Competetive Marketing

Bad Bots Give Website Traffic a Bad Name

Mar. 14, 2019

Bot Man

Bots, some are good and some are bad. Today I want to discuss how Bots are used to skew website traffic and to defraud people into believing that the "traffic" they purchased for their website has increased when in fact the traffic is related to the Bots.

If you don't know what a Bot is, it is short for Robot Software that is designed to visit websites and grab information most often by search engines or those accumulating data from websites. On most websites, there is a file specifically for Bots that instructs them on what to search and what not to search, or what the file name of the website directory otherwise referred to as a Sitemap. In some cases, the file located in the main directory has instructions on additional items for the Bots.

What I am discussing today is bots specifically designed to pretend to be humans, and bypass Google, Yahoo, Bing, and all other tracking software. These Bots have one purpose to visit a site, load the JavaScript, wait a period of time, and then visit one of the links on the site. The intention is to mimic a human visiting a website without getting caught.

Today I came across a Bot doing the exact thing, bumping up traffic by 22% on our client's website, intentionally distorting Analytics reports and giving the impression that whatever they were doing was benefiting the company. Following my inquiry into the traffic at the client, one of the people responsible for increasing traffic resigned might be a coincidence, might not.

Just last month a client who had us redesign their website paid a website for 10,000 visitors for $100.00 without notifying us in advance. Following a review of the website traffic, we discovered that the visitors were mostly Bot traffic and they only received 5,500 visits. No shame whatsoever.

The worst offense I have reported to a client was for a company that acted in the capacity of an Agency and their responsibility was to increase website traffic. After taking over the account, because we offered more services than they could provide, we discovered that the $2,000.00 a month was generating mostly Bot traffic.

Adding insult to injury this same Agency also charged that same client for adding "Backlinks" to the website, in order to get them ranked higher on search, we had to disavow 75,000 backlinks from Russia and Ukraine. But the greatest insult was when that agency called on the customer a year later looking to do business with our client again, never realizing that they were "outed".

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Robert Furst Competitive Marketing • 22052 Las Brisas Circle • Boca Raton • Florida • 33433 (754) 307-4954
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