The Web Traffic News

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Over Half of Web Traffic Is Not Human

It happened last year for the first time: bot traffic eclipsed human traffic, this year, Incapsula says 61.5 percent of traffic on the web is non-human.

Now, you might think this portends the arrival of “The Internet of Things”—that ever-promised network that will connect your fridge and car to your smartphone. But it does not.

This non-human traffic is search bots, scrapers, hacking tools, and other human impersonators, little pieces of code skittering across the web. You might describe this phenomenon as The Internet of Thingies.

One thing that gets to me — perhaps you want to generate an extra 100,000 page views for some website? So simple. A programmer friend of mine put it like this, “The basics of sending fake traffic are trivial.”

I’m going to tell you how here, even though I think executing such a script is highly unethical, probably fraud, and something you should not do. I’m telling you about it here because people need to understand how jawdroppingly easy it really is.

So, the goal is mimicking humans. Which means that you can’t just send 100,000 visits to the same page. That’d be very suspicious.

So you want to spread the traffic out over a bunch of target pages. But which ones? You don’t want pages that no one ever visits. But you also don’t want to send traffic to pages that people are paying close attention to, which tend to be the most recent ones. So, you want popular pages but not the most popular or recent pages.

Luckily, Google tends to index the popular, recentish stories more highly. And included with UBot are two little bots that can work in tandem. The first scrapes Google’s suggestions searches. So it starts with the most popular A searches (Amazon, Apple, America’s Cup) then the most popular B searches, etc. Another little bot scrapes the URLs from Google search results.

So the first step in the script would be to use the most popular search suggestions to find popularish stories on the domain (say, theatlantic.com) and save all those domains.

The first search would be “amazon site:theatlantic.com.” The top 20 URLs, all of which would be Atlantic stories, would get copied into a file. Then the bot would search “apple site:theatlantic.com” and paste another 20 in. And so on and so forth until you’ve got 1,000.

Now, all you’ve got to do is have the bot visit each story, wait for the page to load, and go on to the next URL. Just for good measure, perhaps you’d have the browser “focus” on the ads on the page to increase the site’s engagement metrics.

Loop your program 100 times and you’re done. And you could do the same thing whenever you wanted to.

Of course, the bot described here would be very easy to catch. If anyone looked, you’d need to be fancier to evade detection. For example, when a browser connects to a website, it sends a little token that says, “This is who I am!” And it lists the browser and the operating system, etc.

If we ran the script like this, an identical 100,000 user agents would show up in the site’s logs, which might be suspicious.

But the user agent-website relationship is trust-based. Any browser can say, “I’m Chrome running on a Mac.” And, in fact, there are pieces of software out there that will generate “realistic” user agent messages, which Ubot helpfully lets you plug in.

The hardest part would be obscuring that the IP addresses of the visits. Because if 100,000 visits came from a single computer, that would be a dead giveaway it was a bot. So, you could rent a botnet — a bunch of computers that have been hacked to do the bidding of (generally) bad people.

Or you could ask some “friends” to help out via a service like JingLing, which lets people use other people on the network to send traffic to webpages from different IP addresses. You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours!

But, if the botting process is done subtly, no one might think to check what was going on. Because from a publisher’s perspective, how much do you really want to know?

In the example I gave, no page has gotten more than 100 views, but you’ve added 100,000 views to the site as a whole. It would just seem as if there was more traffic, but it’d all be down at the bottom of the traffic reports where most people have no reason to look.

And indeed, some reports have come out showing that people don’t check. One traffic buyer told Digiday, “We worked with a major supply-side platform partner that was just wink wink, nudge nudge about it. They asked us to explain why almost all of our traffic came from one operating system and the majority had all the same user-agent string.”

That is to say, someone involved in the traffic supply chain was no more sophisticated than a journalist with 10 hours of training using a publicly available piece of software. 

The point is: It’s so easy to build bots that do various things that they are overrunning the human traffic on the web.

Now, to understand the human web, we have to reckon with the logic of the non-human web. It is, in part, shady traffic that allows ad networks and exchanges to flourish. And these automated ad buying platforms — while they do a lot of good, no doubt about it — also put pressure on other publishers to sell ads more cheaply. When they do that, there’s less money for content, and the content quality suffers.

The ease of building bots, in other words, hurts what you read each and every day on the Internet. And it’s all happening deep beneath the shiny web we know and (sometimes) love.

Will an Internet Sales Tax Kill Web Traffic?

Internet tax to kill web traffic     Last week the U.S. Senate voted to support Internet sales taxes.  Could online sales taxes drive web traffic down?

For now Americans are safe from any such tax taking place because  the proposal will not be voted on in the U.S. House of Representative.

Online business owners across the internet who don’t want their web traffic or sales to suffer are calling for action. Call your Senator and demand a “No” vote on the “Marketplace Fairness Act” (S. 336)

Recently, big corporate interests, high-paid DC lobbyists, and statist
governors believed their agenda had the votes locked up and that this
amendment would easily pass through the Senate.

Wanting to rush their amendment to the floor early in the week, they thought  an early vote would guarantee passage with an overwhelming majority of senators.

In reality there is nothing fair about the “Marketplace Fairness Act” and if it is passed your online sales and web traffic will plummet.

Proponents of this amendment were planning on convincing the Speaker of the
House and the Majority Leader to pass the bill through their respective chambers.

They did not count on web traffic advocates who flooded the Senate with emails, calls, and faxes from concerned constituents. Additionally, as senators heard from hundreds of thousands of Americans opposing this scheme, more of them began to shy away from the National Internet Tax Mandate.

The pressure from folks fed up with D.C.’s tax-and-spend status quo was so great that the vote on the amendment was delayed to give special interests more time to browbeat Senators into compliance.

As an online Web Traffic Advocate I urge you to maintain contact with your
Senator to let them know you want a “No” vote, share this article and The Web Traffic News with friends, family and collegues who care about their online interests.

It’s critical that this legislation does not pass because if it does the National Internet Tax Mandate will:

• Raise prices on everything you buy online

• Provide big-spending governors with new bailout money from the federal government imposing more taxes on their citizens

• Violate the principle of “No Taxation Without Representation” by allowing state legislatures to raise taxes and leave small, out-of-state businesses with little, if any, recourse against those tax hikes

• Allow tax collectors in one state to pursue retailers across state lines

I know you can see how crucial this is to your sales and web traffic plus the massive cost of compliance with the National Internet Tax Mandate could
drive small Internet companies out of business, while others may never even get started.

Meanwhile, the incentive to raise sales taxes will lead to an explosion of already out-of-control state budgets. Growing government while shrinking the most dynamic sector of the economy is a recipe for economic stagnation.

The elitists and special interests behind the National Internet Tax Mandate  think they one step closer to victory wich means now is the time to turn up the
heat on the House and Senate to make sure we stop the National Internet Tax Mandate from passing this Congress.

Your web traffic and sales depend on it!

The 60 Second Web Traffic Model

Free vs paid website traffic     Web traffic is a prized commodity in the online space for many reasons.  For some people, web traffic equals potential customers, and for others still website traffic equals popularity or social proof that one can use to further escalate one’s station in the pecking order of virtual popularity.

I have yet to find the true measure of the value of web traffic because it means
so many different things to so many different people.  With that being said,
I still aim to give you quality content based on an actionable model that will
bring traffic to your website in 60 seconds.

The most generalized description that one can make about traffic is that it can
be divided into 2 categories; free traffic and paid traffic.

2 great sources of free traffic are word of mouth marketing where you simply tell someone you know to go to website “X” because it’s a cool website that they will find value at.  The next no-cost traffic method that I recommend and have used to build a client list of over 10,000 people from around the world is a traffic exchange website such as: http://www.TrafficDynamite.com

Both methods work to get you traffic in 60 seconds or less.

Since I gave 2 examples of free website traffic, I will not discuss 2 paid versions
of traffic that might work for you (or not).  Depending on what your budget is for paid traffic generation let’s cover 2 of the most popular paid traffic models
that you can apply in 60 seconds;

1st – an ad swap or solo ad to a known buyers list, this is a situation that
exists when you contact someone who has access to a list of people who have
bought the exact or similar product or service that you are marketing and
advertising.  You agree to a set price per person that takes action and opts
in to your list or buys whatever you are selling.

2nd – is the currently popular purchase of social traffic, for example a
Facebook ad or a sponsored post that you pay someone with a large fan base
of following to endorse your product or service.

There are many more methods and strategies to marketing and advertising with
free and paid web traffic which is why I invite you to join me for a webinar with Michelle Pescosolido on 21 March 2012 (Thursday night) at 7:00p.m Central time to learn how to leverage the power of free and paid Facebook advertising.

Just click HERE <— at 7:00p.m. Central on 21 March 2013 (Thursday night :-)

Be sure to share this with your friends and comment about your favorite free or paid traffic method below.

Always to your web traffic success,

Mark “The Web Traffic Reporter” Brown

Web Traffic News Reports on New StumbleUpon Updates

StumbleUpon has been working hard to make important changes to their terms of service and privacy policy.

StumbleUpon Infographic     They have also just launched in the UK, created personalized suggestions, and pushed updates to their iPhone and Android apps.  The StumbleUpon team knows that most of their users do not enjoy reviewing legal forms however their goal is to be more transparent to their users.

On the left side of this post you will see a valuable StumbleUpon infographic which displays the stats and growth of this highly effective social media site.

I am quoting directly from the e-mail message that StumbleUpon sent me. Following are some of the key updates that StumbleUpon has made:

“The Terms of Service and Privacy Policy now cover our newest products and features, such as our mobile and web applications and the ability to join StumbleUpon using your Facebook and Google accounts.

As you know, StumbleUpon is a personalized content discovery service, so our primary goal in collecting data is to improve the content recommendations we make to you. In our updated Privacy Policy, we provide a fuller explanation of the data we collect, how we use it, and the options we provide regarding your personal information.

In our mission to help you discover great content from across the Web, we clarify in our Terms of Service that while StumbleUpon refers and recommends its content, most of this content is controlled by third parties.

We have inserted headings in both the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for ease of reference, and made some clarifying legal changes.”

These Terms of Service are projected to be be fully effective for existing users as of Oct. 15, 2012. The update to the Privacy Policy is effective immediately.

Please leave me a comment regarding your experience with StumbleUpon?

Mark “The Web Traffic Reporter” Brown

Blog Traffic Missing? Here’s How to Bring it Back

Get Your blog traffic back, here’s how:

Bring my blog traffic backA couple weeks ago I test drove the new wordpress blog plug-in, Bring My Blog Visitors Back by MaxBlogPress.  Website and blog traffic is critical to successful branding and business so I wanted to provide this review for you.  This powerful plug-in allows you to customize your RSS feed so that you stop loosing blog traffic and visitors.

Last week I got the opportunity to peek through MaxBlogPress Bring My Blog Visitors Back and learn how it changes our customary approach to RSS Feed.

Virtually every blog has an RSS Feed.  RSS feed’s can be a very useful tool for allowing subscribers stay connected to your blog.  Traditional RSS feeds however have a few drawbacks.  Most subscribers stop visiting your blog because they get content updates from your blog’s RSS Feed.  This leads to less user participation on your blog and decreases your blog traffic and revenue as well.

MaxBlogPress Bring My Blog Visitors Back is a powerful WordPress Plugin that offers you more flexibility and control over your blog’s RSS feed.  You can now entice your RSS readers to visit your blog without the slightest annoyance and at the same time, add value and increase readership.

But that’s not all.  You can watch the blog traffic video now by clicking HERE or read on.

Content thieves, have found an easy way to scrape your blog contents through RSS feeds making use of automated software. Now, with this new plug-in they become a sort of free marketer for your blog. When they scrape your blog with this plug-in enabled you can now give them your content and your identity as well which creates free back links and more blog traffic for you :-)

Isn’t that amazing?

To tell you more…

This amazing plugin comes with some attractive and powerful features that completely transform the look and functionality of the RSS Feed. Using the power of Bring My Blog Visitors Back, you can now upgrade your RSS Feed with the following features:

a) Display related posts
b) Display social icons
c) Display Number of Comments
d) Display Latest User Comment
e) Display header and footer text/banners and
f) Display copyright notice

This plugin is not made for you if you: i) Don’t need a boost in quality traffic and revenue of your blog.
ii) Don’t mind scrapers stealing your content via your own RSS feed.
iii) Are satisfied with whatever setbacks your blog has encountered.
iv) Are not concerned about how your RSS feed looks like nor what it does.

However, it’s a must-have if you really are serious about your blog traffic and blogging career.  If you are syndicating your blog through an RSS feed, and worried about the minimal web traffic and revenue you have getting from your blog, you will luv this plugin.

So, instead of racking your nerves, it’s time you act smart and fast.  Go and grab this revolutionary WordPress plugin: CLICK HERE

Leave a comment and share this review with your friends and business partners who need more blog traffic,

Mark “The Web Traffic Reporter” Brown

P.S. – Be sure to sign up for Web Traffic News Rss Feed Updates
so you can see how I have configured my feed and thanks!

Web Traffic in the U.S. Fast, but not like South Korea’s

Web traffic internet speed

Web Traffic in the U.S. is Fast, but not like South Korea’s.  The web traffic in South Korea is fast.  I can attest to this fact because for 2 years from 2009 – 2011 I lived there.  Don Reisinger just reported on Akamai’s State of the Internet report.  This report revealed the average connection speed in South Korea is about 16Mbps.  In the U.S., it’s 5.8Mbps.   I found this content and curated it via Scoop.it

I am curious to know what is the internet and website speed where you are at?  Do you pay for dial-up, cable, broadband, or satellite access to the internet?  Leave me a comment and let me know.