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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Robot Vampires

I was pretty excited when the blog hit 10,000 page views a month for the first time back in November, though even then my pleasure was tempered with the suspicion that spambots were responsible for some percentage of the hits. Since then I've been tracking the amount of comment spam in my inbox along with any suspiciously large number of visits to especially banal Earliad pages. This is an inexact science, but I estimate that spambots, including the malicious vampirestats bots, are generating about 30 percent of my visits. Hitting 10,000 page views was suspicious enough, but then my readership spiked to nearly 15,000 in December my worst fears were confirmed.

So I probably haven't received 10,000 legitimate, human visitors a month quite yet. But I'm pretty certain that I'm getting at least 7,000 or so real hits a month, which is still a far greater audience than I ever expected. As for the spammers, well, a pox on all your houses. 


"The Quality Of Jeff" said...

If you do some Internet reading, the topic of bots and Blogger is quite detailed and complicated. What I have seen is that Blogger is very reluctant to deal with bots, and considers their "captcha" system to be sufficient.

There are many sides to this issue. The biggest one is that Blogger staff has been cut and cut again so that most of the maintenance is done by volunteers. Blogger refuses to pay to develop new features because a) volunteers will do it for free anyways and b) the bots will defeat the new measures within a short time regardless. Then there's c) bots make more money than blogs. Always follow the money trail.

There are free third party stat counters for Blogger that are supposed to not count bot hits. I haven't the desire or the will to try them. I think I'd be crushed if Anak Muda, my only follower who is a complete stranger, turned out to be a bot. It would be like the reveal when the brave space captain's girlfriend, the planetary chieftain's beautiful daughter, removes her face to uncover circuits and gears. That puts a strain on the whole enterprise.

Liam said...

I hate that. I know that I get maybe fifty hits a week when I'm moderately active and a lot less than that the rest of the time. I'm reasonably sure that those hits are real. At least, I hope so.