Spy vs. Spyware: Detecting and Dealing With Bot Traffic

Free Download Available in this Article: Safe Traffic Checklist

Spy vs Spyware

Right now, while you’re watching stats roll in from your latest email marketing blitz of fresh leads, you could be throwing money away on bot traffic. Unscrupulous and/or gullible traffic brokers sometimes sell or send to lists packed to the gills, not with genuine leads but, with accounts registered to and run by bots! (Software designed to imitate people by signing up for services, viewing pages, and clicking links.)

Buying bot traffic is like paying locusts to eat your crops. Bots distort traffic stats, clog up comment boards, and often spam out ads and links of their own. Worse, you’re spending money to reach people who don’t even exist. So, all those leads you just purchased are a complete financial loss. There’s no return on any of it.

Read on to find out how to flush out bot traffic and stop it in its tracks.

Flushing Out Bot Traffic

If you suspect your lists contain bots or spamtraps, look at the data. Any sign of unusual activity is worth digging into, especially things like floods of foreign IP addresses visiting an American page or visits with tiny engagement periods. If you’re seeing especially low open rates on your email newsletters, 10% or lower, that could also be a sign that you’re wasting time emailing bots.

Other signs of bot traffic include waves of visitors using identical out-of-date versions of browsers, or enormous rushes of visitors arriving in extremely tight timeframes. These aren’t guaranteed signs, but they’re strong enough indicators to merit deeper digging. Once you’ve isolated which lists the bots originated with, you can revisit a few contracts and cut ties with contaminated brokers.

There’s a certain allure to the huge numbers bots can post. That volume of traffic fools some entrepreneurs into thinking that using bots to boost traffic stats is worth a little cash, but even setting aside the dishonesty of such practices, they can easily backfire. Not only could others discover this artificial inflation, but even if they don’t, expectations for performance could exceed a company’s actual capacity and revenues and lead to disappointed investors and analysts.

Blocking Bot Traffic

Blocking bot traffic is easier said than done. Bots sometimes eat up as much as 60% of site traffic, bogging down servers and rendering websites virtually unusable, which of course makes real users head for the hills. Interruptions in service can be a kiss of death to small businesses, or to new ones trying to establish an online presence.

Companies like T4ME use sophisticated anti-fraud software to block many different types of bot traffic and click fraud. Anti-fraud software is a strong first line of defense, but it’s also crucial that you trust and work closely with your traffic vendors. You’ve got to be sure they’re checking their lists and maintaining best practices when it comes to purging bots and spamtraps, or else you might as well throw your money into a tire fire.

With anti-fraud software like that used by T4ME, contaminated traffic and ads are filtered out and clients only pay for the clean traffic that remains. Don’t let robots programmed by disgruntled teenagers ruin your livelihood. Put up some walls, hire a few virtual mercenaries, and ensure that you’re protecting your site’s quality and ease of use.

Protect Yourself From Bad Bots 

If you’re concerned about whether you’ve been getting robbed by the companies you buy traffic from, check out our Safe Traffic Checklist and buy more traffic from TrafficForMe.net!