Recently Microsoft’s Live Search has been causing some unnecessary and unwanted referrer SPAM in several of my Mint installs, this was confirmed recently by others in this Mint Forum thread.
I’m not 100% sure when it started, but I have been seeing referrers from search.live.com for some strange and very generic keywords, things like “article”, “design”, and “sites”. Visiting the referring URL returned no link back to any of my sites.
There is a solution
Visiting the Advanced Preferences in Mint (
/mint/?preferences&advanced) allows you to stop recording activity from specified IP ranges, I have added the following to the list (that already includes an IP range that Shaun previously identified as a problem with MSN Search):
I have to say I would love to know how and why MSN Live Search is doing this, I have hundreds of these records across my Mint installs. If you are worried about this problem yourself be sure to keep an eye on the Most Recent Searches tab and I would definitely recommend installing Secret Crush which will help you identify the referring IP.
Do let me know if you notice this problem yourself and if your IP ranges include anything different.