I wouldn't say that I hang on the every click, but I do check the blogger stats page when I log in to get a feel if there is anybody out there (no, not in an alien way - or was that just me drifting off into other uses of that phrase?). Of late I had been pretty pleased with myself because through the year I have had a pretty regular (though not huge) monthly count... only I have discovered the vast majority were probably eronious sites trawling for some kind of business. I am not going to give the site names here as it is really just to give them a little more oxygen to breath if I do, but I will pass on a little info that I found.
The basic message is IF YOU SEE STRANGE ADDRESSES OR LINKS IN YOU BLOGGER STATS DON'T CLICK THEM, which of course is a fairly applicable mantra for large parts of the web. If you really want to know where these 'visiters' are coming from put a piece of the address only into a search engine and you'll see a site synopsis (again don't click through) or perhaps a forum article where other web users have described their experiences with the erroneous site/s.
How does it work? Well apparently low hit blogs are targeted as we are more likely to see the links and follow them back to source, bigger more popular blogs lose these in the tens, hundreds or thousands of genuine visitors if the sites even bother stinging them.
What harm? Well here I have to say I am not entirely sure, I get the impression they just want the afore mentioned web oxygen (people visiting their sites so they get sponsor monies). There may be sites that have more 'viscous' intentions though so all the more reason to follow the mantra.
Funnily enough from what I read third party sites that track your traffic for you are better able to give truer stats as they don't see or register them. These links are, in a sad way, for bloggers eyes only and for bloggers to fall foul of if they think "oh, that's cool a new site has me listed in another country wonder if they list many sites like mine?" and then click through to them.
I can only really refer to these sites as 'sad' - if the sleaze (and yes it is often 'those' sites) can't generate enough traffic from the titillating garbage they contain from genuinely interested nutters then just what they gain from a few earnest bloggers tripping into their traffic stream I can't fathom. Some parts of the Internet amaze and inspire, other parts well mmmm, just depress the average human being.
Diary - sunny, windy, high broken cloud. Rest day from training. I am happy that I might have avoided the above nonsense, and hope any real readers don't get stuck in these traps. Although unhappy that it seems that the little bit of fun in the stat page reports has completely gone.