In internet marketing, there are different classifications of traffic that come to your site. Sometimes it’s a real person, sometimes it is not. When it is not a real person, it is referred to as bot traffic (I’ll call it BT).
Now you may be thinking that getting traffic from a non-human is bad and you’d be right, but there is actually a scenario in which getting this is actually good for your site. In this article, I’d like to clarify in which scenarios you want to get BT and in which cases, you don’t.
Let me explain the bad types first:
Generally speaking, BT can come from various sources to your site. It can come from spam sources or usually people who purchase this type of service, then send it to your site to either screw up your rankings, or give you the impression that you’re getting quality traffic. Either way, it’s not a real person and thus cannot count as a metric for your site’s success.
Here’s some examples:
You buy a traffic package from a person or source that say they’ll send you a ton of it. When you buy it, you notice the tracking on your site is showing visits. Woo hoo, you’ve got traffic, right?
Incorrect, you’ve got BT (it’s fake) and that honestly doesn’t count at all. Rather, it gives you the impression that you’re getting a ton of visitors, satisfying you if you don’t know what’s really going on and rewarding the scammer who said they’d send you visits.
This is commonly done in junk traffic type programs and/or places which say you can buy, say 1,000 clicks for $1. If you see services like these online, be very careful and save that money, no matter how little it costs. It’s either bots or low quality visitors who would never buy anything on your site.
There are also many programs I’ve reviewed (like this horrible program) which have tried to get away with this, charging people outrageous prices, saying they’ll send them visitors, but never disclosing where they are getting it from. And/or they’d try and mask it by saying it would be high quality traffic, but still resulting in the same, fake bots. Be very careful of these places people.
Can I buy BT to improve my website rank? The answer is no.
There was a time in the early stages of the SEO game where people would fake how many visitors/bots their site/s were getting (and selling services for this too as I mentioned before) to game search engines as one of the parameters they used to use for ranking your site was the number of visits it would get.
Naturally, people figured out that buying visits would give search engines the impression that it was a good site, and thus they’d rank it higher to attract real visits.
But no longer, Google can now identify what type of traffic you’re getting and distinguish if it’s a real person or not and one of the ways they do it, is that they track the IP and/or also see for how long the user who visits the site stays on it.
Bots usually stay for less than a second, which to Google means, it’s not a real person, and thus the click isn’t used as a positive metric for ranking. So you can buy 1, a 1,000, even a million clicks which are bots, it won’t matter, their whole value will still equal 0, and it won’t improve or decline your rankings, so you won’t really get anything out of this. Therefore, don’t even try it, it’s a waste.
How to identify if you’re getting bot traffic:
It just so happens that just about every site that is made online will receive this type of stuff especially in it’s early stages. You can start up a site and within a week see 50 visits, become happy only to realize none of those 50 clicks were real people.
But how can you avoid that and know when the traffic coming to your site is a real person or not? Simple, install Google analytics and do the following:
Look at the behavior section of Google Analytics and see how many people visit your site and what the average stay time on the page is. If it’s 0:00, then odds are, it’s not a real person. Here’s an example:
Real people who visit your page will at least stay on it for more than a second. Naturally, the better your content, the longer people will stay, but that’s beside the point here.
Not all BT is bad, here’s cases when it’s good:
Search engines have their own bots (called spiders) they send out to websites all the time to identify the content that is on them and then rank them accordingly. Whenever you publish new content or send out a manual “ping” to search engines, this is what they will do and the visit will be recorded if you’re using Google Analytics, but it will record as a bot.
Worry not though, this is what you want coming to your site because it will lead to indexing and ranking. Now when you DON’T want search engines sending their bots is when you want to hide a page from them. Here’s situations in which you want this to happen:
You copied a page from another source (duplicate content) and if it’s spotted by search engines, your whole page can get de-indexed. And by the way, don’t copy other people’s content 🙂
You are duplicating your own content on your website and spreading it across pages (people do this for testing). You will want to manually activate an option where spiders are not allowed on the page to “crawl” and index the page on the search engine.
If you use a tool such as the “All in One SEO” plugin (you need to have a WordPress site for this, you can turn it off) and this will not let the spiders in. Once installed, and you set up a new page or post, here is how you can stop the spiders from coming in:
Final thoughts: You shouldn’t even worry about this stuff.
There’s a lot of people who when they first hear about BT get worried and only want the good kind to come in and obviously prevent the bad bots from coming in.
But in truth, this is a normal thing that happens to ALL websites and you really have no control over it. But at the same time, it’s not like these things are going to ruin your site, not even the bad kinds. Just know how to distinguish them (which I showed you how through Google Analytics) and focus on letting Google send it’s good ones in.
Unless you’re an experienced website person and know in which scenarios you want to prevent the good kinds from getting in, don’t worry about this at all. Like I said, this is a normal thing for ALL websites.