Dodgy websites showing as referrers in analytics

Posted on September 26, 2009


When you run your own website and you engage in Internet marketing activities such as SEO or PPC, it’s crucially important that you check your website’s statistics regularly to see where your traffic is coming from and whether you’re getting a good ROI (return on investment) from your Internet marketing.

Google Analytics is a good tool for this because it gives you detailed stats and it’s free to use.

If you do check your stats regularly, one part of your stats you should particular attention to is your referrers. This is a list of the websites, or rather specific pages on those sites, that have sent you traffic. You will receive traffic from websites when that site has linked to you. It could be an advert you’re paid for, a link that you have built, a natural link because they found your site interesting or perhaps you’re even being discussed on a blog or forum.

However, sometimes you’ll see sites like the ones below listed as your referrers.


Does this mean that your site is mentioned anywhere on these websites? No, it means that these sites are using a very dodgy form of Internet marketing whereby they send out automated browser hits to your website, from theirs, so that their sites show up in your referrer pages. Why do they do this? So that you will then visit their website and look for your link. It’s your traffic they’re after! They want you to visit them, see their site and maybe partake of their services.

You have the added security of knowing that at some point they’ve linked to you, so they must be OK, no?

No. Ignore sites like these. They are spam sites using black hat SEO methods.

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