How can I stop referer spam?
February 7, 2005 10:07 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for some tips on reducing or eliminating referer spam. Has anyone had successes they can share?
posted by bluno to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I rewrote my logging tool to be triggered by an image embedded in a page, not by the page itself. Most link spammers don't bother loading all the images embedded by a page, although I do still get the occasional persistent spammer here and there.

If you wanted to be really sure, you could load the referring page and make sure it actually has a link to you. If not, you can then stick it in a database to be used as a blacklist.
posted by kindall at 10:41 AM on February 7, 2005

Caveat Lector has a series of posts on this:
posted by gnat at 10:49 AM on February 7, 2005

It has been getting worse lately, hasn't it?

I filter out the referer spam urls in the stats (in my case, in Analog, via the REFEXCLUDE command) config file.

Some choose to deny the bot/urls directly via .htaccess, but that seems a bit heavy handed and more likely to block out legitimate traffic.

Are your stats publicly available or published anywhere on your site(s)? Links in public stats are the whole reason for the referer spam in the first place. I'm also assuming that pinging sites like if you run a weblog attract referrer spammers just as they do comment spammers.
posted by jca at 10:53 AM on February 7, 2005

MT-Blacklist has been tweaked to work as a referrer filter. Details on Jay Allen's site.
posted by bcwinters at 11:38 AM on February 7, 2005

Do you mean you want to do away with seeing the entries in your logs, or you want to do away with the entries themselves? If it's the former, then you'll have to tell us what you use as your log viewing software, or at least what server you're running. If it's the latter, then you can't do away with it -- you have no control over what people use in the referrer string of their "browser" (user agent, really -- browser, spider, crawler, spamming tool).
posted by delfuego at 4:35 PM on February 7, 2005

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