Why do I see spam entries in my statistics?

One of the features of our statistics is that you can see what pages people came from to reach your website (called the “referring page”). In these cases, the referring page presumably contains a link to your page, so you can use this information to see who is linking to you.

That’s handy, but occasionally spammers add their own pages to this list. They do so with special software that requests pages from your website, just like a real visitor, but with one difference: the software claims it’s coming from a page run by the spammer, and that page doesn't really contain a link to your site. In fact, that page most likely advertises illegal gambling, pornography, or worse. Spammers do this hoping you’ll notice their page in your statistics and be curious enough to click on it.

We try and block these fake statistics when we can, but it’s impossible to block them all. You should usually just ignore them. The reality is that on the modern Internet, lists of referring pages are not reliable or very useful; we’ve considered removing the display of them from the statistics altogether, but some people still like seeing the legitimate pages included.

What if I really, really want to block these?

Again, we recommend simply ignoring fake referral pages. However, if there are a large number of them from the same fake site, technically advanced users can use the information below to hide them.

You’ll first create a text file named spam containing the domain names you wish to block, one per line. For example, if you don’t want to see any referrer links from “http://www.example.com/badpage.html” or from “http://google.com/”, you would create a text file with these two lines:

example.com
google.com

Once you’ve created the file, put it on our servers inside the “logs/awstats” directory of your home directory. If you’re using an FTP program to put the file on our servers, you’ll first need to create an additional FTP account that has access to your home directory.

If you’re a technically advanced user and you're comfortable using a shell connection, it's even easier. Just edit the file directory with a text editor like this:

editor ~/logs/awstats/spam

However you create the file, the changes take effect as soon as you reload the statistics page.