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I've noticed in my own stats, as well as searching on other sites, a fair amount of traffic that comes from urls that look like this:

http://wwwstumbleupon.com/refer.php?url=http://[mydomain]/[myurl]

Which looks a lot like a valid stumbleupon referrer, but from a bogus domain. 'wwwstumbleupon.com' is not running a redirector themselves there, so I'm guessing this isn't something nefarious from the owners of that domain.

Does anybody know if this is valid traffic from stumbleupon? Perhaps from a beta version of their toolbar or something along those lines?

migrated from stackoverflow.com May 16 '11 at 14:32

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

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It turns out that all this traffic is not from referrer spam, it's from StumbleUpon's android app. All that traffic has Android user agents, and by logging the HTTP requests the android app is making I was able to determine that they are setting the referrer header incorrectly. They've got a typo in their own domain name!

the offending header

  • Wow, whodathunk. Nice investigation. – Charles Jul 8 '11 at 23:57
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Does anybody know if this is valid traffic from stumbleupon?

It isn't. The WHOIS information hides behind one of those privacy shields, and the home page is obviously designed to look like a parked domain.

This looks like a classic case of referrer spam, though usually they go through a bit more effort than this.

  • This was my initial assumption as well, but these referrers seem to only send traffic to urls that are also getting a large amount of legitimate traffic from www.stumbleupon.com – yacomink May 16 '11 at 15:20
  • I guess it's higher effort referrer spam than I thought! – Charles May 16 '11 at 16:17

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