A few weeks ago I read Jem’s blog “Live.com Fake SERP Referrals Are Pissing Me Off” but at the time never had the issue myself. Well, shortly after her post I’ve been having the Live.com spambot hitting up a couple of my domain with one-keyword search referrals. 100% of the Live.com “traffic” has been from spoofed referrals, and it’s not stopping.
I really don’t care to contact Microsoft in regards to the issue–I’m just going to go all out and block the bot from accessing those websites. I’ll end up settings up a robots.txt file, but apparently that might not be enough as some user(s) are still experiencing issues with the bot avoiding the robots.txt file; Time to dig up the IP addresses being used so I can deny those too.
If I honestly had some real results coming from Live.com’s search, I’d be apprehensive to blog anything associated with it, but so far I’ve yet to ever receive one legitimate search referral from it. I frequent my Mint statistics more than I should on a daily basis, so I can see what keywords I need to work on.. I just can’t afford to waste my time with fake hits. Stop skewing up my shit!
I found a nice little tutorial on block bots on various levels ranging from an .htaccess redirect that sends them back to their own site, blocking their IP address, and a couple other variations. An anonymous comment from another entry, Live.com’s Referrer Spam Has Left Me In Despair provides a snippet you can add to your .htaccess file to also block the bot, given that it seems to ignore any robots.txt settings.
SetEnvIfNoCase User-Agent "^msnbot" bad_bot
<Limit GET POST>
Allow from all
Deny from env=bad_bot
What I don’t understand is how they are getting away with doing this? I mean, they publicly admitted they were doing it and yet they are allowed to continue doing it? I am going to use that snippet just in case, my site isn’t very popular but I still don’t want stupid Livebots all up in my site. 😉 Thanks for sharing!
I’m getting tons of “search referrals” in my statistics from Live.com. I was beginning to wonder how searching for the word “buying” or “going” was really getting people to my website. Then Jem’s post helped me realize it was spam.
I already have some code in my .htaccess to block it, but it isn’t working. I’ll try what you’ve provided and see how it goes. Thanks Jordan!
I used to hate spider referrals, but I downloaded a new plugin for wordpress that allows me to tell the difference between spiders or robots, and actual visits & referrals. Its very nice, and now I can reap the advantages of the Live’s robots without the annoyance.
Knock on wood, I haven’t had too many problems with Spam bots – as far as I know anyway. Akismet seems to eliminate it all, a little too well at times actually. It’s caught a few legit comments.
I’ll be bookmarking this post for future reference, just incase I’d run into this problem.
Brandy, I don’t have any problem with spam comments; The entry is about fake search referrals from search.live.com…
It’s stupid that in order to get the fake hits to stop you would have to consider contacting Microsoft. All bots should follow the rules of a Robots.txt file. Why should Microsoft be an exception?
I’m going to give this a try seeing as my Mint is telling me all my recent hits are also the one-word live searches. Grr!
Did you try this one?
(Be warned, I think this is what fucked up Mint for me.)
Yeah, I tried out her version but it didn’t do anything at all; Although it didn’t break Mint for me.
Thanks for that -only just opened my blog but I shall bear this in mind 🙂 Happy new year.
I’ve been getting constant spam like this from Windows Live for several months now. I’m glad to know it actually is spam and not just a load of arbitrary spider hits that were being classed as search referrals.
Banning it right now 🙂
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