Matt Cutts Explained Referer Spam

Feb 6, 2013 • 8:24 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Referer spam is kind of old school but because of that, many SEOs don't fully understand what it is. Referer spam is basically making repeated requests to a specific web page with the goal of showing up often in the referer logs and analytics. If web sites publish their referer logs, then that link in the referer logs is indexable by search engines. If not, webmasters may notice the spike in traffic, visit the web page and maybe think it is important to link to it.

Matt Cutts, Google's head of web spam, explained all of this in a short two-minute video:

Hopefully that explains an old school tactic in a nice concise manner.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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02/06/2013 06:04 pm

That's an awesome shirt

Jeremy Meindl

02/07/2013 03:39 am

OMG so 2004

black hat team

02/07/2013 11:35 am

Excellent information thanks for share..@matt cutts awesome shirt


02/07/2013 12:30 pm

LoL, @black hat team giving Matt a thank you!

Dewaldt Huysamen

02/07/2013 12:35 pm

Wow ok that is something I never thought about. Hectic....

Local Search HQ

02/07/2013 12:42 pm

Haha nice t-shirt Matt.


02/07/2013 01:18 pm

Matt worried about Referer spam today in 2013? Haven't heard of this been used effectively in like 10 years?

SEO Consult

02/07/2013 04:41 pm

Mainly from the days before Google Analytics I'd imagine re: web logs published to site. If that was still common there'd be a great competitive advantage to be had.

Rank Watch

02/07/2013 06:08 pm

Matt Cutts the Google web spam team head is certainly an expert at explaining stuff in a simple and concise manner. Kudos Matt, you certainly deserve it.


02/08/2013 09:17 am

Thanks for sharing knowledge about matt cutts...


02/08/2013 11:32 am

indeed .. back in the days 2004 :)) I didn't know that this is still around.

Teena Vijay

10/11/2013 01:05 pm

Thnx but I want to know something more.. please reply me I am getting traffic from this URL: (It's a pagerank checker). No, nobody is checking my blog url there but still I get lot of traffic. Not just 1 or 2, but more than 100 traffic whenever I publish new post. I learned it's a referrer spam. I don't click on them but it's not going away. Will this thing kill my google traffic? Is there any penalty?


12/07/2013 01:24 pm

I would ask Matt Cutts to "out out" all of this referrer spam that I get. I'm sure when it comes for Google to pay bloggers through Adsense,Google knows exactly to the penny which visitors are rear and which are spammers! When I'm trying to build up my blog readership, I have no real way of knowing what the true stats are. Today (December 7, 2013) for example there were: Traffic Sources Pageviews Entry 103 103 69

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