Bing blogs

This is a place devoted to giving you deeper insight
into the news, trends, people and technology behind Bing.

fake referrer from bing

Webmaster

Webmaster
This group is devoted to Bing Webmaster Tools discussions.

fake referrer from bing

This question is answered

I am seeing the following in my statcounter logs

magnify this user    65.55.109.85    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    2
magnify this user    65.55.107.191    MSIE 6.0    Windows 2003    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.110.173    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.110.235    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.109.59    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.109.34    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.110.196    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.110.60    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.109.217    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.107.219    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.109.194    MSIE 6.0    Windows 2003    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.110.43    MSIE 6.0    Windows 2003    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.110.70    MSIE 6.0    Windows 2003    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.110.234    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.107.217    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.110.143    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.109.180    MSIE 6.0    Windows 2003    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.110.89    MSIE 6.0    Windows 2003    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.107.209    MSIE 6.0    Windows 2003    800x600    0    1
magnify this user    65.55.107.206    MSIE 6.0    Windows XP    800x600    0    1

The referring link is always www.bing.com/search?q=donate . There are at a vast amount of these a day for the past few months at least (before bing it was live etc.). 

Verified Answer
  • Hi,

     

    everyone, we’d like to express our sincere apologies that this referrer issue continued past the August 20th date when we explicitly stated that it was fixed. It was not our intention to lie or mislead anyone here. However, with the support of many webmasters' data, our crawling team was able to pinpoint the root cause and deploy a new fix to stop the referrer string in production. This fix has been verified in all of our production beds.

     

    Thank you for your patience.

     

    ~B

All Replies
  • I'm seeing very similar traffice with the referring links always www.bing.com/search?q=litigation. Unfortunately for our client, their site isn't anywhere near the top 200 results for litigation, yet they are getting a ton of referral traffic from this keyword. I'd love to know what's going on here as it's affecting our analytics pretty heavily.

  • Doing some searches and this seems to be a very common problem that many people are experiencing (see http://www.google.com/search?q=fake+referrer+msn&btnG=Search and http://www.bing.com/search?q=fake+referrer+msn).

  • Hi,

    I am working with the crawler group to get this figured out. I'll let you know as soon as I get more information.

    ~B

  • Brett,

     

    Please follow up on this. It seems like this is not the first time MSN/Bing acted this way.

     

    For your reference:

    http://www.webmasterworld.com/search_engine_spiders/3875363.htm

    http://www.webmasterworld.com/msn_microsoft_search/3424476.htm

     

    Microsoft has yet to provide an explaination for this behaviour. Are you trying to increase your market share artificially? ;)

     

     

     

  • Hi Mrsouza.

    That would be bad business. I have an idea of what's causing this and trying to fix it on the backend.

  • What is the timeframe for this fix?

  • @Brett Could you please give us some idea about cloaking detectors on Bing.

  • Hi Brett,

    I don't understand how a cloaking detector can be effective when all those search queries were made from Microsoft's IP-range. That would be a little too easy too work around.

    Also, there are numerous question marks regarding the different issues that happened during july.

    - Why is the "cloaking detector" visiting the same site almost every day?

    - Why are all search queries based on only one word?

    - None of the "cloaking" search terms were in any way related to the sites content and ranking in Bing.

     

    I think its important to get an answer to these questions, especially since Bings market share increased over 100 basis points in july .

  • Brett, what kind of work with the crawler group is going on and what information is there yet to be found?

    I tried Eliezer's queries and found for example this post of someone asking about this problem almost two years ago

    http://sphinn.com/story/6505

    I came here after noticing that almost all of the hits my website that are from outside links are these strange one-word Bing search queries that should not be relevant enough for someone to really click on a result to our site. Then I found that the ip address range was all msnbot but not with the msnbot user agent. A search engine web crawler not using the proper agent and faking the referer? And doing it so often that my site stats are effectively garbage?

    Are you really going to get an answer from the crawler group for this apparent years-old problem and when you do will you post it to this thread?

    If this is just an old bug that has recently returned, or a new bug with the same symptom as an old one, I will happily eat my words. Can you reassure us in any way?

     

     

  • Brett,

    Further search up tuned up a very long discussion about this very issue on a webmaster forum in a thread called MSN fakes referrers which began last March and continues to now. Last April in that thread you posted twice under the under name ms_dude, saying

    This is Brett Yount from Live Search's Webmaster Center. I would like to apologize for the inconvenience this is causing. We are working to correct this issue ASAP.

    and

    Thank you for your patience. Our team is continuing the investigation. We have made some changes. Please let me know if you notice any changes (positive or negative) over the next few days.

    and then haven't been heard from again. What should we believe when the problem has really been going on for at least close to two years, and you said four months ago the same things that you are saying now? Does the ongoing practice have anything to do with the fact that a naive interpretation of its effect on web statistics would make Bing look a lot more popular than perhaps it is?

    It's easy enough to put a couple of lines in .htaccess that block access from the msnbot ip address range whose HTTP_REFERER looks like a Bing search query. If Microsoft is using those bogus queries to check for cloaking search engine fraud and will stop indexing my site in retaliation, well, I guess that would be the cost of protecting my site from being swamped and my stats from being distorted. It would mean that someone trying to search for my site's topic using Bing would get just that worse a result than if they searched using Google. Guess who that hurts more, especially if enough webmasters decide that enough is enough and block these bogus hits. It's not like it is that hard to find the couple of lines to add to .htaccess to block the bing fake referers -- You can just google for it, and Bing! there's your answer.

  • i got 1000's of hits from an Unknown robot (identified by 'spider')

    is this why i dont even qualify as a real website on bing...

    my site is php i have a sitemap in html and xml listed on my robot.txt.

    my keywords on yahoo work fine...

    16 out of 281,000,000 for the search words ie: movie review website

    http://www.brickthrewglass.com

     

     

     

  • Yeah I followed the threads you mention and the others before this. The kind of response they give kind of makes it suspicious.

  • Considering it has been going on for years, and all they've been doing is random attempts of damage control in different forums. I doubt we will see an answer posted here anytime soon.

    Are there any other webmasters here that can confirm they received an increase in these bogus searches during July?

     

     

  • Something like this i had for some month with live search...

  • Brett, perhaps you can work out a deal with the stat companies like statcounter that it won't appear in the stats? (You won't lose any market share if you do this, and my stats won't be skewed.) These fake searches are a large portion of the bing traffic that we receive.

    (Note that I unmarked your answered icon as the problem is obviously not solved)