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10:54am on Thursday, 12th May, 2005:

And I'll Try This Because Why?


As is my wont, I had a look at my web stats last night. Still top of the list of hits is the photo of Ciara, with 1,599 downloads so far this month. Something interesting happened when I looked at the referrers, though...

Top of the referers is images.google.com. Fair enough.

Next is www.myspace.com/, via about 20 users. Some are linking to the Ciara picture; others are linking to the Tom, Florence or Foz pictures, and others it's hard to tell because I have to be logged in to myspace to find out (and I don't have/want an account).

Next is google.com. Again, fair enough. This is followed by google.co.uk, then images.google.de, then images.google.uk (odd how we look at text first but the Germans and Americans look at images first) then images.google.ca.

Next, we have apolyton.net, where I have a Civ3 map of Venus.

Then we get to juris-net.com...

I haven't put in a link to this lot, because I don't want you to click on it. If you were to click on it, you would be treated to two regular-sized web pages advertising online poker, followed by a full-screen one, all of which try to open new pages when you close them. Actually, there may be more for all I know: this is just how far it got before I did close them. They have 152 referrer sites listed, all being concerned with poker, casinos, blackjack and online gambling. Of course, these aren't actually referrer sites: these are the result of some program telling my web server that they're referrers.

What amazes me here is that people somehow have the idea that if they try to capture my screen and flood me with ads for their "service", I'm going to look on them favourably. Of course I'm not! More to the point, is anyone at all going to? "Gosh, gee, I was checking my web stats and then these guys took over my screen and told me where I could play Texas Hold-'Em online. They seem fairly straight-up kinda guys, maybe I'll sign up with them.". HA!

Not everyone who makes false referred claims is trawling for stupid webmasters. Some try to appeal to ones who are smart, but not quite smart enough. One such example is thetrafficproject, which also has a link in my referrers list. You're so clever for having found their web site that you forget how annoying it is to have some false referrer in your web stats. You'll happily use their techniques to bug people with links to your site! It's free, so why not? I'll tell you why not, you patronising smarmballs: because that's MY BANDWIDTH you're wasting, MY TIME you're wasting, and MY WEB STATS you're screwing up. And you're doing this hoping to gain MY CUSTOM? What kind of mad do you think I am?! Go away and swallow a toad.

If I find out that this is all an ARG, I'm going to go out and buy a shotgun...

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).