. The reply is laughable, but at least the referrer spam from that assclown was stopped.

Be creative :)



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Spam Detection is Unethical

While releasing a Googlebot Spoofer allowing my clients to check their browser optimization for search engine crawler responses, I was wondering again why major search engines tolerate hardcore cloaking to a great degree. I can handle my clients’ competition flooding the engines with zillions of doorway pages and alike, so here are no emotions involved. I just cannot understand why the engines don’t enforce compliance to their guidelines. That’s beyond any logic, thus I’m speculating:

They don’t care. If they would go after spamindexing, they would lose a few billions of indexed pages. That’ll be a very bad PR effect, absolutely unacceptable.

They have other priorities. Focusing on local search, they guess the problem solves itself, because it’s not very probable that a spammer resides close to the search engine user seeking a pizza service and landing in a PPC popup hell. Just claim it ain’t broke, so why fix it?

They believe spam detection is unethical. ‘Don’t be evil’ can be interpreted as ‘You can cheat us using black hat methods. We won’t make use of your own medicine to strike back’. Hey, this interpretation makes sense! Translation for non-geeks: ‘Spoofing is as evil as cloaking, cloaking cannot be discovered without spoofing, and since we aren’t evil, we encourage you to cloak’.

Great. Tomorrow I’ll paint my white hat black and add a billion or more sneaky pages to everyone’s index.

Seriously, I’ve a strong gut feeling the above said belongs to the past pretty soon. The engines changing their crawler’s user agent names to ‘Mozilla…’ could learn to render their spider food and to pull it from unexpected IP addresses. With all respect to successful black hat SEOs, I believe that white hat search engine optimization is a good business decision, probably on the long haul even in competitive industries.

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