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Another Spammer

August 22nd, 2005

Not a big deal here, but this one web site caught my attention because of their high score on the sliminess scale. First of all, I found them because they referral-spammed me. Whenever a new address appears on my referral list, it could either be (a) a legit site with a link to my page sending real people my way, or (b) a spammer. Sometimes the domain name gives it away, as is the case with most porn sites, for example. But often times the domain name seems innocuous but may be spam, so I have to check it out before putting it on my blacklist.

Now, when I do this, I never click on the link my stats page generates–because if I do so, the spammer will see where I came from, and that’s a no-no. So I copy and paste the URL into a blank window, making it a direct referral with no traceback to the origin. Will I contribute to the spammer’s number of visitors? Yes, but I don’t care, I’m not buying anything so it does them zero good.

When I got to this site, I found that they were selling something with the quite asinine name of “Blog Blaster.” Yep, they were selling people on plastering their ads on blogs. Swell. By the way, it seems that their primary target is a free blogging tool called “GetFreeBlogs.com,” so you will want to steer clear of that place. But what really caught my attention was the prominent logo on the spammer’s site: a big “no-spam” mark, the word “spam” with a red circle and a line through it. I just love it when spammers claim they are against spam; that’s Burnham-style.

Considering that I found them via their spamming me, that’s just too precious.

By the way, I’ve noticed something new about referral spam that has a relation to email spam: they’re starting to mark the spam with tracking codes. When I started looking into email spam way back, I noticed that some of the links in emails had nonsense text-strings as part of the web page address–for example (fake address), http://spammer.com/ksjb39p4qh/ or something like that. I soon figured out what the nonsense was: a tracking code. When the spammer sends the email spam, each spam has a different link tracking code which they associate with a different email address. Without that, they don’t know which spam victims came back to them, which email addresses were active and reading spam. But if the unwary victim clicks on the link, the referral they generate will identify them in the spammer’s database.

Now it appears that referral spammers are using the same method. Apparently the trick I used above to avoid creating an identifiable referral for the spammer to know where I came from, is common enough for spammers to want to get around it–or there is some other element to the game I’m missing. Either way, the referral spammers are now tagging their spam to get more info on who is coming back to them. Sneaky. Slimy. And busted–I’m not falling for it.

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  1. ReyLynda
    August 23rd, 2005 at 10:58 | #1

    These comments are extremely helpful. I’m new to the blog world and am pursuing resources everywhere to make less noobish mistakes. Will have to read your archives and backtrack a bit, thanks again.

  2. Peter
    November 10th, 2005 at 11:06 | #2

    A very informative blog. I was sent an email by a SEO firm about the above-mentioned “Blog-Blaster” and am extremely annoyed to find out from your blog that this software uses unethical spamming techniques.

    I am new to Blogging so found your other article about “referral spamming” extremely useful.

    Thank you again for taking the time to write these articles.

    Kind Regards,


  3. November 22nd, 2005 at 10:50 | #3

    I just brought this blog – blaster when I got an email about it a couple of weeks ago. I have a few month old website and I’m new to the ecomerce world. I figured I’d try out blog-blaster because it was the best offer I got for marketing my website. The people that were calling me on the phone for SEO were asking for $1000. Anyways this program did not help my marketing at all and it was a waste of money. I was curiose what people have to say about blog – blaster so I did a google search and found your site, thanks for your info. I’ll now go and take off blog – blasters link I put on my website. Please let me know how not to get lured into spamming again. I’m pretty naive and I’m afraid of who will come and take advantage of me next. If you have any suggestions of how to get my website going in an economical honest way, please let me know!

    Thank You!!!

  4. Luis
    November 23rd, 2005 at 08:58 | #4


    I allowed the comment, but I gotta tell ‘ya, I agonized over it a little. I mean, regardless of the message, which I appreciate… you put in a commercial link, which is against the house rules. Afraid of setting any kind of precedent, I almost decided to delete the link while allowing the message, on the grounds that a link getting through would encourage spam writers to issue messages in their spam akin to yours so as to get their link through. But spam, by its nature, cannot have messages as long and as customized as yours; combined with the message content and the inoffensive nature of the product, I figured ‘what the heck.’

    Hope you do well there, and glad you’re not spamming.

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