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Identify If Your Increase Traffic Is Spam

First of all, what is spam traffic? Spam traffic is the prevalence of bots or unwelcome sources that flood a website. Though often harmless, it causes data distortion with periodic spikes in visitors. It can make an enterprise feel hopeful that they are fast gathering interest when they are not. It gives a false positive signal that influences marketing results, making companies believe that their marketing efforts are working when they are not.


What's the motivation behind spam traffic? Spammers send bots to drive traffic to various sites to receive traffic back. Upon the return traffic, spammers may put cookies on computer systems while others get paid for the impressions or number of displays, however unintentional and false.


In some extreme cases, spam traffic is employed by cybercriminals to perpetrate scams and fraud. Spam traffic has become a tool for phishing scams and malware too.


Cracking down on fake traffic is difficult as it is inexpensive to create and send spam. Spam messages accounted for more than half of email traffic in a study made in 2020. An end to this global spam traffic problem is nowhere in sight. It is up to businesses to be vigilant and diligent in monitoring key indicators to act as a shield against torrential spam. Whether the world likes it or not, it is swimming in a sea of spam, and it is up to individuals and industry to keep a wary eye on spam traffic.


How does spam traffic affect businesses? When unresolved, companies having spam traffic difficulties will find that it will have a detrimental effect on their Google rankings. Spam is unwanted and unnecessary noise, and once Google identifies bot traffic on a website, it penalizes the page by pushing its ranking down.


Verifying if the increased traffic on a company's website is necessary as it should be ascertained if the spike in the number of interested parties (per site visits and engagements) is not bloated by spam. Factoring in spam traffic in the mix, identifying and filtering it is critical to avoid misleading businesses into chewing on raw numbers naively.


Working knowledge of Google Analytics helps companies identify if traffic is genuine or bloated by spam. Businesses are well advised to utilize multiple indicators in slowing down and cornering spam traffic.


The four core Google Analytics metrics to track that can potentially identify spam traffic are - Average Session Duration, Bounce Rate, Pages per Session, and New Users. The rule of thumb is that the likelihood that the traffic is bloated by spam is higher if the key metrics yield unusually high or low results.


Average Session Duration in Google Analytics reflects how long a visitor typically spends on a website per session or visit. A notable feature of the nature of spam is that it does not nest on a website. Spam has no interest in what products, services, or content are available on a website. Spam behaves like a ball – it hits a page and immediately bounces away, and leaves. Spam traffic drives the average session duration metric down.


Bounce Rate shows the percentage of visitors that landed on the site and left without engaging or clicking on another page. Every user who visits shortly becomes a bounce statistic. It should be noted, however, that a fraction of real visitors will bounce. This group includes those who visit sites, get contact details and leave. Businesses should know what their average bounce rate is used to alert you when there's an anomaly caused by spam traffic.


Pages Per Session metric is useful as honest-to-goodness traffic (not spam) reasonably translates to multiple pages visited per session. Spam, on the other hand, visits but a page per visit. The math is easy - the more spam traffic there is, the more the pages per session metric plummets (ever moving closer to 1.0).


New Users metric is straightforward. When Google Analytics yields a new user number of a hundred percent, that is surely bot traffic. A significant increase in new users, far above normal, is a sure indicator that spam traffic is the culprit too. The key is constantly comparing the percentage of new users to historical data to spot an anomaly readily.


Aside from the core metrics, Google Analytics provides other information that could help identify and filter spam. Going through location, service provider, and hostname information could provide valuable insight into where spam traffic comes from.


Final Thoughts

Spam traffic is a mirage. Businesses are warned not to fall for this trickery, this illusion. They can skew and create an unreliable data set, which could cause a company to make the wrong decisions.


Monitoring the list of things to watch out for if increased traffic is spam is vital. A good grasp of Google Analytics can be an essential guide as enterprises navigate the world of digital marketing, given the havoc and disruptions that spam traffic could bring.


Optimizing your website and filtering spam traffic can be tedious for a business owner. Let Wise Marketing Professionals help you navigate the complex and ever-changing world of Google Analytics.


Set an appointment with Wise Marketing Professionals now. Let us discuss how we can assist with your SEO and digital marketing strategy so that you can focus on growing your business.