In Russia, State Fairs are Sexy
August 29, 2012 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Why are Russian dating and adult sites linking to my blog, and should I be concerned?

I've been noticing a steady stream of traffic to my blog from a set of Russian dating and adult video sites. As far as I can tell, they're not using any of my content (and there's nothing remotely titillating, anyway). The title of the blog does contain the word "Russia."

Something to be concerned about (hacking / virus?) Just an oddity?

If your answer involves checking the CGD codes against the Xylophone logs or anything of a similarly complex nature, please give very detailed and simple instructions. Thank you.
posted by charmcityblues to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
This is referer spam. It's pretty much an oddity, and nothing to worry about unless your blog publishes logs of incoming links (that's what they try to game).
posted by zsazsa at 2:49 PM on August 29, 2012

And as for "why would they be linking to your blog specifically," the answer is "because it's there." I think Russian sites take a "throw everything at the wall and keep what sticks" approach to promoting themselves, and are trying to link to a crap-ton of other blogs as well. Your blog's name just got spat out by a list of possible random blog names, and when they figure out you keep removing the comments that they put up, they'll move on.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:54 PM on August 29, 2012

They're actually not commenting, which seems strange... just lots of visits (over a period of several weeks now).

And no published referral logs, either.
posted by charmcityblues at 4:07 PM on August 29, 2012

I get these, too. I think that there are a lot of unsophisticated users in Eastern Europe (also Ukraine, for instance) who are being preyed upon by frauds who are selling SEO snake oil.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:28 PM on August 29, 2012

I'm not sure what you're competing in, but it's possible this is reverse SEO. Your competitor may be trying to reduce your rank for a keyword by suggested to the search engines that your blog is in a bad neighbourhood and that it's actually about something related to dating sites.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:07 PM on August 29, 2012

Chaussette, it's just a very new personal blog (about my impending move to a remote island in Alaska with my husband). I don't imagine anyone would care enough to attack it in any way? Though I could be underestimating the viciousness of the blog world...
posted by charmcityblues at 11:39 PM on August 29, 2012

My hunch is that the comments will start showing up in a month or so. And they'll be obvious spam comments.

I have a really lame-ass Livejournal blog and about a year ago I started getting random Russian followers, and thought nothing of it - until six months after they started showing up when I started getting random Russian-language comments on years-old posts out of nowhere. I think that they start by just following you and then they leave a comment months later when you're not expecting it.

And they do this to just about everyone.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:18 AM on August 30, 2012

I get about 50 total hits a day on my blog. About 40 of those come from Russian spammers. I used to get about 20 hits a day until (a couple years back) I mentioned the Russian spammers in a post (mostly about weird search terms that people use to get to my blog) and then they more than doubled and have stayed pretty constant since then. They're not causing me any grief, and while I pity the poor compromised computers that make their botnet, I don't think that there's any real harm.

So, to that extent, I'd disagree with Empress — I think they throw everything at the wall and then just keep throwing things at the wall, regardless of what works.
posted by klangklangston at 2:44 PM on August 30, 2012

For the record, my definition of "works" in this context is "the Russian botnet spammers have found a blog that actually exists and is accepting comments still", rather than "the Russian botnet spammers are getting site traffic from this blog".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:13 PM on August 30, 2012

If it's a new blog and you're not in a competitive niche, I'm more inclined to think that they are trying to get backtracks or something like htat - or that they are trying to use your comments for links.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 7:56 PM on August 31, 2012

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