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Ghost downloads from my Wordpress site.

  • 02-12-2019 8:53pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭ Dunlaffin


    Hi Folks . I'm not much of a tecchie, I get by.

    I set up a Free Wordpress website for myself some years back to promote my book.

    Now on that website there is a page were i allow people to download a free PDF of my book from time to time.

    https://kevinkeely.wordpress.com/52-2/

    When i don't want people to be able to download the book for free I simply delete the link, then reinstate it for a period when I want it to be available again.

    But one day while looking at the visitor stats for my blog which are always pretty modest, i notice that the Files Download was at 2 for that day, but I had removed the link, there was no link to download the file.

    So i watched this over a period and i noticed it was happening a lot. I mean every other day the stats were showing 2 or 3 Downloads and even on days when the stats showed no visitors there were sometimes File Downloads logged.

    Has anyone with a bit more tech savvy than me any explanation for this?

    regards. kevin.


Comments

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,234 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko


    By removing the link from your own page you simply prevent people from downloading the PDF from that location.
    The PDF is still available so other sites with the link can still download it.

    If you really want the PDF to be offline you need to remove the link and the PDF as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭ Dunlaffin


    hi Biko, Thanks for the reply.

    Not sure if it can be the case however when that page is the only page where the link can ever be accessed on the entire WWW.

    Sure enough there are two downloads registered for today and the link is not active.

    I'm not losing any money out of it, per se, And I hope people are getting a read out of it.

    But i'd like to know how it can be possible. Did somebody circumnavigate the link to access the PDF (which would be loaded to the wordpress database, but not visible) another way, is such a thing possible?


  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭ derekbro


    Could google have the PDF indexed and searches are pointing directly at it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭ Dunlaffin


    Sorry derek, i have no idea what that means.


  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭ derekbro


    lets say the link to your pdf is
    kevinkeely.wordpress.com/52-2/book.pdf
    And on Saturdays you have that link available on your site so people can download it.
    Google scanned your site on a Saturday and saw the above link.
    Google now has a direct link to the pdf so if someone searches it they will be linked directly to the pdf and did not have to go to the https://kevinkeely.wordpress.com/52-2/ page first.

    Hope that makes sense.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭ Dunlaffin


    Thanks Derek i guess I understand what you're saying m but if that s the case then i should be able to do some search combo and eventually find the link?


  • Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭ Dunlaffin


    Okay i'm seeing something interesting now. if i just put in the link address into google , which I believe is what you're saying . yeh bingo it goes straight to the PDF on the wordpress database.
    So would somebody have to have that link address on a site somewhere quite visible in order for that many background downloads to be taking place? Why cant i find it by just doing a search?

    Sorry for being a pain in the ass.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,747 ✭✭✭ marieholmfan


    Dunlaffin wrote: »
    Okay i'm seeing something interesting now. if i just put in the link address into google , which I believe is what you're saying . yeh bingo it goes straight to the PDF on the wordpress database.
    So would somebody have to have that link address on a site somewhere quite visible in order for that many background downloads to be taking place? Why cant i find it by just doing a search?

    Sorry for being a pain in the ass.
    . No they are just searching

    Kevin Keely book Download

    (maybe they saw it on the saturday) and they are seeing the link.

    Good news is I used the search below
    site:kevinkeely.wordpress.com filetype:pdf

    And nothing came up

    Bad news is that you can't block a specific page from search engine spiders using the admin console in wordpress.


  • Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭ Dunlaffin


    Search engine spiders, oooh. Sounds like the Matrix.


    Cheers everyone for the help , i think i'm starting to get a the picture roughly of whats going on.

    Just one more question if you dont mind.

    Is that likely or possible under the scenario you describe, that someone is charging per download?

    I don't mind it being downloaded at the rate it is of only 10-15 p.w. or so, but i would be mightily pissed off if someone was making money out of it and not me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,747 ✭✭✭ marieholmfan


    It is very unlikely
    Dunlaffin wrote: »
    Search engine spiders, oooh. Sounds like the Matrix.


    Cheers everyone for the help , i think i'm starting to get a the picture roughly of whats going on.

    Just one more question if you dont mind.

    Is that likely or possible under the scenario you describe, that someone is charging per download?

    I don't mind it being downloaded at the rate it is of only 10-15 p.w. or so, but i would be mightily pissed off if someone was making money out of it and not me.


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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,234 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko


    Is this the download name? https://kevinkeely.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/download-free-pdf<snip>.pdf
    I found it and downloaded it just now - simply by searching the name of the book.

    So back to my original point - remove the PDF until you want it to be available.
    You can simply rename it temporarily, that should be enough protection since we're not dealing with major security here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,814 ✭✭✭ circadian


    https://kinsta.com/blog/wordpress-robots-txt/#

    Take a look at that, it might not stop it but there's some good advice on the article.


  • Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭ Dunlaffin


    Thanks for all you help and articles guys and gals. i'm going to take a much closer look at this. Probably change the name and see does it stop the downloads. Control it that way. Cheers for all the advice.


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