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JacobSeated

The strange things we experience as website owners

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Posted (edited)

I own a website/blog where I write about different technical subjects, mainly web-development and coding. No reason to post it here, since I am not trying to advertise.

Over the years I have observed some really weird and interesting things that people will do relating to my site.

One time, someone took my entire website and placed it in an iframe. The site that did this was total spam. Never found out why or what they wished to accomplish by doing it.

Luckily I have not had major problems with plagiarism yet, but I do have scrapers stealing my content and posting it together with spam on other sites.
The exact purpose of this is unclear to me, since they mainly post gibberish, and it seems they gain nothing from doing it. What is strange is that some of the sites is using AdSense, and it seems they are not even banned for these activities.

It does not seem like this has any negative impact on my rankings; only recently one of my articles, ranked on first page, got de-indexed; and I had to request re-indexing — after which it quickly returned to same spot as before it was de-indexed.

Perhaps the strangest thing, and something that is still happening, is that one of my articles is getting blasted with HTTP requests from countless of different IP addresses, and this has probably been going on for more than a year now.
Most of these are simple GET requests, and I can tell it is not legitimate traffic, since typically the same IP will be using a lot of different user agent strings, and occasionally it might even post a spam comment (POST request);

I have now started to ban the most aggressive ones, since they have been making hundreds of requests to the same article, and it was starting to mess with my internal statistics. If I look up the IPs, then they will usually have been reported for malicious activity, so I am fine with blocking them. I just do not want to be manually blocking IPs, so maybe it would be better to install a server module to deal with it.

I am just really curious about these activities, since some of it has been going on for so long, and it just seems completely pointless. Maybe someone here has found out what some of this is about?

I also get a lot of spam comments, without any links in them, so it is also a mystery to me why someone would want to post all this junk on someone's website without anything to gain from it.
Presumably it is some sort of attempt to influence search rankings indirectly, maybe by getting people's website de-indexed because of spam comments — but that is just pure speculation on my part.
 

Edited by JacobSeated

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4 hours ago, JacobSeated said:

One time, someone took my entire website and placed it in an iframe. The site that did this was total spam. Never found out why or what they wished to accomplish by doing it.

Could be to "host" your content on their site so that they get traffic. Could be to try to increase their own legitimacy.

 

4 hours ago, JacobSeated said:

Luckily I have not had major problems with plagiarism yet, but I do have scrapers stealing my content and posting it together with spam on other sites.

Bots harvesting content for their own websites to drive more traffic to them and increase their ad revenue.

 

4 hours ago, JacobSeated said:

It does not seem like this has any negative impact on my rankings; only recently one of my articles, ranked on first page, got de-indexed; and I had to request re-indexing — after which it quickly returned to same spot as before it was de-indexed.

Google does a decent job of distinguishing actual sites from spam sites.

 

4 hours ago, JacobSeated said:

Perhaps the strangest thing, and something that is still happening, is that one of my articles is getting blasted with HTTP requests from countless of different IP addresses, and this has probably been going on for more than a year now.
Most of these are simple GET requests, and I can tell it is not legitimate traffic, since typically the same IP will be using a lot of different user agent strings, and occasionally it might even post a spam comment (POST request);

Likely either malicious probes or bots trying to spam you.

 

4 hours ago, JacobSeated said:

I have now started to ban the most aggressive ones, since they have been making hundreds of requests to the same article, and it was starting to mess with my internal statistics. If I look up the IPs, then they will usually have been reported for malicious activity, so I am fine with blocking them. I just do not want to be manually blocking IPs, so maybe it would be better to install a server module to deal with it.

There are tools to identify traffic patterns and react accordingly. fail2ban is one of the most popular and is primarily used to throttle IPs sending too many requests.

 

4 hours ago, JacobSeated said:

I am just really curious about these activities, since some of it has been going on for so long, and it just seems completely pointless. Maybe someone here has found out what some of this is about?

Everything they do boils down to increasing advertising revenue.

 

4 hours ago, JacobSeated said:

I also get a lot of spam comments, without any links in them, so it is also a mystery to me why someone would want to post all this junk on someone's website without anything to gain from it.

Keywords. If your reputable site has particular keyword content (even from comments) then it begins to establish a correlation between your actual content and their keywords. It's a long con.

 

4 hours ago, JacobSeated said:

Presumably it is some sort of attempt to influence search rankings indirectly, maybe by getting people's website de-indexed because of spam comments — but that is just pure speculation on my part.

There isn't a whole lot of sabotage like that out there. It's mostly about associating spam sites/content with legitimate sites/content, thus suggesting a relevance to their content. If your site covers subject matter A, B, and C, and comments on your site also suggest spammy subject matters X, Y, and Z, then it suggest people interested in the former may also appear to be interested in the latter.

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