Pages

Sunday, 24 April 2005

Statcounter: key to cryptic referring URLs






I'm listing for reference the main mystery referrers (or referers) I get against "Referring URLs" on my page at Statcounter - the free Website traffic tracker which I use for monitoring and analysing the web stats for my blog, i.e. the statistics about visits and visitors to my blog:

lockedReferrer
The link is to http://my3.statcounter.com/blockedReferrer and when I click on it I get:
"Not Found
The requested URL /blockedReferrer was not found on this server."
Answer: The visitor's browser has been set to block the sending of info about where they've come from, e.g. they've used an anonymiser.

No referring link
Answer: the visitor has come to the blog direct (not via clicking a link), e.g. typing the URL in their address bar or via a bookmark/favorite or newsfeed link.

Weird referers that look like a path to a folder on a computer e.g. file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/somethingorother
Answer: the visitor previously saved the blog post (including the Statcounter tracking code) to their own computer, and they've just opened it on their computer to read.

Referring links that end "mystatcounter.com"
Answer: I'd linked to someone else's site or blog from one of my blog posts. A visitor to my blog clicks my link to visit the other blog. The other blog is also using Statcounter to track its stats so the "Referring URL" shows up on that blog's Statcounter page as my blog post, and the owner, in checking their statistics, has clicked that Referring URL link to see where their visitor came from, and landed back at my blog.

Referring links that point to another blog at Blogspot.com which contains no links whatsoever to my blog
Answer: the other blog is on Blogger, and publishing to Blogger's free Blogspot hosting service. Sadly for me they've not linked to my blog, they probably haven't even heard of it. But a visitor to their blog has clicked on the 'Next Blog' link button in that blog's standard Blogger navbar - and it happens to be my blog's turn to be the target of these random clicks. (It seems to go in fits and starts! Suddenly I'll get loads of these for an hour or two, then nothing for ages. They must be doing something to try to give every Blogger blog a fair crack at the random traffic).

Referring URL is http://www.statcounter.com/counter/counter.js
Answer: this is a mystery. That link is to Statcounter's script which is incorporated when someone includes Statcounter code on their website or blog. There shouldn't be clickable links in the javascript so it shouldn't be possible to get that as a referer. Spammers, perhaps? [Edited 30 August 2005:] Mystery solved. Not spammers, but hackers trying to get your Statcounter user/password details. See this post.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 comments:

ChickyBabe said...

Great post! And thanks for demystefying the codes.

I often wondered if file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/somethingorother also meant the user has come through a feed eg using Sage through Firefox browser as I have done now.

TaB said...

Just wait till you can play with server side stats, very interesting. You wont see the bots visit your page. They spoof referring headers and user agents, even good mannered google bot does this, I have no idea why? Mozilla spelt “Mozira” huh? LOL

Someone brought to my attention the other day using work WAP points will brand a header no matter where I click through, that’s alarming! Probably an effort to stop spam on our proxy servers and see where traffic is going.

That local link typically means someone has jacked your page, because offline reading wont keep a store st click through, they die fast them .js clicks and you will set a local host 127.xx.xx ip on the cookie,so they are online in a review mode of your page not just its content. I use to get them a lot when people would pull my page into an editor and take things from it, we may see a lot of it asking Q’s at the forum, people trying to help often dl your code to re-work.

Try and get you into our place Improb, you would have so much fun with the bots! I watch them in real time sometimes LOL

Unknown said...

Good post. Very helpful.

Improbulus said...

Thanks for your comments, CB, Tab and satishtalim.

Tab - what did you mean by "jacked", and online in a review mode of my page? I got that "offline reading" answer from Statcounter's own site... Got to admit I still don't follow a lot of that. Yes I'd love to get into your place sometime, play with the server side stats and watch the bots! Sounds like fun!

Anonymous said...

SC team Aren’t very proficient in explaining, and interpreting their own results sometimes. I come in from some closed proxies and I have indicated to them that they paint the wrong geo location, they still say im not in Dubai when I am, honest I am, and would you like me to ring you? Hehe..

The funky uri you displayed I also brought to their attention, off line readers wont keep the cookie – I have detailed stats so I can tell when someone looks at my site in jack mode, i.e. cutting my source out and pasting it into an editor, I can see the editor used if its an identifiable signature like “Dreamweaver”.

Improbulus said...

Tab, I have to say I'm still mystified... will quiz you more about those uris & cookies & jacking sometime!

hassan said...

Hi :)

You have a great blog! I'll make sure to visit regularly. Keep blogging!

I have a website on Website Traffic which you might be interested in. Please check it out if you get some time :)

Improbulus said...

Thanks hassan! Will indeed add checking out your blog to my list...

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I typed proxy list on blogger and got your blog.
I use proxy list to get fresh proxy.

Here is my lastest list :

194.228.220.72:32886
195.222.46.25:42324
200.246.59.79:26151
200.126.70.9:27612
155.143.72.32:20766
201.17.63.201:32793
200.126.114.66:11027
200.126.114.66:42672
195.59.180.151:18590
199.227.176.11:15713
200.94.161.58:4047
151.196.6.134:23086
151.200.240.34:8659
161.139.194.2:9944
201.17.96.203:28775
200.44.114.50:21367
158.194.190.166:27043
193.77.126.108:16120
12.210.226.78:12792
158.194.190.166:27630
12.216.48.131:11028
130.160.145.38:21024
131.94.223.11:38261
150.187.117.20:12674
140.113.122.107:2991
125.96.115.116:35224
140.127.73.133:17150
205.242.223.202:24020
125.242.45.2:4047
203.73.39.202:12694
193.189.190.145:36264
138.88.17.248:35183
201.222.161.198:15661
200.1.10.145:11854
125.244.235.2:10036
203.133.27.133:4710
203.121.63.166:1842
202.70.236.163:17918
141.155.108.197:24292
202.110.54.146:19252
202.110.54.146:20068
193.155.177.25:1488
203.131.91.22:1785
125.246.148.196:3246
131.94.223.11:37833
200.187.147.117:2959
207.119.63.56:17474
208.180.253.19:40125
208.180.221.16:37378
207.55.96.24:20237
207.55.96.24:12046
203.197.76.11:14283
208.191.222.179:4696
208.180.221.16:36850
203.101.108.67:13210
208.180.249.98:17465
208.180.249.98:17618
203.199.204.20:14062
210.187.117.2:1253
208.191.222.179:3778
210.210.108.11:21485
202.83.174.107:41934
208.191.167.39:4075
208.32.68.17:18945
211.144.92.55:37047
203.133.27.195:14904
211.237.87.130:24251

Anonymous said...

Can I ask you for an question? My blog's statistics keep showing my friend's blog URL, which she has never came to my blog, how did this happen? It looks very weird to me....

Improbulus said...

Anon, your friend has probably linked to your blog from hers. If someone goes to her blog and clicks that link to go to your blog, your statistics will show your friend's blog URL as the referer even if your friend herself doesn't go to your blog. At least, I think that's what you mean - your friend doesn't need to have visited your blog, just linked to it. If that's not what you mean perhaps you could elaborate?

Anonymous said...

Bravo! I think that is exactly what I mean. I asked my friend to delete the link from hers. Thank you!

Improbulus said...

Glad it answered your question anon. But most people positively want to have links to their blogs from other people's blogs, and get more visitors that way! Unless of course you want to keep your blog as private as possible.