As if Semalt, with it’s botnet and crawler that skews people’s websites analytics results wasn’t enough, here in the UK another company has decided to borrow their tactics. You can read more about Semalt here if you’re not familiar with them.
Have You Been Visited By See-Your-Website-Here?
If you run or manage a website you may have noticed a referrer in your stats which looks like this – http://www.see-your-website-here.com/crawl.php?url=[your web address]. They operate a crawler which registers on your website as a genuine visitor, not a crawler. As with Semalt, the problem is that it messes up your website analytics with what are fakes hits, and it screws up other figures such as your bounce rate.
See Your Website Here (SYWH) are, at the time of writing, a newcomer as their web domain was registered in June 2014. They’ve obviously seen what Semalt have been doing and have decided that it’s a good way to get people to visit their website. There’s no telephone number on the SYWH website, just a contact form. However, the domain name has been registered by Vanilla Circus Ltd, a company in London, with the contact email of firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone number +44(0)2088793340.
I’d avoid using either the services of vanillacircus.co.uk or see-your-website-here.com as any company that uses such unscrupulous tactics to gain customers should be approached with caution. It doesn’t appear that they’ve stooped to Semalt’s levels of using malware to create a botnet that spams sites (just yet), but who knows what they’ll decide to do in the future?
They even admit to spamming sites to show up on people’s Google Analytics. They blatantly say that’s how they operate!
There are other worrying signs; their SYWH Twitter link is broken (at the time I’m writing), there’s no telephone number on the SYWH contact page and the website address has only been recently registered.
I’d have thought that after the amount of vitriol that Semalt experienced on their Facebook page no other company would use the same tactics, but it seems as though they would. SYWH doesn’t have a Facebook page, but their parent company does, though oddly it’s associated with a different web domain, www.seo-consultant-specialist.com, which is a company registered in Pakistan. So See Your Website Here is associated with Vanilla Circus and in turn, they’re associated with www.seo-consultant-specialist.com.
I’m going to dig a little deeper, but if anyone manages to untangle things further, let me know.