Let’s admit it!
If you are neck-deep into digital marketing, Bot farms must have crossed your mind at least once in your lifetime.
Despite the paid ads, targeted SEO implementation, ranking algorithms, promotion, and so on, we often do not fetch the expected result. The constant cravings for more clicks on our websites, more likes on our posts, more shares on our articles, more downloads of our apps have driven us insane.
To have fewer sleepless nights, many might consider the click bot aids. And we know you have a long list of questions popping up in your head but are afraid to ask anyone. So here we are, with a list of frequent questions about this topic.
1. What are click bots?
Click bots are constitutes of programmable software that automates the click on websites leading to click frauds. They impersonate human activity in their absence and leave false impressions. These, in turn, increase the measurable metrics in leaps and bounds with no real organic reach. They can be programmed to replicate human online behavior like taking adequate pauses before making a click, random page hoppings, etc.
2. Are Bot farms real?
Maybe after watching HBO’s Silicon Valley, one might still think click farms are just the plot twisters used in the series. But it is not so. They are a hundred percent real and, in fact, a sustainable means of survival for the lesser developed nations. These are also popular means of livelihood in the community of menial wage earners where cheap labor satiates the stomach pangs. Bots, humans, or both are made to sign in through different handsets and systems to imitate a legitimate user, clicking mercilessly to raise the spike of so-called engagement metrics.
3. Will it affect my Pay-Per-Click campaigns?
When starting with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign, every click becomes the marketing strategy’s heartbeat. Since the advertisers have to pay for every click, click frauds can distort the movement. Yes, there is a potential risk of your money drowning in the drain if you are not vigilant enough to trace and eliminate them. The key here is to be continually monitoring the rise and fall of the clicks.
4. Are they illegal?
There is no doubt that these are unethical practices. Every click is an iota of user interest. If you have lost a lump sum of money due to click fraud, you must be well aware of the never-ending legal complications and procrastinations. The Internet has blurred the physical demarcations, making it intrinsically challenging to trace the sources. If you invested additional time and fortune in finding the source of fraud, the jurisdiction difference would further complicate the matters. This kind of fraud falls under the category of Wired fraud, and the culprit gets a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment.
5. Where to find bot farms?
These manifest mostly in the South Eastern Asian countries like Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc. The owners either hire programmers to make an immaculate program for the bots to carry the clicking process. There is another human crowdsourcing way, which is much more anticipated. Hundreds of people are hired for numerous manual clicks.
6. How does it work?
According to esteemed Washington Post, they have cited these as the 21st-century sweatshops with industrious people working diligently for hours at a stretch. Hundreds of laborers are cramped up in a dingy, dark room and are provided with handsets or systems to do these malicious acts. They are not even paid adequately. As per online reports, they make only $120 per year while the owners manage to secure a handsome amount of money for themselves. These likes are again shared at a much higher price making insurmountable profits.
7. What are the different types of click bots?
According to the search query, the good ones constitute web crawlers, find the relevant terms in your websites, and produce the search result. They result in real-time engagement. Most reputed companies make use of them in the right way.
On the other hand, bad bots are the third party disruptive elements that are used to commit fraudulent activities like theft of information and misleading clicks. They raise the server limits, too, with overwhelming profile visits with no lead generation. This constricts the bandwidth, and real users have a tough time loading the website pages due to the overloaded robotic traffic.
8. What is the actionable measure taken to prevent them?
Despite the platform owners’ efforts to eradicate the fake user base, the growth is simply majestic. This is not even the peak of virtual fraud. Tech giants like Google and Youtube are removing fake reviews and views. If the advertisers get to know about suspicious click events, the platforms dig deep into the matter, even refunding and settling down with reimbursements. They also employ the use of automated filters to stop these click frauds.
The idea doesn’t seem pretty now.
Getting an overnight success is alluring, but it would not fetch you long term value. Be aware of such scams and keep a keen watch. Get to user activity statistics and behavior analysis to find if your investment is well utilized. If you think that you have become a victim of the click fraud, then quickly add blockers. Trace the IP addresses and block the services, regulating the website’s visibility. Invest in trustworthy blocker software and plugins to escape a click fraud.
There are many ways to get the Click-Through Rates (CTR). Revamp your website’s content with catchy phrases and SEO. Give a captivating title, so your humane users are filled with curiosity. Target your audience and promote your business only to a selective base. Please pay attention to the user interactive elements making it easier for your viewers to navigate effortlessly with impeccable user experience. Investment in these will never go to waste, and you will soon get real-time engagement without any fishy aid.
Interesting Related Article: “Protecting the Website from Online Bots“