Website owners are always keen to know how much traffic their site gets i.e. how many people visit the site, which pages they read etc.
We all know that some of the ‘traffic’ on the Internet is fake, but most website owners hope it is a small percentage of the real traffic. However, some companies in the field of advertising believe that up to 50% of traffic achieved through advertising could be fake.
In this context ‘fake’ means it’s not a person looking at your website – it’s another computer.
This is the reason why so many websites these days insist you answer a Capcha query to prove you are a human being.
Suppose you have a new website and you believe the content is worth sharing. You want to get a lot of people to view your website. How do you go about this?
The starting point is to tell everyone you know, use social media to advertise your website content, tell anyone in the industry that you know and ask everyone to spread the word about your website.
Then if you need more traffic i.e. people looking at your website – you might consider paying for traffic – from Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. This is good traffic (i.e. real people viewing your adverts) but it does cost.
If you can’t get (or afford) the traffic you want then you may look at the cheaper traffic providers.
How do cheaper suppliers get traffic for your site – there’s lots of ways e.g. clickbait, spam messages, posting fake comments on popular blogs or forums, fake adverts, advert marketplaces, fake SEO, traffic exchanges, etc.
Clickbait is such a source that is increasingly used on popular news aggregator and entertainment websites. You will see mini ads with labels such as “10 things you didn’t know about Scarlett Johannsen” or “See what happened to these child stars”. When someone clicks on the ad they don’t get what they expected but are directed to a website where the owner has paid to get more people viewing their site.
Clickbait is annoying but harmless. More of a problem are “bots”. This means pieces of software that mimic people in viewing websites and clicking on links.
Using these techniques, your website may get lots of traffic but it could be largely other computers and is very unlikely to be people wanting to do business with you.
How Can You Identify Fake Traffic?
This is a complicated matter and needs expertise, but you would start by examining the statistics/analytics for the website :-
A very high Bounce Rate can indicate disinterested visitors or bots.
A very low Pages/Session figure can mean people attracted to the site are only interested in one link then they leave. If combined with a very short average length of visit can mean automated viewing not people.
If you don’t go down the route of buying cheap traffic then you shouldn’t normally have to worry about fake traffic.
Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.