Skip to main content

The Wonders of the Internets

A Series of Tubes
A Series of Tubes
After writing about my Twitter encounter earlier in the day with Wil Wheaton I sat back and waited with morbid interest to see if web traffic would increase. Sure enough it did, but in a way that's baffling and a little bit concerning.

I use Google statistics to track site hits. Most of the time the statistics make sense. For example, several of my posts about the Olympus E-P2 and E-P3 generated quite a few hits. But there are times when I look at the statistics Google is generating and they make absolutely no sense at all. Today was one of those head-scratching events.

I've been writing in this blog since May 2005, and at this point it has over 1,000 posts (1,056 including this posting). The subjects range all over the place. And its popularity has varied widely over time. I know, for example, that during 2007 and 2008, when I was writing pretty extensively about Linux, my site was in the hundred thousands as far as popularity was concerned. It's since dropped down to the low millions, which is where it sits today. My site isn't one of those that will make any kind of money based on page views. Consider Kirk Tuck's Visual Science Lab. Kirk's site easily gets more hits in one week than I'll see all year, sometimes more hits in one day than I'll see all year. Kirk deserves that kind of traffic because he's that good of a writer. My little blog isn't an internet powerhouse by any stretch, and I can live with that.

But today was one of those days when the traffic count spiked after publishing said article and the traffic was coming from sites and domains I'd never heard of. What's more, the counts weren't going to any particular post. From what I could tell they weren't going to any post at all, just to the site address itself.

The top-level domains (TLDs) where these hits were coming from were interesting. All of the top ranking sites were coming from .tv (Tuvalu, an island somewhere in the western Pacific due east of Indonesia and Australia) and .tk (Tokelau, another tiny island in the south Pacific that is part of the territory of New Zealand). And they had such interesting site names, such as 777seo (search engine optimization), profitsites, and lethal-commissions. Just out of curiosity I clicked on some of the links in an isolated VM sandbox, and sure enough all those links pointed to a bunch of come-ons for software and services designed to drive traffic to my site and Make Me Rich. It's a funny way to advertise that kind of crap, but it must work enough that it's being used, such as against my site.

What makes this annoying is these kinds of shenanigans, where these sites want to place high enough in my site statistics to get my attention, inflate and distort the traffic numbers. If I had the tools I'd block any site from either of those domains, but Blogger's capabilities are simplistic at best. All I can do right now is ignore it. More's the pity, because I really would like to honestly create the kind of quality content people are genuinely interested in, rather than use gimmicks to attract clicks. And the only way to do that is to pay attention to what generates genuine hits, not something generated by a spammer site trying to sell digital snake oil.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.