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  1. #1
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    Spamming my site with blank.gif?
    I've had some weird users lately making simple posts along the lines of "Thanks for the post" and inserting a blank gif image link. I know they're doing it for a reason, but I'm not 100% sure why, and I was wondering if anyone here might have any ideas? Are they doing it to get hits to improve their google ranking maybe? When I visit the url it usually is a site under construction. Any insight would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Maybe a tracking bug? They can track your users this way, see your traffic etc.

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I'd delete all those posts, just to be safe, except maybe segregate one of these blank.gif posts in a forum that no one has access to except you and see if the graphic changes eventually. I'd bet it's a spammer who plans to change that innocent little graphic into an ad in a week or two when you and your mods have forgotten about it.

  4. #4
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Did a little searching on line and found this article. http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_...wn-hero.net%3E

    If you have grapnics animation software download a blank.gif from it's source and open it with that software. Then check it to see if there are links to other sites emedded in it.

  5. #5
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    Hi,

    My name is Lesley and I'm from Amsterdam, Netherlands. I'm new to this forum and I just want to say Hello to everybody. Talk to you soon

  6. #6
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    Thanks Chet and Rhea. I had two different users that have done this. I did save the links to the images, but removed them from my site and banned the users. One of the images has now changed to an actual "Image not found" gif, and the other image is protected and can't be downloaded. The one I could download doesn't seem to have anything imbedded in it. It's just weird. I prefer more blatant spam attacks. I can at least understand those.

  7. #7
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    Nice to see a spammer show up and show us how it is done... febcom you forgot the blank image!

  8. #8
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    The one I could download doesn't seem to have anything imbedded in it.
    Did you open it with graphics animation software?

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
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    It's probably image cookie stuffing.
    http://spamhuntress.com/2008/11/26/c...ges-on-forums/

    Even if there is no cookie being stuffed right now, that could change at a later time with some simple changes on the server that hosts the suspicious images.

    Here's another recent thread with something similar:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=117182
    --

  10. #10
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    Besides monitoring your traffic or stuffing cookies, they could also be keyword farming. I use 1x1 images on my banner advertisements (as many affiliate networks do) to find out what keywords lead to impression of advertisement.

    I may also include this 1x1 in signature lines, syndicated content, and other original content to see if anyone is passing my information along without giving me credit. Plus, I get the keywords from searches to that content.

    The practice does have some legitimate value to publishers and affiliate managers, but is something I'd block regular users from doing.

    Think web bugs.

    Best,

    Justin
    [i]Always interested in great B2B affiliate programs that serve Sales and Marketing professionals. Private message if you have something.[/i]

  11. #11
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hittjw
    Besides monitoring your traffic or stuffing cookies, they could also be keyword farming. I use 1x1 images on my banner advertisements (as many affiliate networks do) to find out what keywords lead to impression of advertisement.
    This is why I host all images including network banner ads on my sites.

  12. #12
    Newbie jca's Avatar
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    Exclamation Backlink spammer
    Quote Originally Posted by mhamilton
    I've had some weird users lately making simple posts along the lines of "Thanks for the post" and inserting a blank gif image link.
    Did you check the user's profile and signature? If they are like the febcom poster in this very thread, they are a backlink spammer. They join your forum and post a random "Great site!" message, and include their link in their forum profile url and/or their signature. The idea is that the link on your forum helps their site in Google with regards to inbound links from other sites.

    If you see a lot of introductory "Nice forum!" single post users, chances are they are a backlink spammer.

    Even if they don't immediately have a link in their profile or signature, they will often join a forum, make their innocuous post, and come back days/weeks/etc. later to add the link to their profile/post.

    If you run a forum, you MUST do a user member list search and look at profile url links and signatures. Chances are your forum is full of this type of backlink spam if you're not looking for it.

    A blank.gif file would be used for tracking purposes so they can see what sites are keeping their message/post alive in their site stats where the blank.gif file is hosted.

    Just another type of "Blackhat SEO" spammer.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by hittjw
    The practice does have some legitimate value to publishers and affiliate managers, but is something I'd block regular users from doing.
    No it does not.

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