Bot traffic can naturally be defined as any activities on a website or an app that weren’t made by humans, it can be bad and can be good at times, we’ll review everything here.
I wrote this article because bot traffic has made a lot of publishers look at their AdSense accounts or not even get accepted into great ad networks like Ezoic, Mediavine, and Adthrive.
It’s worth knowing that there are good bots and bad bots, the good ones are the search engine crawlers like GoogleBot, and Bingbot while the bad ones are those used by all these software to inflate the number of visitors on your site (according to GA).
That being said, In this article, I’ll go through the different sources of Bot traffic, the cons of purchasing traffic, and how bot traffic affects ads on your site as well as how to fix bot traffic.
How do Traffic Bots know about your site?
Well, the most relevant method that Traffic bots use to access your website is if you pay for it.
Paying for it includes, buying SEO or Social Media Traffic from Software like Sigma Traffic, Money Robot, etc, all they do is send their bots to refresh your site over and over again, this now results in abnormal pageviews in your Google Analytics.
Paying for Bot Traffic also includes buying backlinks from Fiverr, purchasing backlinks from Fiverr can help grow your site if you meet the right dealer and I can assure you that 99.90% of Link Building freelancers on Fiverr are scammers.
Once you give them the URL of your site and the anchor text you want to use, what they’ll do is they’ll plug it into a Software like Money Robot and GSA Ranker, then the software spams various web2.0 sites, directory sites, and most especially unprotected WordPress Websites.
I’ve personally witnessed Money Robot in action, this software can create a Temporary Email Address and register on a site, and it can bypass captcha verification… I saw it with my own very eyes while observing the workflow.
After spamming various sites to create spammy backlinks, robots use the links as a gateway from the spammed websites to yours because those sites never get human visitors.
Sometimes you may be one of those bloggers who don’t protect their website (on Blogger on WordPress), and this makes you an easy target for this sort of software.
How do you detect Bot Traffic?
The answer is in your Google Analytics data, the number one hint at detecting bot traffic is if you notice unusual spikes in the number of users on your website with a ridiculously high bounce rate (mostly 100%).
Another convenient way to detect bot traffic is to open your Google Analytics, then go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages, this will display the pages with the most traffic on your site, and check for anything unusual like when the page has over 100 visitors and avg. duration is 00:00:00… that’s bot traffic.
How Bot Traffic Affects your Website
Number 1 is that Bot Trafic uses up your hosting resources and makes your site display an error code to your visitors, probably because your hosting provider can’t handle that much spike in the time frame.
Traffic Bots will cost you your AdSense account, Google wants to advertise on sites with real human visitors, and human beings see relevant ads and they click on them, but bots don’t click on ads – Google AdSense now labels this behavior as Invalid Traffic.
Your account can get terminated straight with a single Email stating the obvious and you may lose your revenue.
If you have bot Traffic on your Site, you won’t get approved for Ezoic, and other premium ad networks like Mediavine, Taboola, and Adthrive.
I’ve personally had an experience with Ezoic, after I purchased Fiverr Backlinks for one of my domains, the site started getting bot traffic and I didn’t notice, I felt I was hitting 20,000 visitors a month not knowing that about 70% was bot traffic.
I applied for Ezoic and got declined because of Bot Traffic and Ezoic is the best ad network that enables small publishers to make money from their content.
Now that we’ve known how Traffic Bots affect our Websites and our Monetization processes, let’s proceed to the solution.
How to Fix Unwanted Bot Traffic on your Website
Once you’ve detected bot traffic on your website via your Google Analytics data, you should head over to cloudflare.com and set up your website, use the free plan.
You’ll be prompted to connect to Cloudflare’s Nameservers, do that yourself or contact your Domain Registrar for help.
But that is still not good because Ezoic will still count the bot traffic. After all, Cloudflare allows it to hit your website before displaying the reCaptcha Challenge.
What you’re gonna do now is to head back to Google Analytics, then check the country which the bot hits your site from.
Bots are foolish, they use a country to attack a person’s website and once you block that country from accessing your site completely, you’ll be good.
In my case, the bots were attacking my then website from Russia, I don’t create content for people living in Russia (for that domain), so it was no big deal saying bye to the country and its bots.
To block a Country, you have to set Cloudflare Firewall Rules which is quite very easy, login to your Cloudflare account, and go to Security > WAF > Create Firewall Rule.
Give your New Rule a descriptive name, then on the field option select Country, set operator to equals, then on the value type in the name of the Country.
Scroll down a bit, below the Then header, Choose Block as the action, then click on the Deploy Firewall Rule button.
To check if this is working, connect to the country you just blocked using a VPN and then try to access your site, you should see a message that may state that the country you’re visiting from, has been blocked.
Why do I get Bot Traffic?
What is Bot Traffic in Google Analytics?
How to Stop Bot Traffic in WordPress?
You should also Install Cloudflare and activate the Under attack mode, then set firewall rules as you’ve been taught in this article.
Conclusion on How to Detect and Fix Bot Traffic in 2022
These steps which I mentioned in this article are the same ones I used to fix unwanted Bot traffic on one of my websites, they work 100% if you follow my steps to the latter.
If you have any questions on Detecting and Fixing Bot Traffic on your Website, the comments section is always open and you can subscribe to my newsletter for more content like this.