other posted in other news  on 19 July 2009
by Andrew Lang 
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Bing Referral Spam / False Visitor Stats

Microsoft are doing it again regarding referral spam. They are sending false "visitors" to your site who supposedly found your site on the Bing search engine using single keyword searches like "item", "dollar", "product", and even "general"(!). It's quickly apparent these are false visitors (i.e. Microsoft sending a bot to your site) as sites getting such traffic do not rank at all for these generic keywords.

So what is going on? It seems Microsoft are sending traffic to sites to see what content is there that a normal human searcher would find. Normally they send bots to your site to index it. But they know that some people are sneaky and recognise the MSN bot, and so show DIFFERENT content there for the MSN bot (that humans WOULDN'T see). This is known as cloaking, and there are various reasons why some webmasters do this (reasons not important for this blog entry). SO, by fooling the server by pretending to be a real "human", Microsoft can see if a website is using cloaking or not.

The downside to all of this is website owners see a lot of false visitor data, thinking they rank for generic keywords when they don't. puresilva template has just been updated to filter out this false data.

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