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Traffic bots - whats the point?
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Traffic bots - whats the point?

mkshmksh Member
edited December 2017 in General

Don't worry i have no intention of running one. I am just curious as to what's the reason for people doing this. The recent thread of a guy looking for a KVM to run his jingledingle (or whatever) bot got closed before i could get an answer. Is the only reason people do this to cheat ad companies or is there more to it?

Comments

  • vovlervovler Member
    edited December 2017

    After thinking for a bit:

    • Fake company that sells "real" traffic or "SEO" or selling social media mentions to 1Million "REAL" followers
    • Monero mining? (do these bots even run javascript?)
    • Redirecting people to exploit packs or those anoying popups that don't want to be closed until you install an extention.
    • Ads that per per view instead of per click, not sure it even exists anymore
    • Getting views on a porn video with ads inside to rank it higher and make $
    Thanked by 1mksh

    "They said it's RAID 5" - geekypixal

  • mkshmksh Member
    edited December 2017

    @vovler said:
    After thinking for a bit:

    • Fake company that sells "real" traffic or "SEO" or selling social media mentions to 1Million "REAL" followers

    Thats a good one. Didn't think of this.

    • Monero mining? (do these bots even run javascript?)

    No idea. I've never seen one. Would'nt make make that much sense anyways imo. If you can run a bot you could run a real mining app as well which is probably way more efficient than anything done in javascript.

    • Redirecting people to exploit packs or those anoying popups that don't want to be closed until you install an extention.

    Would'nt that imply that the bot is running on a compromised victim system? I mean there isn't much to gain from redirecting your own KVM to exploits.

    • Ads that per per view instead of per click, not sure it even exists anymore

    Yeah, that was my first idea too. I guess clicking ads would be within the scope of such a bot too but then again i haven't seen one so i can only speculate.

    • Getting views on a porn video with ads inside to rank it higher and make $

    That's also a good one. Probably does not even have to be porn but could be just youtube.

    One more thing that came to my mind:

    • Depleting your competitors advertising budget by repeatedly viewing their ads. I think it isn't unsual to buy a certain number of impressions so that might be effective.
  • ricardoricardo Member
    edited December 2017

    One of the primary factors of search engine rankings nowadays is user metrics, i.e. how many non-Google referrals visit a site, how many people click through a search result and stay there aka they're happy with the search result.

    The primary factor was generally considered to be backlinks, nowadays it's more about user signals indicating to engines that web pages satisfy a user's query.

    Some people take the strategy of building up fake surfing profiles to manipulate this.

    Thanked by 1mksh
  • vovlervovler Member
    edited December 2017

    @ricardo said:
    One of the primary factors of search engine rankings nowadays is user metrics, i.e. how many non-Google referrals visit a site, how many people click through a search result and stay there aka they're happy with the search result.

    The primary factor was generally considered to be backlinks, nowadays it's more about user signals indicating to engines that web pages satisfy a user's query.

    Some people take the strategy of building up fake surfing profiles to manipulate this.

    Shouldn't Google be able to differentiate from real and fake traffic?

    @mksh said:

    Would'nt that imply that the bot is running on a compromised victim system? I mean there isn't much to gain from redirecting your own KVM to exploits.

    What I meant is outdated browsers, old IE versions with zero-days (or even known exploits), or people that are running old versions of Java on Windows, may be infested just by visiting a URL. I'm not sure how jiggling works, and if you can select the target browser/OS.

    Or those chrome plugins that will steal all your keystrokes or cookies from all the websites and use your social media to spam their products/affiliate links or to continue to infect others.

    Thanked by 1mksh

    "They said it's RAID 5" - geekypixal

  • @vovler said:

    @ricardo said:
    One of the primary factors of search engine rankings nowadays is user metrics, i.e. how many non-Google referrals visit a site, how many people click through a search result and stay there aka they're happy with the search result.

    The primary factor was generally considered to be backlinks, nowadays it's more about user signals indicating to engines that web pages satisfy a user's query.

    Some people take the strategy of building up fake surfing profiles to manipulate this.

    Shouldn't Google be able to differentiate from real and fake traffic?

    One would think so. From my experience it's quite hard to script google searches. I once needed their results for a small project but had to give up since my script doing the queries was almost instantly getting banned. On the other hand i've never had any problems querying google from a browser running on some remote desktop located at a datacenter so i guess it's possible as long as you use a real browser or are able to emulate it good enough even if google probably looks twice at traffic originating from datacenters.

  • SmallWebSmallWeb Member, Provider

    I'm not too knowledgeable about recent needs but I know in the past one of the big reasons was to indeed cheat pay per view through online video sites that have third party ad networks.

    Thanked by 1mksh

    Michael from SmallWeb - Please use official support methods for help.

  • A site with 3.000.000 traffic per month got sold on flippa for $60.000 ;)

    Thanked by 1mksh
  • @WHT said:
    A site with 3.000.000 traffic per month got sold on flippa for $60.000 ;)

    True, i can imagine huge traffic stats being a nice sales tactic. The buyer probably would have to be quite gullable though. Trusting such a number for a site he never heard of without checking the sources of the traffic... Quite hard to believe in those 3.000.000 just being type in traffic and spammy backlinks just stick out like a sore thumb once you know the patterns to look for.

  • If you work in support that caters to low end, you'll see a lot of stuff like YouTube view bots which seem to go along with shady sites selling YouTube views. When you get an evasive customer in [email protected] asking to run Firefox on 256mb or less VPS servers and they have a bunch of accounts, ding ding ding.

    Thanked by 1mksh

    How to clean up a questionable reputation: throw the kids some BF/CM offers.

  • @doughmanes said:
    If you work in support that caters to low end, you'll see a lot of stuff like YouTube view bots which seem to go along with shady sites selling YouTube views. When you get an evasive customer in [email protected] asking to run Firefox on 256mb or less VPS servers and they have a bunch of accounts, ding ding ding.

    OK, so i wasn't to far off thinking of youtube. FF on < 256MB yeah that's going to be great. I really wouldn't want to be in a position where i'd have to choose between the costumer friendly version of telling them they are doing it wrong or the moral one of telling them to forget about it.

  • We'd tell them to upgrade their accounts for more resources but since they like unrealistic pricing, once that was relayed to them they would go to other providers.

    How to clean up a questionable reputation: throw the kids some BF/CM offers.

  • @doughmanes said:
    We'd tell them to upgrade their accounts for more resources but since they like unrealistic pricing, once that was relayed to them they would go to other providers.

    Yeah that's probably the most pragmatic approach but i think we both know there would be more interesting possibilities for those guys. Not posting it though as i don't want this thread to become a howto on efficiently running bots.

  • vovler said: Shouldn't Google be able to differentiate from real and fake traffic?

    That's a broad question, and probably has different answers. Their definition of "human enough" might differ when it comes to click through fraud on ads, but not so much for user engagement in search engine results. YMMV etc, regardless, it's a known thing and people will be pursuing things along these lines.

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