2.01.2013

private eyes

Ever feel like you're being watched but can't tell if it's in a good or bad way? That's how I've felt over the months of December and January. They were a boom according to the pageview totals, and I would be a lot more excited about that had my followers grown with the traffic. They haven't, at least publicly they haven't. I know a lot of that traffic came from referrer spam sites, bots, and the rest from spam commenters. I'm just not sure how much was real people reading versus spam traffic yet. Before I go on here's my obligatory why I blog declaration. It's done mainly as a means to document my story/progress through this chapter in my life. I chose to share it publicly because perhaps something here may help you at best, or at worst my back road slide into dementia entertains you. Whatever the case, there's a cute beagle in the story and no one can resist a cute beagle.

I did some research and no one has found an effective way of blocking unwanted traffic in any sort of effective way where blogs are concerned. The advice being offered on referrer spam is to simply not click on the links and they'll go away. They, in fact, don't go away. Instead they go out and tell all their friends who tell their friends as is evidenced by all the new links appearing in my blog stats. Still I managed to find a two possible solutions worth trying. Hold my beer and watch this ...

The first was to allow only the google bot to crawl my site while blocking all others. Here's the link on how to set it up if you're feeling up to it (http://www.robotstxt.org/robotstxt.html). Unfortunately I also read that this only really works if said bot happens to comply with the command. I'll see what this does over the next week and most likely remove it if it proves to be useless.

The second change was to disable anonymous comments. Sorry I know some of you haven't been able to sort our your blogger account/comment issues but you're going to have to solve them if you wish to comment here. The spam comment filter works great and catches every single one, but I also use "comment moderation" as an added layer of security. I noticed, after about a year of this, that all spam comments were posted anonymously which is the main reason for this change.

I imagine what I've done is the digital version of drinking snake oil, twice. So until google or someone else comes up with an actual solution I think we're all screwed. 

Good luck!

8 comments:

  1. I do the same thing thing Steve. Got tired of all the Spamming. Just hope they ARE staying away and they aren't plotting someway to get through now. But of course they are.

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    1. Not all of them are malicious though. Most are just trying to get you to click on their links to generate traffic on their sites. A handfull are up to no good but luckily that is Google's problem to solve since it's their security at stake.

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  2. Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean ninjas aren't hanging from your ceiling watching tv behind you.

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    1. They make the best house guests though. Always quiet, clean up after themselves every single time, ask for nothing, never eat crunchy foods when I'm watching the tube.

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  3. Well since you asked, I'm watching (reading) you. I've been wanting to the living in a van or RV for most of my life but haven't even taken any steps towards that goal.
    Right now I'm between jobs and broke. It looks like I might start working soon, and will be able to start saving up for life on the road. I've been reading many other blogs as well about people who have actually done it, and those that are trying to do it. So that's why I'm here :) lurking in the shadows lol.

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    1. Wow! Gabe, first off, very cool of you for stepping up like that. Second, I'm pulling for you on getting that job, but more importantly getting back on your feet and where you wanna go. Thanks again and good luck to you man!

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  4. Replies
    1. I saw what you did there ... LOVE IT!

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