Argh, Referer (sic) Spam

As the admin for serveral websites, I browse the statistics generated from my server logs. One of the parts I like best is the “referer” listing, which can show other pages that link to your site.

Unfortunately, some people noticed that lots of webmasters do this, and decided “hey, we should fake the referer link so that webmasters will think we linked to them, and they’ll visit our website!”

One of the latest ones I’ve seen faking a referer is this one:
http://www.webdevboard.com/showthread.php?t=22

I won’t create an actual link to them since they don’t deserve it. If you go there, they make you register before you can see what it’s all about. This blog does a good job of describing it. Basically the webdevboard site is creating one of those annoying “broken link” notifiers, and instead of using a robots.txt compliant spider, they are feeding their bogus referer to the web server. Thanks for the helpful service guys!

(referrer is misspelled in this post since someone misspelled it years ago when the web was new, so I’m propagating the madness!)

Update 2004-09-10: These same upstanding citizens of the net are apparently now spamming with an adminshop.com domain referer. Going to that page shows that they’re now trying to sell a package which intentionally spams referer logs. They might be related to devaddict.com, which has also been referer spamming lately. Ugh.