Website tracking: Weird URL endings/landing pages

NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade UsernameRegistered User regular
I have a website that I use for my portfolio, and I have an invisible tracker that shows where visitors came from and what search engine queries they used to find my site, etc. I haven't checked my website stats in maybe a year, and decided to today on a whim.

I found a lot of visitors (like, every 5th visitor or so) are finding my website through a URL like this:

NightDragon's-Website.com/?kw=weird-website-name.com

The bolded section changes, and I don't recognize any of the URL's. I have no idea what the ?kw= part means - I tried looking it up and it seems it has to do with keywords(?)...I'm not sure. The URL's seem completely random, so I have no idea how they're showing up.

Is this...bad? Can somebody tell me what this is, and maybe why it started happening?

Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Is there anyway you can post some real ones?

    I don't think it's bad, just some weird search engine it seems like (might even be robots if you haven't denied them)

    PM is fine too if you don't want to lay it all on the line.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    None of them are "bad" as far as I can tell (I've opted not to visit any of them since I'm at work, just in case), but I'll PM you a handful of examples.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    What do you mean by "invisible tracker"?

    You're not using Google Analytics?

    Note that GA will no longer pass along keywords to your page any more--doesn't matter what kind of tracker you're using. It's now encrypted unless you--wait for it--are using paid search.

    Edit:

    To show you what I mean, this is the last 30 days under what GA now lists as Keywords>Organic:

    temp_zps5d827cf5.jpg

    The keywords that are blurred are coming from search engines that are not Google. Everything under (not provided) is organic Google traffic. You can still see those keywords through your Webmaster account, but not connected to anything overly useful in your GA account. Takes some pretty heavy reaching to come up with anything concrete and actionable, I find. Gotta rely on far more assumptions than you would normally need to in the web analytics realm.

    Edit:Edit: And at first glance, it looks like whatever tracking software you're using is incorrectly classifying referral traffic as search engine traffic, with the referring site as a keyword string. Or maybe that's how your tracking software does it. Can't really help any further without more details.

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Hmm. Well, I have GA set up but I rarely use it. I saw these results using my ancient Statcounter tracker.

    What other info would be helpful?

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah I talked with ND a little more in depth, it kind of looked like a bot of some sort was using get parameters to exploit some sort of wordpress/drupal type system.

    keywords from a search engine make sense until full domain name's appear as nightdragonswebsite.com/?kw=(something)

    KW would be a GET parameter, since the ? denotes against the index.html or whatever.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    NightDragonCroakerBC
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