I was looking at my site statistics the other night. The truth is that I don’t do that as much as I used to. It seems that the more traffic you get, the less you care about who is linking to you. But I continue to be semi-obsessed with spam. And so I’m always very interested in how many people are coming here from Latvia. Because here’s the thing: I know that no one in Latvia is reading me. If traffic is coming here from Latvia, it is because they are some of those spamming bastards.
But last night, I noticed something very interesting. In my country statistics, I know how many pages have been requests as well as how many total hits I got. Well, that tells me a lot. The reason is that most pages represent three hits: the page itself, the header image, and the little image in the upper left corner of the article (cans of Spam in this article). Now this is not always true. If someone comes to the home page, they will see ten articles and so there will be twelve hits: page, header, and ten little images. But as a first pass, I can say that for every page, there should be three hits.
Based upon this, I can determine how many real visitors (R) come from any country compared to how many spammers (S) come. This is because spammers are desperate to use as little bandwidth as possible, so they don’t load images. So given that P is the total number of pages requested and H is the total number of hits the site gets, we can solve for the following two equations:
S + 3 × R = H
Based upon this, I was able to determine, within two significant digits, how much real and spam traffic the site gets based upon the first four days of traffic this month:
I’m not sure what exactly that tells me. It is interesting. I’m especially struck by the fact that India is all real people. And that China is no real people. I’m also surprised that Russian is about half real people, because in the past, I’ve gotten an enormous amount of spam from Russian and other former Soviet countries. But this period is a on the light side in terms of spam. It goes in waves and there are months where I get three times as many total visitors, all of the extra ones being spammers.
It is still a great frustration to me that these spammers exist. In terms of this website, they get nothing for their efforts. But they waste a tremendous amount of my time. I wouldn’t mind it so much if it wasn’t all so useless. And the truth is, they don’t even seem to try. Half of all the spam I get comes in from the user name “porn.” I’ll bet 95% of all spam comes in with no more than ten standard terms such as “sex” and “minecraft.” Eventually, I will get around to filtering it automatically.
As for now, it is just nice to know where the spamming bastards are coming from.