Monday March 14

Dealing with misdirected visitors on weblogs

Have you ever had the kind of unwanted visitors come to your weblog via search engine queries that aren’t actually mutually beneficial? For example, if you made a joke about a p*rn star and suddenly you’re getting a thousand extra hits a day looking for “p*rn”. The visitors have been misdirected and are probably looking for something that’s not actually on your site. The problem is, it drives your bandwidth usage up, it clogs up your site statistics and your counter gets bloated for less than worthwhile hits.

The usual way of dealing with this is to either delete or close the entry or else edit the entry so it doesn’t have the keywords that are misdirecting the visitors. Either way your unwanted visitors are making you change your content. And that’s not good.

If you know of a site that’s probably more useful to these visitors, then here’s what you can do. Automatically redirect them using javascript. For example, when I got too many hits for “Paris Hilt*n” after I posted a commentary about the phone book fiasco, I embeded a javascript that automatically redirects them to a site that I think would be more useful to the visitors (parishilt*

This javascript works for all weblog softwares. Just copy and paste it in the entry at the beginning of it. (If you are using Blogger, place it at the end of the entry or else you may get redirected out of your Blogger interface and get yourself effectively locked out of your account.)

Edit the URL you want to send your misdirected visitors too. For the best effect, make sure that your counter script comes AFTER your blog entries, and not before. Otherwise your unwanted visitors still get logged. Depending on how much content that loads before your entries, you can save quite a lot of bandwidth because the misdirected visitors can get redirected away before all your content is loaded and your bandwidth is wasted.

Of course this ensures that no one can read your entry after that. But at least your unwanted visitors have a place to go rather than stay on your site and feel frustrated that you weren’t able to help them.


Dude, that’s hot. I think I’ll use that.

Posted by Jenny on Mar 15, 05 | 1:25 am
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I'm an online brand planner and SEO specialist in Malaysia. XHTML, CSS and PHP hacker. for branding and content planning and execution, offline and online. I'm also available for speaking and writing engagements.

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