How not to buy bot traffic instead of real website promotion in search engines?
It’s good when this choice is conscious and the site owner knows what he is getting into, for example, as part of an experiment. However, often customers become a victim of fraud and do not even know what is behind the rapid growth of indicators in the console.
What are bots, bot traffic and botnets
A bot is a computer program that performs routine tasks. Often these tasks are associated with the need to “go” to certain sites. The most common types of bots you may encounter are search engine crawlers, SEO tools, and networked malicious bots. A certain amount of bot traffic is sure to be on any project.
Search engine crawlers
The Google crawler is a bot that has the corresponding name – “googlebot”. Moreover, the search engine has several such bots. For example, one of them simulates a login from a mobile device, while the other from a desktop PC. Every search engine has crawler bots.
SEO tools. Another kind of bots are SEO tools that allow you to automate routine work. For example, analyze a large number of pages according to specified criteria, find errors or broken links. There are a lot of such tools and most of them are very useful, and some are simply necessary. Such bots are used from time to time as needed.
Another group of bots are malware and scanners. Robots that no longer have such a noble goal as the two previous groups. For example, these can be bots that participate in DDoS attacks or bots that leave spam comments on websites. Typically, malicious bots communicate in a botnet.
These are large groups of computers on which any bots are installed. Moreover, ordinary users often become part of botnets without even knowing it. Since computing resources are expensive, spammers, through the spread of viruses, partially take control of the computers of unsuspecting users, and then use them for their own purposes, for example, for mass spamming or for DDoS attacks. If your computer has become suspiciously slow for some time, it may be performing some resource-intensive tasks within one of the botnets. For example, it mines cryptocurrency, participates in DDoS attacks, or sends spam.
In addition to the three types of bots listed above, there are others that perform a variety of tasks. However, all these groups of bots can rarely affect traffic indicators, so we are not talking about them. However, you should always keep in mind that there is a possibility that one of these botnets has targeted your site.
Botnets to Boost Traffic
Particular attention should be paid to botnets, which are created specifically to increase visitor numbers on sites. Imagine that there is a giant network of hundreds of thousands of hacked computers. The owner of such a botnet can target it to any site. Botnet visits are counted in the statistics just like any other visits. And at first glance, they look natural, since the computers involved have different IP addresses, operating systems and browsers.
I must say that such use of the botnet is generally safe and does not pose any threats (visit statistics are going up sharply, why not rejoice?). With the exception of cases where botnet traffic is presented as real targeted traffic.
The scheme of deception looks very simple, even primitive. Some SEO agency or independent freelancer promises guaranteed and very fast traffic growth for a small fee. At this point, you should immediately be alert and listen to the voice of reason, no matter how much you want to believe in a miracle.
Then everything is very simple – you see confirmation that the traffic on your site is starting to grow steadily and pay money. This continues until the fraud is revealed or you get tired of paying for useless traffic, which in essence gives nothing but a nice number in the console.
How not to buy bot traffic
If you suspect you’re getting a lot of bot traffic instead of the promised boost in search engine rankings, you’ll need to look into the situation carefully. It can be difficult for a layman to filter out modern bots, which can masquerade as users quite well. However, in most cases, bot traffic can be identified. To do this, it is necessary to carefully analyze the statistics for anomalies.
- Has the geography of visitors changed? Often, for no particular reason, traffic begins to flow en masse from foreign countries or incomprehensible regions, although nothing has been done for this.
- The lion’s share of traffic to the site goes at certain hours, as scheduled. Another possibility is that traffic comes in the form of several inexplicable but noticeable bursts during the day.
- Behavioral factors have changed a lot. For example, the bounce rate has dropped significantly or vice versa – increased, but at the same time, nothing has been done on the site for this.
- A suspiciously large number of visitors use older devices, operating systems, and browsers. If users suddenly visit the site using Internet Explorer, these are obviously bots.
Thus, the key to identifying the problem and detecting bot traffic is a careful analysis of statistics. Fortunately, modern systems such as Google Analytics provide enough information for such an analysis.
However, the best way to avoid being scammed and not getting useless bot traffic instead of high-quality promotion in search engines is to cooperate with reliable SEO companies.