Knowledge

Bot Traffic and Musk

Published: 17 May, 2022

One of the industry’s dark secrets is how much fake or bot traffic exists.

With companies selling advertising based on engagements, knowing what is real and what is not is at best a technical challenge and, at its worst, is fraud. The purpose is to gain access to (and abuse) user accounts. These bots post spam content or send spam emails in bulk, often including links to fraudulent websites.

Bot traffic is non-human traffic generated by robots to websites and apps. Mostly this kind of traffic gives negative associations; however, it’s not always as bad as it looks. There are two kinds of bot traffic–the good and the bad.

The good bot traffic:

  • bots that scan your content such as Google and Bing web crawlers
  • chatbots that generate prepared answers when a visitor asks something on your site
  • search engine bots that make sure that your website is found on search engines

The bad bot traffic:

  • bots that are providing spammy comments and including some malicious links
  • bots that affect your site and make it inaccessible for users
  • unauthorized web crawlers that can affect your website’s stats and generate click fraud
  • click bots that make ‘fake’ automatic clicks on your ads

At ProFundCom we have built a whole set of qualitative and quantitative methods to exclude bot traffic.

Cloudflare recommends the following for identifying bot traffic if you are not using a service like ProFundCom.

  • Abnormally high page views: If a site undergoes a sudden, unprecedented and unexpected spike in page views, it’s likely that there are bots clicking through the site.
  • Abnormally high bounce rate: The bounce rate identifies the number of users that come to a single page on a site and then leave the site before clicking anything on the page. An unexpected lift in the bounce rate can be the result of bots being directed at a single page.
  • Surprisingly high or low session duration: Session duration or the number of time users stay on a website, should remain relatively steady. An unexplained increase in session duration could be an indication of bots browsing the site at an unusually slow rate. Conversely, an unexpected drop-in session duration could be the result of bots that are clicking through pages on the site much faster than a human user would.
  • Junk conversions: A surge in phoney-looking conversions, such as account creations using gibberish email addresses or contact forms submitted with fake names and phone numbers, can be the result of form-filling bots or spambots.
  • Spike in traffic from an unexpected location: A sudden spike in users from one particular region, particularly a region that’s unlikely to have a large number of people who are fluent in the native language of the site, can be an indication of bot traffic. Source

 

No wonder Musk wants all this verified before he parts with his $44 Billion!!!

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