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Friday, May 29, 2015

Nasty Webcrawler

When I logged onto blogger today, I found an unexpected spike in page views. Suspecting a web crawler, I checked my stats and found that I had two new ones coming in from Russia and from the Ukraine. Now this isn't unusual but these particular crawlers are coming from adult sites as indicated by the name of the link.  And no, I didn't click on the links as that would be stupid.

I had no intentions of posting today. However, in my experience, if I write a post when a crawler is going through my blog, the crawler disappears. And I want these two particular sites away from my blog.

And as I'm now stuck having to post, I thought I'd put up another figure I painted for the Analogue Painting Challenge.

This is a Modern figure from Hasslefree, is 25mm and was sculpted by Kev White.






Currently I've nine figures on the painting table and hope to post a W.I.P. photo next week. I've a new lighting rig I need to try out and I hope it works out as my old one was rather cumbersome.

I don't know if anyone else is getting hit by these particular web crawler, but if you are, never click on those links as they can damage your computer.  And no, I do not go to adult sites. Please refrain from suggesting that I do so in the comments as I will be deeply offended. These crawlers can be dangerous and I'm simply trying to warn people of a potential threat to all of us.







75 comments:

  1. That really sucks. Hope this post thwarts them. I never notice where my traffic comes from. Although some hotel site sends me a ton of traffic and I have no idea why...

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    1. I only check when I see numbers that are unusual and these numbers are unusual. Crawlers are easy to spot and generally I ignore them. But I want these particular sites off my blog.

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  2. Thanks for the heads up. I never check where my traffic is coming from and I NEVER click on a link Unless I am expecting it and know it to be from someone I trust. It will all go wrong one day of course but that's my plan until it does.

    I did like this figure when I saw it on the painting challenge and I still do.

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    1. These numbers were far to high considering i hadn't posted in a while. My blog should be flat lining right now and not spiking. It would have been nice if those numbers were coming from real gamers interested in my work. This kind of thing I don't need.

      I enjoyed painting him and I've got some Modern Troopers from Hasslefree coming in the post.

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  3. them crawlers,trolls and lurkers are such vile creatures, dear... when will the world get rid of their nasty smell? That crazy wench Beatrix left me about a dozen of dirty comments last week in matters of seconds... I had to erase them.... such a biatch she is..... And I will often have some Indian porn sites leave links in my comments.... I truly don't know how blogger does not stop them and kick their spamming bums....

    I do love the warm greens and yellows in your new figurine... radiant like the sun! And you do know I'm the king of vests and love them soooo! I'd have them modern ones in all possible colours if I could

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    1. I don't know how they get those comments to come so rapid fire and you were lucky to catch them as they hit. Remember several years ago when I had that nasty bugger hit me. It took 11 hours, an advanced Stat checker and blockiing three different IP addresses to make that one stop. But when it was all over, I knew where that bastard lived and worked.

      I got a rash of crawlers out of China not long ago. My last post knocked them off my blog and they've not been back.

      You do love your vests darling and look quite dashing in them.

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    2. dahlink, what harm do those crawlers exactly do when they do this? What do they do with the increase in your hit numbers?

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    3. The idea is to hit you so many times that their URL will show up at the top of your stats page. The hope is that you'll get curious and click on the link. Some are just trying to sell you things, some are just idiot kids who spread viruses for kicks and some are intended to convert your computer into a "ghost" computer.

      The numbers themselves don't hurt anything. The reason I notice is that my blog consists of my normal crew of friends and a few harmless lurkers. For you it would be harder to spot as you're so International and have over 4 million page views. It still amazes me that so many bloggers have no idea just how big you is darling. Nor do they realize just how selective you are in who you will speak to. I think you have the biggest site on blogger, yet you go so quietly about your business they've no idea who they're dealing with.

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    4. Oh, I thought it was something more dangerous :) I never click on anything... at the beginning of internet times me was even afraid of clicking on ads thinking they always hide viruses :) Of course, clicking on ads is what brings us food because I get paid for received clicks.

      Oooh, such lovely ode to me you wrote, dear :) I don't have 4 million daily views, dear, that is my total count of all times... My stats have actually dropped this year dractically... methinks Google is messing with my stats so that they wouldn't have to pay me more money for ads :(
      I truly don't speak with anyone :) just with you crazy people..... :)

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    5. I know 4 million is your total darling, but I also know that no one else has numbers anywhere near that big.

      Lord Google is in the business of ensuring that only he makes real money from ad revenue's. He's really quite evil. Methinks he is the offspring of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair :0)

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    6. that sounds quite about right... soon Google will invade Falkland islands.... and Iraq too...
      Did you know that that horrid troll Blair has been here secretly to advise our evil prime minister on how to use media for manipulation with masses? Imagine that... the very man who bombed us in 1999.
      Dahlink, did you hear that Ireland has voted for same sex marriages two weekends ago?

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    7. That two faced bastard. I'm not sure he's all that good at it though as the people of the UK saw through his shite and gave him the boot. I bet he's being paid loads of money to do it. He'll roast in Hell along with the rest of them one day.

      Of course I know dahlink and we were the first to do so with a public vote. It was a clean sweep except for County Roscommon. What's interesting about it is that we've so few young people, So it wasn't just a young population that made this happen. My son could get married now and adopt some babies. Oooh another chance for me to be a grandma!

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    8. He earns millions after he ended his office... so it ain't like he's crying for being booted by the public :( The same goes for the Clintons and Bushes... they all earn tens of millions a year by giving their evil advice around the world and selling crap and war of course.....

      Oooh, now there's an idea :) Your son could even have his biological babies with a surrogate mother or something! Such delight! Has he even been to Ireland? He and Spawn? When was the last time you visited?

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    9. You would not believe the shite Clinton came over and told us after the bust. He told us we could just "write off the countries debt". Just like magic, it would be gone. Now you might be able to walk away from a train wreck like that in America and start all over again, but not in my world. Can you imagine us going to Brussels and saying "Well, ya see, we just don't have the money. And we likely never will. So how about you just erase those numbers from your book and we'll all be friends again." And then he tells us there's piles of money just laying around in the hands of Irish Americans and don't they just want to invest in their homeland. Nope they don't. God knows how much money we paid him to lie to us like that.

      We've only been home twice in the last four and a half years. Seems like millions to me. The Boy isn't an Irish citizen as he was adopted and both his parents are American. So marrying there would do him no good. If the Spawn has babies whilst living in the US, I'll only have six months to get to the Embassy with their birth certificates and have them made citizens. I've not brought this up to the Future Son In Law, so I don't know how he'd feel about having babies that are citizens of both countries.

      I'd like to make it home for the Centennial of the Easter Rebellion next year. I need to call my Aunt Bridey to see about it. If I can't get a flight, Uncle Shaun can take me in his plane. I don't want The Hubby or the children with me as that is too personal and not for them to be part of.

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    10. World would've been such a different place if we never had Clintons, Bushes, Blair's Thatchers and similar bastards, dear....

      Having dual citizenship could only do them good, no? Lots of people in my city take Hungarian or Croatian citizenship too beside the Serbian one, because Hungary and Croatia are in EU and their passport gives you freedom of movement :) Would it mean a lot to you for your grandchildren to be Irish one day? Did you get an American citizenship through hubby?

      What? Who is Uncle Shaun and how come he has a plane? :)
      I hope you make it, dear, it would do you good to see your home again.

      What did you make that little grass from under your figurine? It's so cute!

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    11. I see dual citizenship as a great advantage. If things go tits up in one country, you can easily leave and go somewhere else. I think it would be nice for the grandchildren to have dual citizenship for the same advantage. Now, they won't really be Irish but I would like them to know about their heritage and where grandma came from. But I won't force it on them. They'll have enough to deal with by being half white and half Native American. Ya, my citizenship is through the Hubby.

      My Uncle Shaun is an architect. He builds homes for rich people all round the world, so he travels a great deal. He's does a lot of their vacation homes. None for celebrities as far as I know. He's a home in New York, in Brussels, in Galway and in Paris. When he was younger, he had girlfriends spread out all over the globe. He's down to just two now as he's in his eighties:0)

      The little grass is sold as pre made tufts. They are so small you have to pick them up with tweezers. It's really hard to place them right where you want them.

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    12. One day, dahlink, you shall be such a brilliant granny who will tell her grandkids Irish tales and the stories of the old emerald island and they will lurv it and cherish it!
      Is Spawn golden haired originally? I wonder what will their kids look like with that exotic mix? They might end up having black hair and blue eyes! Ooooh!

      Oooh, how come we've never seen Uncle Shaun at the Shenanigans? :) Sounds like he should be our main star :) Imagine such delight, having your airplane and having the world as your home.... I barely visit another city once a year :( and me doesn't even own a bike LOL

      I always love the grass and the trees and nature when it comes to figurines. I'd love it if one day you'd make an Irish landscape with all the lil' animals and gorgeous golden haired boys and girls figurines too :)

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  4. Really nice Anne, skin tones on that are top notch.

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    1. Thank you! I really enjoy painting Kev's sculpts. He's to have two new ones per month for a while and I'm excited about seeing what he's done.

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  5. He's terrific Anne, your skills have come so far. I would love to see some of these in person sometime. We need to get you down to ReaperCon sometime.

    I had those webcrawlers on my page over the last two months and posting didn't seem to stop them.

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    1. There is talk of going to GenCon in Indy with The Spawn and The Future Son In Law this year. We shall see if that comes to pass.

      I hope these guys go away as they are really crawling through my material in large numbers. Silly idiots no matter how many times they do it, I'm not going to click on those links.

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  6. I have some crawlers (didn't know this word!) around my blog sometimes as well, coming from Russia, Ukraine...Well, we have a good news, this post is really nice, details and colors on the cloth are splendid!
    Oh, I forgot : nice basement as well!

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    1. Russia and Ukraine are the most common. Recently China and Thailand have started showing up. Never click on the links from China as they will turn your computer into a "ghost" in their network. And there's no way to know for sure if they've done it.

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    2. I thought China has Google banned... how do they even get into Blogger?

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    3. The Chinese are the best hackers on the planet. The average Chinese citizen can't get on Google, but the government endorses some of the hackers. They make an absolute tone of monies from pirating music off of Western sites.

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  7. Reporting the links to Bloggers does seems to at least trim back the worst of them.

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    1. I suspect this one will make the rounds through a lot of peoples pages. If enough of us complain, maybe they can stop them.

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  8. Anne...excuse the possible lack of making sense in this reply; as I'm going back and forth from my blog's page to yours...if you are on your "main page" up in the top right is.... or should be...new post...design and sign out; click on design; this should open another window that is your blog's template...look at the very bottom right corner and there's a box titled "complain" ....click on it and tell google about the issue. I used this form when I had a spammer who was appearing on my reading list earlier this spring. the phishing blogger wasn't "any where" I could get rid of it; I sent as much info to the complaint department as I could without clicking anything and within maybe 10 days tops.... it was gone.

    I appreciate the heads up !!

    Now, on to your mini...have I mentioned I envy your talent....the dood ROCKS....You've said you have trouble with "cloth"...well, ya nailed the cloth in this one...as well as the folds in the leather bag...love the colors...excellent job !!!
    984 paws up as the tabbies would say and speaking of..... they say to tell kitty fang ...thatz de way ta keep bass terd burdz outta yur yard ~~~~~ nose kisses ♥♥♥

    { still say you should sell your work on Etsy } ! happy week end ♥♥ laura

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    1. I'm going to give that a try as in the last 10 minutes I've gotten another hundred hits from them. Neither Russia nor Ukraine IP addresses are picked up by the Stat Checker I attached to my blog. They are most likely coming out of some internet cafe over there and being pinged off multiple towers in multiple countries. They're hard to stop. Hopefully Blogger can locate those IP's and shut them down.

      These kind of small folds I can do easily. It's those big, sweeping folds in capes and dresses that confound me. I hate doing those!

      The word is so out on her that the birds aren't even coming to my trumpet vine anymore.

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  9. Nice painting.

    So what's up with the crawlers? Why do they cause a lot of hits, and why don't you want them crawling around your blog? They don't seem to leave spam behind, or do they?

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    1. They go through a blog, giving multiple hits (in this case 400 in an hour) in the hopes that you will click on the link in your stats page. Sometimes you'll just go to a site that is trying to sell you something. However much of the time you'll wind up with a virus and sometimes a worm that will wipe out your computer. The reason I don't want this one is because it's from adult web sites and that's obvious from the name of the URL. That makes my skin crawl.

      No, they don't leave behind spam.

      Crawlers don't leave spam comments.

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  10. I had (and still do) have no idea how web crawlers work, but if they have anything to do with ID theft and the like hope they get what they deserve. Otherwise a nice revisit of the fine painting you did on the Challenge figure.

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    1. I don't know how they work either. My IT guy says they often infiltrate your computer and make a "ghost" of it. This enables them to put your computer within a system that ultimately becomes a massive "super computer". The Russians and the Chinese then use these when they attempt to get into and shut down US and UK government sites. He tells me this is routine stuff and both governments deal with it on a daily basis.

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  11. I never click on links I don't know. Never have had any porn sites crawl my blog, that I'm aware of. Had a few search engine ones that I've seen, other than that just same old same old.

    He sure is gonna gun anyone down, awesome job.

    Hmm, maybe you can blame the cat for the porn, all that viking fat chewing he tells you about hahaha

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    1. I did it once as it was attached to an alternate site run by a fellow blogger and wound up with a virus that shut down my computer. It would have cost more to have it repaired than to buy a new one. This particular blogger isn't around anymore, but I've not forgotten who it was.

      This is the first one I've ever had from a porn site. And if that's a new thing, there are loads of people who will be tempted to click on that link. So maybe this post can warn them and prevent some damage.

      Ya, it's you and your Viking woman's fault. You disgust me.

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    2. I once had a dead blog i was following get redirected to a porn site and have tons of porn posts show up in my blogroll. Like a fool I clicked to see wtf it was, thankfully no virus. Although I've gotten viruses from downloaded things that fecked my computer up royally. The cat is no longer naive to the internet lol

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    3. I remember you talking about that. And that was one of the things I was worried about when this happened. It would be an absolute disaster for me if my blog showed up on blogrolls with that kind of filth on it.

      Ya, I don't download much of anything. Painting tutorials are about it and those are from people I know. I won't download music or use torrent.

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  12. Hope it's worked, a pain of the modern world for sure

    Ian

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    1. It goes with the territory. If it worked, then by Saturday I'll be down to the usual number of page views on non-posting days.

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  13. Top painting Anne! Them bloody tits get on my.................... errr tits?

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  14. Wonderful painted figure there and the rich colours set it figure off well

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  15. A wonderfully generous gesture Anne, information is king! I'm curious to know how you posting seems to knock them off track, certainly a tip worth knowing. As for the miniature - SUPERB! Loved this in the challenge and I've had my eye on this range for a while now.

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    1. I don't know why they stop when I post, but it has always been the case. Once I was gone for about 6 weeks. I came back to discover I'd had about 10,000 page views whilst I was away from countries like Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, China and India. I posted and it stopped.

      These figures would lend themselves perfectly to your brush Michael. I've some Modern Troopers on the way and if those go well, I'll attempt the Perry Miniatures I just got.

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  16. Sorry to hear that you've been hit by the crawlers. I was getting a huge hit from the ones from Russia and Ukraine a while ago, but they seem to have mostly been replaced by sites in the US at the moment, although they aren't figuring in the top 10. A couple of the Russians are still hitting the top 10 still.

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    1. forgot to say - that was a great miniature Anne :)

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    2. I tend to know things are normal when the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand are in the top. When Thailand tops the UK, something is very amiss!

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  17. Great work on the fig Anne! and thanks for the heads up. A big pain in the....!

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    1. Thank you Rodger! I just checked my stats and they are completely gone. I hope they stay away!

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  18. Very great work, impressive painting research in detail.
    Great figure that you did the Anne. Compliments.
    Slainte!
    Vincent .

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  19. Thanks for the heads up on the webcrawlers, I haven't been posting much lately but did hit record number of hits last month with zero posts. Will get a few posts sorted and see if the stats revert to more normal numbers.

    Great looking figure and the shading is excellent on this one.

    Cheers, Ross

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    1. Sometimes I get more page views when I don't post than when I do. That can be rather disheartening as a blogger.

      You should post and see what happens. I would like to know what it is about posting that makes them stop though.

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  20. Another cracking figure! I've been meaning to have a go at a few Hasslefree figures for ages, so I might just take the plunge.
    If you log stats then the web crawlers are a pain in the whatsit, but, as you say, they also have a dark side. I rarely bother to look at the stats information, but, for a blog that normally only gets a modest number of hits, my last but one post (which was about nothing in particular) has just under 5,000 hits with a huge contingent from our old friends Russia and Ukraine. Sound advice though and thanks for sharing.

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    1. A number that big for a single post really gets your attention doesn't it. It would be nice to think that everyone in Russia and the Ukraine were avid gamers and absolutely fascinated with our brush skills. Perhaps Putin himself has gotten hooked on gaming and is learning to paint. Can you imagine his blog if he did. Loads of models of himself without a shirt on.

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  21. Lovely paintjob Anne. Really smooth tones. Sorry to hear about the web woes I rarely look at where my traffic comes from. I hope it sorts itself out sharpish.

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    1. Thank you Simon. Normally I don't either, unless it's an anomaly. When I first began blogging I had to though. I got some really offensive people leaving comments and those people needed to be dealt with. Finding out who they were and where they came from allowed me to handle the matter privately without dragging it onto my blog.

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  22. Amazing work Anne. He looks like just the character to get rid of unwelcome visitors!

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    1. I do love Hasslefree Moderns and I've got two orders coming. Two are limited edition Resin Masters and they are some of Kev's nicest work. He just keeps getting better and better.

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  23. The ones from Russia/Ukraine led to Hotel web sites and as far as my PC defences declare..harmless. It´s been referred to as all part of thier "cyber war" (if the western medias propoganda is to be believed...as the following article sates" Guardian moderators, who deal with 40,000 comments a day, believe there is an orchestrated pro-Kremlin campaign"..believing in something isn´t the same as having proof...something they simply cannot get..so far it´s only been hearsay.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/04/pro-russia-trolls-ukraine-guardian-online
    It also Shows thier ignorance of how the web runs or can be used..similar to the recent sony attack being "traced" to N. Korea...every hacker knows that tracing such a hack to be Impossible.
    The trolls are the real danger..they deliberately leave comments with links which, although most are just trying to up thier Google Rating (which is created by the crawlers/Bots picking up on thier URLS being repeated) some do have viruses (malware)
    I wouldn´t worry about crawlers..(also known as Web spiders, ants, automatic indexers) or thier associates Bots. They just browse the web and collect data (Pages) for search engines which later gets indexed (hence the Name Automatic indexers) so searches are more efficient... without them the web would be chaos,..the Urls would be all over the place. They are harmless.
    The traffic Spikes are likely to be caused through a new crawler collecting Urls. Blogger/FB/Google/Twitter etc all use them..the Russian ones are likely to be just that.
    If it really worries you (and I can only think it would if you were wanting to be entirely honest with yourself about the the stats showing a true visitors Count) you could add a Bot and Spider Filtering app...which has it´s Advantages..and disadvantages..one being some things may become " invisible " due to the Urls not being noted.

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    1. PS...I nearly forgot..bloody nice brushwork :-D

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    2. Thank you so much for the explanation Paul. Indexing makes sense. My posts on Reaper Miniature usually get lots of hits when the crawlers come through and that makes sense from an Indexing point of view. As do my Dark Sword Miniatures. Won't bother me too much if someone looking for a figure from Reaper winds up on my blog though. That's a real painter/gamer and they might like my figures. So I'm not going to worry about them. But what I don't understand is why an adult site would be used as a crawler.

      I don't get spam often. Maybe twice a year so there's no worry for me there.

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    3. It´s mainly down to indexing. Example, my last blog post. I posted it first on Bodstonia..within 1/2 an hour it got 203 hits. Bodstonia is a bit of a backwater blog (I like it that way) so it was suprising. 10 mins later I posted a link on my main blog and guess what? Within 1/2 an hour a spike of..203 hits. Same link on both Blogs for the traffic source, and not in Russia or Ukraine..this time Australia. Well, Australia was where the Server was based but where the crawler came from..?? Impossible to know.
      As far as I know, the reason the crawlers in your case have gone through (or use) the same Servers as the porn sites is the amount of porn on the web. Porn makes up an enormous chunk of the web and whilst not condoning it, it was and possibly still is, one of the main Drivers behind web developement. The crawlers do this to Access and index sites that don't want to be indexed by using an HTTP proxy Server. The "don´t want to" bit means ones that have some form of protection from external crawlers..which Blogger would be likely to have. Seeing porn is prevelant on the web and is probably equally so prevelant on Blogger, they will Access Blogger through porn Blogs which have external links (due to their Content) to Servers which don´t block blogger Urls. The crawler just uses These Servers as a Proxy to hide it´s IP, an IP which would have been blocked by Blogger and gives it Access to "sites which don´t want to be indexed"
      You or I can use crawlers, there´s ones to use online to gather data on People for instance,
      I remember in July 2011 there was a really massive spike in traffic, over 1000 hits an hour for three or four days..all coming from France (if my Memory serves me well) and no-one back then accused the french of a propaganda war.
      Spam..hatefull stuff. I get loads, 4 plus a day,sometimes as many as 20. That´s why I went over to Moderation. When I started 90% of them were linking to porn sites and the like. I can only assume it was down to the blog titel but now it´s mostly spam for clothes/electronic crap etc.
      Worse is, the Spammers and crawlers sqew the real numbers of genuine visitors.

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    4. So the crawlers are just using the porn sites and it's not the porn sites crawling my blog. Now that makes me feel better. Because the whole idea of someone who runs something like that even reading my blog makes me ill.

      I've not had anything unusual come in from Australia, but like you said that may not be where the crawler was located.

      I'm glad I don't get that kind of Spam. Occasionally I'll see it on someone else's page before they catch it and delete it. And it's generally along the lines of "I like this topic. You have written a good and informative blog...." and then there's the link.

      The only think worse than Spam is trolls. I've only had a few over the years and most of them wold wait until a few days after the post to hit. Some were just idiots who went on troll strolls and it was never a personal thing against me. Now all of those were Americans. Never had a troll from anywhere else. I have comment moderation kick in 7 days after a post goes up.

      The key thing for me when it comes to numbers is that I don't delude myself into thinking that many people are actually reading my blog. Sometimes a large spike can be due to a new person checking out the blog and going back through old posts. And we all have our regular lurkers who don't comment but are regular readers. In the gaming/painting community this is common. So many of us don't comment at all, but we do love to look at each others work. I really appreciate those people.

      My numbers are now back to normal and there are no strange URL's showing up. So the crawler has moved on.

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    5. I assume the crawlers are using the porn sites Servers, but what was it Tom says when he corrects Soap in Lock stock and two Smoking Barrels "assumption is the mother of all..."
      I´ve only had two trolls..one I think I know who it was, but I can´t prove anything so they wasted thier time. The stupid Thing with them is they have no effect, well the opposite of what they intend.. I get to see thier Posts and no-one else and take great pleasure in deleting them :-D

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  24. Hola Amiga
    Me gusta esta mini
    lo de los spammers es un royo pero de verdad
    y las porno yt coptilleo tambien
    un saludo

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    1. Hello my friend!

      i'm glad you like the figure and the crawlers are now all gone.

      Slainte!

      Anne

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  25. Great job, Anne. Sad to say, I wouldn't know a nasty webcrawler from a wacky wallwalker.

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  26. Send 'em to me Anne I probably need to catch up, things change so quickly I wouldn't know what is in fashion lately.

    Another figure I haven't seen and again some good work with the highlighting and you can never go wrong with that pallet, brown and green go together like gimp balls and .... err dunno, lemon butter? Like I said I need to get up to date.

    The little details are well accentuated too, like the glasses, sneakers even the zipper. You know they are there and identifiable without being distracting, a good sign of some great painting.

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  27. He looks great Anne! Very nice highlighting.

    Christopher

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