Live Search Referral Spam

This blog gets decent traffic from Google and Yahoo!, and a little bit from Live, but Live is just an oddball. I thought I was getting traffic from people actually using the search engine, but my instinct said otherwise. My traffic logs list some search query hits from Live with the following form:

Another variant is from MSN Search with the following form:

Great, right? Nope. The keywords are often unrelated. For most of the related keywords that show up in these referrals, none of my pages rank high enough (if at all) which leads me to believe that Live bots are just spamming websites with these phony referrals.

Apparently, it’s some kind of “quality check,” whatever that means. No matter what it’s for, it skews site statistics and ad revenue. I pulled up some related links about this issue:

  1. Yell if Microsoft’s Spammed You Too
  2. Microsoft Plays Referrer Stats Games and Ruins Your AdSense Income
  3. Microsoft Live Search's Strange Spam-Like Referrals Are Official Tests
  4. MS Live Search hitting web sites with fake referer information
  5. Is Microsoft Live Search stuffing our log files
  6. MSN, Ban Me I don’t Care, But Stop Sending Spam Referrals
  7. Strange Referrer Activity
  8. Live search referrer spamming
  9. The Art of Web ~ System- Referer Spam from Live Search
  10. Microsoft Reports That Issues With Their Live Search Cloaking

Tags: Blogging, Google, Issues, Live, MSN, Search Engine, SEO, Website, Yahoo!

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