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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Question Does anyone ban viewing of your site by country?
    Does anyone ban viewing of your site by country? I have the ability to ban any IP from certain countries. I have banned N. Korea, Iran and Nigeria and was wondering if anyone else does the same.

    Every morning when I wake up and check my logs from the night before, I see visitors from places like Phillipines, Malasyia, Russia, Indonesia, India and such far away spots. And of course I usually don't see an increase in sales over night. This morning when I checked, I had a visitor from the Phillipines view 101 pages of one of my sites overnight. Since I only have US based merchants on my sites I was wondering what the rest of you do if you can do something. I would also like to hear from any US merchants as to whether there is a large buying base in other countries other than Canada and England.
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  2. #2
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    I do not think that it is wise to ban certain countries or visitors from certain countries unless you think that they are up to mischief.

    1) It does not hurt to have more traffic to your site.
    2) Small possibility of those visitors buying. However small, it might be possible.
    3) Asia is growing by leaps and bounds in internet usage and it is the next frontier. I was watching Financial news this AM and some big merchants are targeting India and China and their next biggest consumer country. They are laying the foundation but there is big potential there.

    Well, if you feel that they crawl your site to scrape info or for whatever reason, then i think you might look at IP ban.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    I do not think that it is wise to ban certain countries or visitors from certain countries unless you think that they are up to mischief.
    Thanks. I wanted to get a feedback from the community. I banned Iran and N. Korea for obvious reasons and Nigeria for all the scams.
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  4. #4
    Full Member 1stAngel's Avatar
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    I have banned no countries. I do ban single IPs and there are some lists of IPs that are known to be bad so blanket bans are used, but I cannot for the life of me remember where to find the list...perhaps someone else will find it as I search

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1stAngel
    I do ban single IPs and there are some lists of IPs that are known to be bad so blanket bans are used
    We do ban single IP's and use John Powell's recommended Spider trap - http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ht=spider+trap.

    We see many of the trapped spiders from Eastern Europe.
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boningroup
    Does anyone ban viewing of your site by country? I have the ability to ban any IP from certain countries. I have banned N. Korea, Iran and Nigeria and was wondering if anyone else does the same....
    Just wondering how you are banning? I would love to block SEO companies from India from submitting links on my sites.
    Last edited by kse; December 8th, 2008 at 11:57 AM. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    I use Webmasters.com for web hosting. They have a utility that I can use called traffic blocking. "This utility provides the ability to block traffic to your website by using three methods, Blocking By IP, Blocking By Referrer, and Blocking By Country, with each method serving its own distinct purpose. There are many reasons you may want to block certain visitors from accessing your site, with the most common being disruptive users, users coming from an undesired referring websites, or unwanted countries."
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boningroup
    I use Webmasters.com for web hosting. They have a utility that I can use called traffic blocking. "This utility provides the ability to block traffic to your website by using three methods, Blocking By IP, Blocking By Referrer, and Blocking By Country, with each method serving its own distinct purpose. There are many reasons you may want to block certain visitors from accessing your site, with the most common being disruptive users, users coming from an undesired referring websites, or unwanted countries."
    Thanks,
    I would like to find some code or tool that would prevent certain countrys from visiting certain pages (or if they land on a restricted page send them away from the page) on my sites to help prevent spamming.

  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Somewhat related, is there a way to check an IP address to see where it's coming from? This discussion has made me curious about some of the spam comments my blog gets and I wonder if some are repeat offenders I should be more concerned about for scraping.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishaLyn
    Somewhat related, is there a way to check an IP address to see where it's coming from? This discussion has made me curious about some of the spam comments my blog gets and I wonder if some are repeat offenders I should be more concerned about for scraping.
    Before I ban an IP I check http://www.projecthoneypot.org/home.php. Enter the IP in the search box and it will tell you if others have had problems with that IP address. For example, my spider trap caught 82.168.197.7. Enter this IP address and you will see it is from a spam harvester.
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  11. #11
    Full Member markschok's Avatar
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    IP 2 Nation have a free database linking IPs to countries. You would need a script and database to make use of this but they have a couple of examples on their site. One's based on redirection that could send users from unwanted countries to another URL
    There are other simliar paid services, but this seems a good free service.

    http://www.ip2nation.com/

    I meant to post about this a while ago but this thread just reminded me of it. The last time I looked at it was to do with targeting ads at users from certain countries.

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links, I bookmarked 'em!

  13. #13
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    THanks for all the great info! I have banned by ip before. Ranges of ip's help if you have continual problems from posters to forums. I've never banned them from the whole site though. Most of my forum spammers have been from Russia.

  14. #14
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    OK, but what do you do if a spammer changes its IP? from what I've heard, is not hard to do.

  15. #15
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I'm looking for the answer for this question too. My biggest spammer/splogger problem is coming from servers in the United States of America, so even banning a range of IPs is something I worry about.

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel_bonham
    OK, but what do you do if a spammer changes its IP? from what I've heard, is not hard to do.

  16. #16
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    I don't understand I guess - why you'd want to ban certain countries? Unless you're blocking them for paid Adwords traffic, I can understand that. But organic traffic - why?

    I have lots of informative articles on my sites and I have no problems with people from anywhere enjoying or reading those articles - why would I mind?

    Do you honestly think that every single person from Iran or Nigeria or whatever is a scammer or a political nut? (anti-american or whatever?)

    Iran and Iraq have been two of the most "enlightened" countries in the Middle East traditionally - women WERE allowed to be relatively powerful there, going to college, driving, etc. - not like in Saudi Arabia where women still can't do anything. And while you might have issues with the Taliban or terrorists or whatever, the average person in these countries has nothing to do with that stuff.

    I just think it's pretty small-minded to ban people just because a few scammers or political idealogues from those countries get up to mischief....hey, by that sensibility, people should be blocking traffic from the U.S....since we've been perfectly complacent about engaging in illegal wars against countries who did nothing to us and engaging in rampant war profiteering (Cheney and Halliburton and those exclusive rebuilding contracts, anyone?)

    And even if you're just blocking for business reasons....that doesn't make sense. I sell ebooks on some of my sites and people buy them from all over the world because they dont' have to pay for shipping and postage. International markets can be great, and you shouldn't overlook them....maybe unless you sell something extremely US themed like American flags or something!

    Dan

  17. #17
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    I ban by country - 99.9% of all the services, products, and affiliate programs I sell are targeted to the US, Canada, UK, Australia.

    The only thing I see that has decreased since I started banning countries by IP is spam, bad bots, scrapers, and waste of bandwidth.

    But, I can afford to do this because of my target audiences. If you want traffic and potential sales from say, China, by all means, don't block their IPs. Each person needs to weigh the pros and cons for their marketing strategies.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    I ban Iran and North Korea because I understand US companies can not sell to them so there is no point on having them on my site if I only have US merchants. Nigeria is my choice.
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  19. #19
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    I agree. No one has addressed this message maybe because it tells some uncomfortable truths; I still don’t see why there should be more spammers or scammers from Asia than from the US, even though, as I told you, you can’t rely on an IP detector, as they are easily evaded. So you’re not achieving much with your xenophobia guys.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Question
    Quote Originally Posted by boningroup
    Does anyone ban viewing of your site by country? I have the ability to ban any IP from certain countries. I have banned N. Korea, Iran and Nigeria and was wondering if anyone else does the same.

    I would also like to hear from any US merchants as to whether there is a large buying base in other countries other than Canada and England.
    OK I have heard from a selection of people but not from merchants. Can any merchants from the US give us any indication that there is an international market out there buying from US merchants?
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  21. #21
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    There are several distinct issues being discussed here.

    (1) Blocking unwanted access by "bad actors," including rogue crawler/spiders, email-harvesters, content scrapers. This is generally an IP block that is not tied to any specific geographic location, but instead uses some list (as discussed above) that is compiled to identify these "bad actors." In general, you can't completely avoid these bad actors, but you can at least block many of the less-sophisticated and/or most-abusive ones.

    (2) Blocking unwanted access by "consumers we can't serve." This is much trickier, because even if you're a merchant who doesn't ship products outside North America, there's no particular reason not to let others see what you sell. Many people in other countries can make arrangements for a US payment source and a US delivery address, and have the item forwarded to them, which is fine for "most" retailers (but not for certain retailers selling licensed goods, who may have an obligation to block sales outside a designated region).

    A subset of this group are countries with which the US government prohibits commercial transactions (Cuba and North Korea) -- it could make sense to block these IPs since it's illegal for goods to be sold for re-shipment to those countries.

    (3) Limiting your PPC campaigns to geographic areas which you serve, or which provide the best conversion rate or ROI from your PPC activities. Here, the issues are clearer (you want to allocate your marketing spend to those consumers who are most likely to buy from you), but the tools are not as precise because you don't actually have control. Google's geographic targeting is extremely good (at the country level), but Yahoo's targeting and exclusions are much less accurate.

    Don't treat all IP-blocking in the same way.

  22. #22
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    One item everyone has skipped over is overseas expats, Millions of people each year are overseas for christmas and they NEED the Internet to easily and quickly buy gifts for friends, family and clients in the USA. Blocking access to your site by country is simply cutting off business in my opinion.

    Types of people buying gifts for US delivery

    - Travelling Business People
    - Families on an extanded overseas Christmas holiday
    - US Military station overseas
    - Other Military overseas with US friends
    - Folks with US friends they want to but gifts for
    - Foreign firms with US clients and partners
    - Teachers working overseas
    - Aid workers all over the world
    - And I'm sure we can all think of more.

    So go ahead block them out, I'm sure your competitors won't mind.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    (2) Blocking unwanted access by "consumers we can't serve." This is much trickier, because even if you're a merchant who doesn't ship products outside North America, there's no particular reason not to let others see what you sell. Many people in other countries can make arrangements for a US payment source and a US delivery address, and have the item forwarded to them, which is fine for "most" retailers (but not for certain retailers selling licensed goods, who may have an obligation to block sales outside a designated region).

    A subset of this group are countries with which the US government prohibits commercial transactions (Cuba and North Korea) -- it could make sense to block these IPs since it's illegal for goods to be sold for re-shipment to those countries.

    [/b]
    I checked the government website and this is what I found about countries with restrictions:

    What countries do I need to worry about in terms of U.S. sanctions?

    OFAC administers a number of U.S. economic sanctions and embargoes that target geographic regions and governments. Comprehensive sanctions programs include Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Iran and Sudan. Other non-comprehensive programs include the Western Balkans, Belarus, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Liberia (Former Regime of Charles Taylor), Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or Its Democratic Processes and Institutions, North Korea, Sierra Leone, Syria and Zimbabwe
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

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