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Thread: Odd stats from "microsoft.com"

  1. #1
    Roll Tide! mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Odd stats from "microsoft.com"

    Is anyone else getting odd visitor stats from 'tideXXX.microsoft.com' (where the XXX is a 3 digit '500' number) and referer with a live.com 'search'?

    It started with my main site, and the referer search link is always:

    search.live.com/result.aspx?q=[keyword]&mrt=en-us&FORM=LVSP

    The keywords were related to my site (games, travel), although still strange. I'm not anywhere for those keywords. But lately they've started springing up on all my sites, and the keywords range from r@pe to ephedr@. The IPs associated with the searches are traced back to Microsoft.

    A visit to that URL with any keyword returns nothing but a "The page you requested was not found." message.
    Shawn Kerr .com

  2. #2
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    Could it be MS's page preview tool that is part of their search?
    Chris Beasley - My Guide to Building a Successful Website[size=1]
    Content Sites: ABCDFGHIJKLMNOP|Forums: ABCD EF|Ecommerce: Swords Knives

  3. #3
    Roll Tide! mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    I don't know.

    I still wouldn't come up for any of the keywords used in the referer. Especially the drug and sex related keywords. But not even the ones actually related to my site(s).
    Shawn Kerr .com

  4. #4
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    Hello:

    I'm glad that somebody is reporting this issue, because according to Google there seems to be virtually no other discussion of it online.

    I've been getting these suspicious hits from Microsoft for weeks. It is quite possibly a "cloak" for the MSN bot. However, the client in question never bothers to request "robots.txt". It never downloads any images, scripts, stylesheets, and other embedded content, which makes me think the http process is an automated daemon and not a human being.

    The glaring mistake, however, is in the refering URL which is always invalid. An authentic Live.com search query originates from

    search.live.com/results.aspx?

    But developers of this robot accidentally left out the "s" from "results".

    search.live.com/result.aspx?

    What concerns me however, is the shift in keywords Microsoft has been choosing for their cloak. At first the fake search terms always appeared in the URL of my site such as "www". Now Microsoft has clearly switched to random dictionary generated terms. In the past few days, I've received seen keywords ranging from "augmentin" to "allegra" to "lexapro" to "diazepam", none of which have anything to do with the content of my site and 90% of which are prescription medications.

    I really wish there was more information about the cause of these deceptive page requests. I run dozens of different sites and almost every one is being targetted, some on a daily basis. This just doesn't seem like an activity that Microsoft executives would ever condone. And, of all things, why names of controlled substances and other registered trademarks? That just seems like an ethical blunder in every sense of the word.

    PS. I'm new here. So I look forward to being involved in your forums!

    --Randall

  5. #5
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    Interesting theory.... maybe this is there way of letting webmasters know they can provide traffic so said webmaster should start advertising with them?
    Chris Beasley - My Guide to Building a Successful Website[size=1]
    Content Sites: ABCDFGHIJKLMNOP|Forums: ABCD EF|Ecommerce: Swords Knives

  6. #6
    Roll Tide! mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Thanks for checking in, Randall, and welcome to WP.

    I knew I couldn't have been the only one receiving these strange stat results.

    My last one just a few minutes ago was "roulette". Sometime in the next few days I'm going to run some queries on the stats databases for the sites I know are being hit and come up with the keywords I've been fed.
    Shawn Kerr .com

  7. #7
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    Hi @all,

    I'm also one of the newcomers hitting this thread while searching Google for these referers, after I found them in my logs.

    These tideXXX.microsoft.com hosts refers to users on the Microsoft Campus - that means someone surfing the net from the Microsoft HQ.

    I had a search.live.com referer w/ a three letter word describing human activity sometimes resulting in an offspring. The site has nothing to do with this activity, the word is not be found on the site.

    Imho these referers come from the Live.com Quality Search Team at Microsoft. All these searches for medications/prescription drugs or human activity of a special kind seem to be aiming at finding spam results in the Live.com SERPs.

    These referers with "result" instead of "results" probably point to an internal search tool at Microsoft for finding sites that link to spam pages or the like, that's imho the reason we can't access these pages.

    I can't find anything relating to the thing they searched for at my site and the site doesn't pop up in any search engine serps searching for this stuff so I still wonder why I ended up there.

    If I find out more, I will report back to you.

    Greetings,

    Chris
    Last edited by *chris*; 02-24-2007 at 08:25 AM.

  8. #8
    Roll Tide! mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    I've just resulted to blocking that referer. I don't care who/what it is anymore.

    Too damn many of them coming through junking up my stats along with the rest of the garbage I have to deal with on a daily basis.

    When you have to block over 140 bot UAs, a few dozen referer spam links, and dozens of straight IPs and HOSTS, something is just f'ing wrong.
    Shawn Kerr .com

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