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    PaulEchere's Avatar
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    Default Tracking unusual referred visitors

    Hi,

    I seem to be getting a lot of unusual visitors to my pages and I can't seem to figure out why. My site is targeting mainly Nigerian punters, yet in the last week in addition to my usual Nigerian visitors I am getting loads of visitors from Russia. They all seem to come from twitter, instagram and facebook, however they don't really interact with anything.

    Not that it's an issue, but I would like to figure out where exactly they are coming from.
    In Google's analytics all referrals seem to be coming from the "/" path, which obviously can't be accurate.
    There are no links to my site from twitter or instagram as far as crawlers can tell, but I was wondering whether anyone knows a good way to find out more regarding the exact referral URL that brought a visitor to your site.
    Last edited by PaulEchere; 8 April 2021 at 6:47 am. Reason: more details

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    They are most likely bots, so you can ignore them.

    If you want to stop the traffic as it's of no value to you and you're using Cloudflare, just put a rule in on the firewall to challenge the traffic with a Captcha. That will stop 99% of it reaching your site. Real visitors will solve it if they want to gain access to your site.
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    efialtis is online now Private Member
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    The exact same thing has been happening to me and I posted about it yesterday - I wasn`t worried too much but still found it strange.

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    I installed hotjar just to see what they're up to and interestingly enough they don't seem to act like bots (although I don't really know how bots would act). They move their mouse cursor as if they are looking for something in the text, they stop next to images. I even placed a couple of clearly odd things on those pages, that a bot wouldn't really identify as odd, and these visitors appear to interact with it.
    Well...again, I don't really know how a bot would work.

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    Q. Why would Russian addresses be interested in your pages aimed at Nigerian punters?

    A. Because the Russian addresses are interested in anything new that ranks.

    They are probably bot / scrapers that follow links and collect images so that they can clone your site.
    The COULD be human eyes doing the same thing.

    But what they are NOT is people interested in your content or actually interacting to read or learn or place bets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    Q. Why would Russian addresses be interested in your pages aimed at Nigerian punters?

    A. Because the Russian addresses are interested in anything new that ranks.

    They are probably bot / scrapers that follow links and collect images so that they can clone your site.
    The COULD be human eyes doing the same thing.

    But what they are NOT is people interested in your content or actually interacting to read or learn or place bets.
    For years it was hacking as the top threat to sites. But now cloning is something that we need to take more seriously.

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    In the last 24hrs, i've had 500 unique visits from Russian ip's - 6 solved the captcha.

    At least my traffic stats aren't distorted as badly as they were anymore.

    I wonder how much % of my traffic is made up of Bots.
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    You know last week at a few our projects we had the same situation with Russian visitors.

    Lots of traffic and 0 conversion, high Bounce rate... Not so good, ha?

    So we decided to close the traffic from Russia.

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    Paul, no worry to much they simply need to borrow a few images and a couple of chunks of text for these sites:





    Jokes aside! Smart bots don't act like bots and there are some which magage even to opean casino accounts...
    If there is a really loads of traffic without any conversations you may start to think how to block these bots.
    Otherwise your site rankings will drop and that's for sure.

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    @gm2891 none of those strange Russian bots seem to come from google search, they all come from twitter, instagram, facebook or some random Russian social networks - surely they should not have any effect on ranking? Well anyway I should better just block that traffic all together as it has absolutely 0 value.

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    Paul, I've got this kind of visitors too, but I never managed to find my actual links on the sites they coming from.

    I'm not 100% sure but I think I had registrations from this traffic to one of the casinos that accept players from Russia.

    In all other cases, I used to find my content all around the place on similar doorway pages as I posted above...lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulEchere View Post
    @gm2891 none of those strange Russian bots seem to come from google search, they all come from twitter, instagram, facebook or some random Russian social networks - surely they should not have any effect on ranking? Well anyway I should better just block that traffic all together as it has absolutely 0 value.
    If there are a lot of "visitors" with a high bounce rate, those visited pages can start loosing their rankings.
    An opposite is when you have a lot of visitors and they spend a lot of time on your site - rankings go up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulEchere View Post
    @gm2891 none of those strange Russian bots seem to come from google search, they all come from twitter, instagram, facebook or some random Russian social networks - surely they should not have any effect on ranking? Well anyway I should better just block that traffic all together as it has absolutely 0 value.
    That`s really exactly what is happening to me, too - I hope Google is smart enough.

    Not sure what is going on these days though since right now, I am all of a sudden seeing a crazy amount of referral traffic from some spam bs site www. trafficart.club... Jesus christ.

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    I'd recommend blocking all useless traffic, since the only potential thing it can bring is harm.

    Quote Originally Posted by efialtis View Post
    That`s really exactly what is happening to me, too - I hope Google is smart enough.

    Not sure what is going on these days though since right now, I am all of a sudden seeing a crazy amount of referral traffic from some spam bs site www. trafficart.club... Jesus christ.

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    I had some strange traffic a few months ago. It was mostly from Russian bots but when I blocked them I started getting hit by bots from other countries. The bots went after every page on one of my sites. When I blocked them I started getting "human" traffic. The visits were from European countries and Pacific countries.

    I really didn't notice until I started looking at reports that had a large increase in traffic from counties I normally don't get traffic from. What was really strange is I would have 7 hits all on the same page at almost the same time. Everyone would show as human traffic. About every 10 minutes all 7 would hit another page. This went on all day and night. Again, this showed as human traffic and each visit was from a different country.
    I started blocking them and then they started rotating IP addresses. Again, all from European & Pacific Island countries and all of the traffic would show as human in my reports.

    A big flag on this traffic is that it was always directed at my money making pages. I went over my reports and ended up blocking hundreds of IPs one at a time. After doing this the traffic stopped.

    Did the traffic show up as human in my Google reports? Yes.

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    For me it is quite the opposite, they seem to come to my least popular pages.

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    Anyone get 100's of Wordfence Alerts per day?

    I assume only apply to people running WP sites and Wordfence.

    We block and ban all login attempts but the alerts never end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LowFlyingBird View Post
    Anyone get 100's of Wordfence Alerts per day?

    I assume only apply to people running WP sites and Wordfence.

    We block and ban all login attempts but the alerts never end.
    I see similar results in WP Cerber plugin for some of my sites and those of clients, but I have that set to auto-block such attempts and don't worry about them much.

    So as not to derail the main topic of this thread, if anyone wants to discuss the pros and cons of such security plugins, (though somewhat related) we should start another thread for that.

    I also agree with the sentiment that if it is bot traffic there is less concern.

    Rick
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    I had similar experiences in the past, those were actually attempts of negative SEO. Looks like besides the usual stuff (which is building links from bad neighborhoods), whoever did this has tried a different strategy:

    They bought user signals from someone, where the effect was that all of a sudden on one singe day, I had a 400% surge in visitors, with extremely low bounce rates, all coming from the same location. I assume they hoped that Google would see that as an attempt to manipulate on my part. Anyway, it was a one-time thing, they were probably just testing.

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    As a rumor spreads in some telegram chats, this negative traffic is driven by some big iGaming product. They are trying to kick off competitors from the market. Not sure if its 100% truth, rumors are rumors.

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