Sunday, June 23, 2013

Confessions of a Blogger

The reality as I see it is that most blogs have no readers--or few, if any. The lion's share of traffic consists of bots. Bots with bad intentions, mostly--content scrapers and hackers angling for derivative traffic. ?!Buzzword?! What is "derivative traffic," igor? Well, pardon my jargon, but derivative traffic is traffic that derives from somebody else's labor--writing, photos, what-have-you. Capiche? There are sites on the Internet that have stolen my content, such as it is, despite what may be regarded as its uncertain value. There are many sites on the Internet that rate my site, analyze my site, give every manner of statistics, and give previews and archival history of my site. All of that comes from bot traffic, from unattended software programs hammering this site day after day collecting data.

On this blog, my best estimation is that 90% of the hits are non-human bots. Of the humans that do hit the blog, most are searching for answers to narrow technical questions, and most hit about a dozen different posts that are the most popular posts on my blog. That would include the Dungeon Crawl Cheat, although I don't know how many Dungeon Crawlers actually bother installing the batch file nowadays. Not many people know what batch files are anymore, and I reckon those that don't would be worried about a virus. The batch file is useful mainly for my own purposes. I can't imagine playing Dungeon Crawl without it. I like to have control over death. Isn't that a natural human desire?

Why so many bots? I get asked that question often, especially when I explain that ninety out of a hundred hits to any given web site are non-human. Well, hackers figured out a long time ago that they could exploit weaknesses in human nature and in search engine technology to drive traffic to their own web sites, where they make money off advertising, install malware, flog some worthless software, or just increase the value of an url that they plan to sell later.

Gee, igor, that sounds like an easy way to make money! How come you don't do it? Ha-ha, I've thought about that and a lot of other easy ways to make money. I won't say I'm above temptation. But even though our government sets such a poor example, I still find some value in ethics. I don't want my legacy to consist of crap web sites and increased distortion and confusion on the Internet. I've always been on the other side of that war and have invested too much effort in fighting bots to change hats now. I suspect the government is behind some of these bots, using them in an effort to monitor and exert some degree of control over the flow of information.


fixyourthinking said...

My traffic on is just the opposite about 10% bots.

Although, if I have a popular story … they attack quick.

I get about 20,000 -25,000 hits a day and sites account fro about 2000 hits each day.

I wonder why Google refuses to block these sites?

I think they allow it if you don't have adsense.

If you have adsense they cure it pretty quiickly.

igor said...

Well, I did say "most" blogs. Yours is popular. There's a background noise of bots that just swarm all sites they can find. So in order to get more than 10% human visitors, a blog has to be particularly popular.

Adsense is broken on my site, and there's no way to fix it.

techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions