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Monday, July 29, 2013

Don't click: Click You're Dead

or a proposal to turn referral spam in on itself.

So what brings you here?
What is a nice guy like you doing on a site like this?

Are you a guy? Did you think I was a guy?

Why do I ask?

My stats are inundated.... we're talking flooding the entire Nile River Delta, the Sphinx getting her paws wet inundated, from a site called the Tao of Badass. Now I'm just this little ole geek girl with the typical geek girl crushes and geek girl interests and geek girl hopes. I am weird even for some of my weird friends, breaking that threshold at a warp factor Scotty can not imagine. I lose people around not very sharp curves on a regular basis and have out geeked enough first dates to know that I will never get a second date if I don't tone it down.

The fact that I have not toned it down tells me that I am looking for a geek guy who can actually get over the hurdle or impress me with the creative alternatives. So far nothing too impressing. However, there is a lot to be frustrated about. And I have mentioned those frustrations here. And that makes me wonder if that is the reason that the Tao of Badass has found me.

It is a site designed to help men get the girl they have in their sites. It's rather glitzy looking. And I wonder if maybe it is from the same guy who likes to tell women what they are doing to chase men off and how to stop. I didn't look too closely at the site's actually contents. The fact that it is at the top of my stats makes me wonder about it being a spam bot. But a google search turned up all kinds of comments on youtube about the actual product eased those concerns.

So the Tao of Badass is a real thing though not on Amazon (or is it?). There are lots of other books that are almost the same but not that one. It makes me wonder if some of my ranting about how idiotic men are on approach brought them here. Perhaps the Tao has found me because of my tips on spotting a fake profile hunter, my rants about the stupid one liners... um. Wait. That might have just been on facebook. At any rate: Some how, for some reason the Tao has found me. And it turns out it really is mostly just a legit looking site that is used to hide referral spam. In other words it is linking to those similar looking books on Amazon but is not a real Amazon product. I'm sure someone will point that out to Amazon. So I will refrain from sounding that Trumpet and just let you guys in on a plot. A rebellion against the spammers. A way to Guy Fawkes the Fawkers.

And here is the thing. This looks like a real product. This guy might think that he has all the answers. So he might actually have some legit reason for being the top URL referrer. HOWEVER!!!! No legitimate traffic is coming to my site from his. So, since this happens so often. Since these kinds of people are so good at deflating our writerly egos. I say we take back the internet. And here is how:

First make sure you have the best anti virus software available to you and that it is updated. Run scans to be sure you are covered. If you are super savvy in tech talk then you can use Ubuntu to run a simulated desk top. I am not that savvy. So I am taking chances with doing things this way. Once you are secure proceed with joyous abandon but cautiously...

My fellow bloggers, open your dashboard and look at your stats. See those weird URLs that make no sense? DON'T CLICK them! Those are definitely spammers. Why bother creating a clever name when the random plinkety plink on the keys will yield an address? You'd think someone could come up with an algorithm to weed those random "poahgjajgpwu0t9hjagpka[     dot com"s.  I mean seriously if it is between a www. and a .com .net .org .co .whatever it should be clear that it is just spam. So DON'T CLICK THE RANDOM PLINKETIES!!!!!!!!!

Now to the rest of those URLs that show you who sends traffic your way. DON'T CLICK those either. CLICK AND YOU'RE DEAD. Instead open another tab then carefully highlight the possibly offensive URL, cut and paste that in the search browser and hit enter. One of two things will happen. The search will show the top search results: either a true fan or a list of people griping about referral spam and those who keep reminding the world DON'T CLICK!

And it is the second of the list that I want to talk about. All those people who keep posting about who the fake referrals are from don't write for their internet health. They write for yours, mine, ours. Referral spam takes the wind out of your sails as a writer/blogger. After days and days of this you wonder if it is worth it. The people who write to warn us of the spammers are fulfilling a civic duty. But they may also be providing us low tech folks who write for fun a way to stick it to the Spam-Man.

Read those blogs. Don't just read the referral spam posts. Read a few others. Follow whom you please. Publicly share their hard work. Leave a comment so that the author knows that you are a real person. Do this for a while. You will find some amazing content. And because there is so much referral spam out there and the "next blog" button is so awkward as to what it thinks is a similar blog to your own, you'd never find these awesome people in a life of Sundays. And when you comment let them know that you found them because the Google search showed them fighting the spammers. Just DON'T CLICK the links. CLICK AND YOU'RE DEAD.

Or hi-jacked. Which is like being dead in cyberspace.

This is the way that I found a pretty cool blogger that I follow on Google+ as well. As a matter of fact I have found a few cool bloggers because searching for the offending URL brought me some really good advice about avoiding spammers. Or a shared frustration and good old fashioned ranty rants.

I hate to think that my foreign visitors are just ghosts in the spam machine. But such is life. Again. Take the good. Take the bad. Then take it out on the spammers by becoming fans of their critics.



I need a gif

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